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PAX East 2018 - Hands on with Dauntless


PAX East 2018 – Hands on with Dauntless

I got hands on with Dauntless at PAX East 2018, a simple free to play monster hunting game, that was an absolute blast

There’s been quite a few game debates over the last few years. Battleborn vs Overwatch and PUBG vs Fortnite come to mind, but with Dauntless from Phoenix Labs, soon to be in open beta, is this game setting itself up to challenge Monster Hunter?

PAX East 2018 - Hands on with Dauntless

To be fair, it’s an apt comparison. Dauntless is a co-op monster hunting game where you track and destroy some big beasts – called behemoths here – and then craft better gear with their entrails. Where the similarities end is with quite a bit of the delivery. Dauntless is a more stripped down version of a MH type game, with more arcade feeling attacks, and far less of a tracking mechanic. Still, in my time playing the game, I had an absolute blast.

I was matched up with three other players live at PAX and the four of us jumped in to take on the Quillshot behemoth. We were presented with a choice of weapons, and a basic appearance option, and then we were off to stalk our prey.

PAX East 2018 - Hands on with Dauntless

Quillshot. He took some time, and a lot of team effort, but my team of 4 took him down.

I was pretty horrible at first, but once I got the hand of the controls and the various move sets, I settled in for some targeted behemoth smacking. The weapons, and the feel of them smashing into Quillshots hide was very satisfying, as the audio and feedback matched up to give me the feel of a chain connected blade swishing through the air and into meat.

To the average MH fan, this might seem far simpler of a game, with less of that deep learning curve and dedication necessary to learn the systems, and I think Phoenix Labs is more than ok with that. The feeling I got from playing through, and from speaking to the developers and booth reps, is that this is a very different game focused more on the co-op and ongoing content releases, keeping players coming back for fun and for new challenges.

To me, this feels like the Fortnite of hunting games. Free to play lowers the bar to entry, and with a game that feels this fun, it should have no problem recruiting a ton of people to dive in and behemoth hunt. The simple gameplay, and easy to learn combat made this more accessible for me, and the four person hunt I went on was a seamless connected co-op experience, with call outs, heals, and assistance throughout. Also, with that very robust plan for additional content and with this much focus on the co-op multiplayer, this could be a surprising hit.

PAX East 2018 - Hands on with Dauntless

Chain blades. Hell yes.

If you’re curious, and you want to try this out – it’s officially out in open beta on May 24th. Read the official press release from Phoenix Labs right here:

Open Beta Begins May 24

Phoenix Labs, the independent game development studio made up of industry veterans from Riot, BioWare and Capcom, today revealed Dauntless, the next generation of co-op action RPGs, will be released into Open Beta worldwide on May 24. Over 100K players have explored the Shattered Isles and slain Behemoths in the current Closed Beta, with another 700K Slayers signed up for the Open Beta. In Dauntless, gamers from across the world will be transported to the science-fantasy universe of the Shattered Isles. Players take up the mantle of the Slayers, brave warriors tasked with ensuring humanity’s survival from the Behemoths, ferocious beasts, hungry to drain the very essence from the world. Slayers will join up with other players and take down Behemoths together, bringing their spoils to the frontiercity of Ramsgate to craft new weapons and armor.

Dauntless will be available to download and play for free on May 24 as part of the Open Beta experience. Aspiring Slayers can experience the Dauntless Closed Beta today by purchasing a Founder’s Pack. For more information, assets and to register to secure your Slayer name ahead of the Open Beta, visit

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