Dauntless, the free-to-play take on the big boy bashing genre popularized by Monster Hunter, will begin a new stage of life on Epic's new game store in April 2019. Announced at The Game Awards, the Epic Games store release will also coincide with the launch of Dauntless on Xbox One and PS4. Ordinarily, we wouldn't bother you with console news, but the multiplatform releases are part of a bigger vision, something the team at Phoenix Labs calls "One Dauntless".
The goal is uninhibited crossplatform play, and not just between Xbox One, PS4, and PC either. Later on in 2019, Dauntless will release on mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch. That's a single account across all devices for bashing in the heads of tragically doomed creatures. Nice.
Phoenix Labs isn't just looking to Epic for a digital home, but for the structure of Dauntless' future updates and paid content. Much like Fortnite's Battle Pass, Dauntless will be adopting a seasonal structure an introducing the Hunt Pass, a $10 ticket that opens up a new track for players, rewarding items, emotes, cosmetics, and more for completing certain challenges. A free tier of the Hunt Pass will available to all as well, though it obviously won't come with as much stuff.
While the Epic Games store launch and crossplatform play is still a ways out, you can see what the Hunt Pass contains today. Take a look at the Dauntless blog: the resemblance to Fortnite's Battle Pass is very apparent. Frostfall, the next major content update, is out now. Things are going to get appropriately chilly, especially with the addition of a new behemoth, Valomyr.
"It's actually gonna be physically our largest behemoth we've ever done," Phoenix Labs CEO Jesse Houston tells PC Gamer. "And he's real interesting in so far as we're really exploring what a large behemoth feel like in our world."
We're told to expect something of a genre bender with Valomyr. Because he's so massive, he sets up obstacles all over the arena you'll need to weave through, including a maze of lasers and sentries. Getting close enough to bash the big guy is the first skill test, not getting bashed back is the second.
You don't need to wait until April to give Dauntless a try. The beta is free and open right now, and with the quality of fixes arriving with the Frostfall update, I'll certainly get back in there soon. I think I can make room for more than one big boy basher in my life.