If you have been playing games this past year, you likely know who Epic Games are. They made the most famous game around right now, Fortnite. Well, Epic has teamed up with Phoenix Labs out of Vancouver to create a free-to-play RPG based on the Monster Hunter style of gameplay called Dauntless.

Free-to-play fun

Dauntless

Take down monstrous Behemoths with friends

Tired of all the new free-to-play games being battle royales? Hop into Dauntless and get a little taste of the Monster Hunter experience without spending a dime. There are plenty of Behemoths across the Shattered Isles waiting for you to find them and fight them.

What's the story, Behemoth glory?

Dauntless is a free-to-Play RPG set in a world called The Shattered Isles. You play the role of a Slayer, brave beings who seek out giant monsters called Behemoths that terrorize the world. These Behemoths have taken over the lands and are sucking up all the Aether that holds the islands in the air! You and your friends are fighting to regain control and stop them from destroying your lands.

The Behemoths, rather helpfully, also hold the key to their own destruction. When you slay a Behemoth, you can use parts of it to forge stronger, faster, and more awesome weapons and armor. From your home base in Ramsgate — where you get all your quests and craft all your items — you must sally forth and do battle with these monsters time and again.

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What kind of game is it?

Dauntless is essentially a clone of Monster Hunter World, with a Fortnite design style. You fight monsters from a third-person perspective with giant weapons, weapons ripe for a cosplay I might add. Each monster you fight is done as part of a Hunt, a standalone combat that can be played Solo, with your friends, or with a matchmade group of strangers.

When you land on an island, ready to fight, you must find the Behemoth and defeat it. This will end the hunt and take you back to Ramsgate with your prizes. You can also collect ingredients while you are out on the hunt — used to upgrade items and to create grenades and potions — but be warned, if you are playing a matchmade game, your team may just go and kill the monster before you get to help. If they do, you don't get the loot.

The game is also a combat-driven RPG. You get to level your character, and as you do, change your fighting style as well as your cosmetic look. So far there isn't a huge amount of campaign narrative, but the game is young, so this may come along later.

Is it cross-play?

Yes! In fact, Dauntless calls itself One Dauntless, "the first game to launch on all three systems with true cross-play and cross-progression." This means that not only can you play on any of the big three — PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC — but your progression follows you. Away for the weekend and without your PS4? You can take your character and all your progression with you and play it on a laptop, no problem.

You can also play with any of your friends on the other platforms too. I play on the PS4, but my son and some of the team here play on the PC. We all get to play together, regardless of our platform. Pretty soon you'll be able to play on your Nintendo Switch as well, and further down the line, maybe even mobile.

Even the paid content works across platforms. If you buy the Hunt Pass on any system, it works on any other system. Dauntless fulfills the dream of cross-play in all the best ways.

Like all free-to-play content, Dauntless has a large store to help you give Epic, and Phoenix Labs your hard earned money. In Dauntless, the currency of choice is Platinum and you purchase it out in the real world, then use it to buy stuff like dyes, ingredients, new emotes, and weapon and armor skins.

The platinum is, however, pretty expensive. The least you can buy is 1,000 platinum and it costs a cool $10. To give you an idea of what you can get for 1,000; the Hunt Pass is 1,000, an arrival emote is 1,250, and a weapon skin is 500. So, yeah, not a good deal. You do get a little bit of platinum as you play, but only enough to make you want to buy more.

There are a few things like potions that could be considered Pay-to-Win, but this is not a PvP game, it's purely cooperative, so having paid content that increases levels or power aren't as big a deal. If they ever do decide to make a PvP area, I hope they rethink what can be purchased on the store.

What is a Hunt Pass?

Hunt Passes are like Battle Passes in Fortnite. They allow you to gain extra loot from across the game as well as offer special prizes for collecting objects around Ramsgate.

By collecting 10 special objects each day, you can level through the Hunt Pass and gain emotes, cores, and Transmogs — essentially skins for your weapons and armor — to customize your character. The higher up the Hunt Pass you go, the better the prizes and you can even earn Platinum from the loot.

Where can I get Dauntless?

Dauntless is available for free on the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store and the Epic Games store because it's cross-play and that's awesome.

Free-to-play fun

Dauntless

Take down monstrous Behemoths with friends

Tired of all the new free-to-play games being battle royales? Hop into Dauntless and get a little taste of the Monster Hunter experience without spending a dime. There are plenty of Behemoths awaiting across the Shattered Isles.

Helpful things to have for Dauntless

EasySMX VIP002S RGB Gaming Headset ($36 at Amazon)

Good headsets tend to get expensive, but the EasySMX VIP002S headset gives you the best of both worlds: affordability and quality.

HyperX Chargeplay Duo ($20 at Amazon)

With slots to hold two DualShock controllers and a super low profile, the HyperX Chargeplay makes keeping your controllers powered a breeze. And it is super cheap as well.

DanYee Cat 7 Ethernet Cable ($9 from Amazon)

The braided cord and premium connectors make the DanYee Cat 7 cable a great choice for your PlayStation 4 and PC needs. The better your internet connection, the better your gaming experience will be.

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