Phoenix Labs’ free-to-play monster hunting title Dauntless has finally made it out of early access and onto consoles – and it even includes cross-play on launch, which is a first. Dauntless has been available as an early access title on the Epic Games store for a while, but is now also available on the Xbox One and PS4.
In Dauntless, players fight deadly Behemoths, and can make a variety of different weapons and armour from their materials. It is similar to Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise, albeit free-to-play and with a more cartoony art-style. As in the Monster Hunter franchise, multiplayer is a big focus, and many Behemoths will require player cooperation to take down.
One of the biggest aspects of this news is that all platforms have cross-play, including the PS4. “Today, we’re proud to launch Dauntless on three amazing platforms: the Epic Games store, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One”, writes Phoenix Labs. “As the first game to launch on all three systems with true cross-play and cross-progression (their emphasis), we are fulfilling a dream that’s been with us from the beginning: One Dauntless.”
This includes linking your save games to your Epic Account, allowing players to access all their progress and gear from any platform they log in to. There are also plans to eventually port it to the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. Naturally, cross-play will be a focused on for those platforms as well.
Overall, it is a highly ambitious target to ensure that all platforms can play alongside one another. Sony has infamously been highly resistant to allowing cross-play with other platforms. This saw Sony disabling the option on popular titles such as Fortnite and Rocket League. However, in recent months, Sony have bowed to community pressure and let PS4 players play online with the other platforms. This includes eventually patching in cross-play for those titles, as well as allowing Phoenix Labs to launch Dauntless with full cross-play from the start.
Of course, it makes sense for Phoenix Labs to want as much cross-platform interaction as possible. It means that the players will have more people to play with, and the PS4 servers won’t be far emptier than the other platforms. There are some hurdles with full cross-play. These include balancing it so that PC players don’t have too much of an advantage over the controller players. However, Phoenix Labs worked to make the most fully-featured version of their game at launch, and that’s pretty laudable.