Set in a science-fantasy universe, “Dauntless” pits Slayers (a.k.a. the players) against Behemoths, large monsters who drain the world’s essence. Up to four Slayers can take down a Behemoth together, then craft new weapons and armor from its hide. If this all sounds similar to Capcom’s long-running “Monster Hunter” franchise, you’re right. But, “Dauntless” has the potential to be more than just a “Monster Hunter” clone thanks to its lovely, colorful art style and its focus on so-called “live service” content, including expansions, endgame activities, timed events, and more.
“Dauntless” is also free-to-play, but will be supported by an in-game store and a variety of cosmetic items. Phoenix Labs stresses, however, that there are no paywalls or pay-to-win mechanics. Players won’t have to buy any form of loot boxes either. Video game publishers faced massive scrutiny and backlash in recent months over the way loot boxes and microtransactions were implemented in titles like “Star Wars Battlefront 2,” “Destiny 2,” and “Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.” Some called the practice a form of gambling for children, and the outcry led to proposed regulation in states like Hawaii and Washington. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) defended loot boxes and said it will more clearly label games that have them in the future.
Phoenix Labs said over 100,000 people explored the world of “Dauntless” during its closed beta. An estimated 700,000 are already signed up for next month’s open beta. Anyone who wants to join and reserve their Slayer name can do so by visiting the official website.
“‘Dauntless’ is more than four years in the making, and we can’t wait for everyone to join us in the Shattered Isles, team up with friends, take on Behemoths, craft epic gear and bring the world to life,” said Phoenix Labs CEO and co-founder Jesse Houston. “As we close in on our next phase of this adventure, we thank our passionate community that has been with us from day-one, providing feedback and helping craft the experience into what it is today. It has been an honor to create ‘Dauntless’ together with you!”