What's the deal with Dauntless? A monster hunting game poised for impact

  • TECH
  • Saturday, 25 May 2019

Dauntless doesn't hide similarities to the Monster Hunter franchise. — AFP Relaxnews

Action game Dauntless has turned into one of the week's bigger releases, thanks to its pedigree, cross-platform multiplayer and combination of elements from existing hits like Destiny and Monster Hunter World.

Released May 21 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, Dauntless has become only the third video game to feature cross-platform play across the three platforms.

Fortnite was the first in September 2018, finally forcing Sony's PlayStation hand on the matter, with Rocket League (also available on Nintendo Switch) following in February this year.

The upshot is that friends can play together regardless of the consoles or computers that they own, as long as they're happy to use an Epic Games account.

Like another big story from February, the surprise reveal and release of Fortnite rival Apex Legends, Dauntless recruited a cohort of influential YouTube and Twitch channels for a sponsored launch day campaign, demonstrating the game's appeal to their audiences.

It's the first game from a new studio, Phoenix Labs, whose founders came from the massively successful League Of Legends dev house Riot.

Having built Dauntless using Epic Games' development suite Unreal Engine 4, Phoenix Labs was able to take advantage of the same cross-platform tech that also powers Fortnite and Rocket League.

And its premise makes it easy to situate for players familiar with multiplayer action game scene: like massive 2017 hit Monster Hunter World, players venture into a fantasy landscape with the aim of taking down enormous monsters; as in Destiny, their in-fiction reason for doing so is to defend humanity against extinction at the hands of these beasts.

Though it's a free-to-play game, Phoenix Labs decided to remove a controversial blind-buy loot-box system popularised by games like Overwatch, FIFA 17, NBA 2K18 and Star Wars Battlefront II, originally implemented during the Dauntless PC early access phase.

Instead, players can expect the sort of perk-oriented, paid-for season pass system found in Fortnite and its contemporaries.

The Dauntless Hunt Pass (around US$9.99 (RM41.89), depending on quantities of virtual currency purchased) provides costumes and cosmetic effects, character progression boosts, store currency, and extra chances to get equipment at the end of a successful hunt, while weekly challenges encourage players to stay involved. – AFP Relaxnews
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