Dauntless takes place in a fantasy setting, where a cataclysmic event has torn the world apart, releasing dinosaur-like Behemoths that prey on the surviving humans. Players take on the role of Slayers to take down Behemoths, collecting loot that they used to craft and upgrade weapons and equipment as to take down larger and more powerful Behemoths. While hunting, the game plays as a third-person action game; the player uses a combo system to attack the creature, while monitoring their own health and stamina gauge. Such hunts can take upwards of twenty minutes of in-game time to complete. The game can be played both as single player or co-operatively with up to four people.
Dauntless will be the studio’s first release. It was heavily inspired, as well as frequently compared to, Capcom’s Monster Hunter series, which can see hundreds of hours put into a game by a player; the developers themselves have over a collective 6000 hours in various Monster Hunter titles. Dauntless was also influenced by Dark Souls and World of Warcraft. Houston credits Dark Souls specifically for helping to prove out that there is a market for “hardcore action games” focused on player versus environment encounters, which allowed them to take a safe risk on their approach to Dauntless.The game is intended to be played co-operatively as they see it as a social experience.Houston said that they plan to make extremely difficult quests within the game, so that while most players will be able to reach a principle endgame state, only a few will be skilled enough to take on these quests, similar to some quests in World of Warcraft. The game’s look and feel was inspired by the animated film Tangled and other Disney films, keeping a sense of hyper-realism so that the game’s graphics will age well.