dauntless

Free-to-Play Monster Hunter Dauntless Launching Next Week

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After a year-long stint in open beta, Phoenix Labs have announced the official release date for Dauntless. It will launch as a free-to-play game on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (Epic Games Store) on May 21.

Dauntless is a free-to-play Monster Hunter-like online co-op action game where players team up to take down large creatures called behemoths. Like Monster Hunter, players can utilize different weapons and styles, and craft new gear from monster parts. Unlike the Monster Hunter series, Dauntless is a free-to-play, supported by seasonal battle passes, called Hunt Passes.

Every season you can purchase (with real money) a new Hunt Pass to unlock 50 levels of cosmetic rewards. If that sounds like Fortnite, you’re exactly right.

The launch of Dauntless on May 21 will also end Hunt Pass Season 4 and begin Season 5: Hidden Blades. Hidden Blades adds the Moon Blossom Festival to the Shattered Isles. Slayers can look for ninja-themed gear in the Hunt Pass.

The official launch will also add various improvements, updates, and a campaign rework. Missions will provide a new End of Hunt screen to help provide details on Mastery Card quests, quest rewards, and monster parts. The new Master System lets Slayers earn experience, unlock achievements, and acquire new rewards from weapons and Behemoths.

Dauntless, and Season 5, launches on May 21.

splitgate

Portal-Meets-Halo Shooter Splitgate: Arena Warfare Launching as Free-to-Play

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Indie developer 1047 Games announced that competitive shooter Splitgate: Arena Warfare will be launching as a free-to-play game on PC (Steam) on May 22.

“As Splitgate evolved, we realized that players would be best served with a free-to-play model. We want to ensure that everyone who wants to play has the opportunity to do so,” said Ian Proulx, CEO, 1047 Games. “Rest assured this will not detract from its hyper-competitive design – all items for sale in the game are purely cosmetic.”

Spiltgate is succinctly described as competitive Halo meets Portal. It features a (now) old school multiplayer shooter design combined with portal guns to zip around the arenas. Combatants keep their momentum as they create their own linked portals and hurtle through the arena to grab weapons and flank opponents.

The free to play model will be supported by a real money loot store where players can purchase cosmetic skins for weapons, gear, and armor.

Splitgate: Arena Warfare will launch on PC on May 22, and include a competitive W-L ranking system. Other consoles are being considered. The game has not been rated by the ESRB. Read about our hands-on preview for Splitgate back in January.

darwin project

Darwin Project Now Free-to-Play on Xbox One

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Ten-person Battle Royale Darwin Project is now free-to-play on Xbox One. The game was originally a paid purchase when it launched earlier this year, but has recently transitioned into a free-to-play model on PC, and now on Xbox.

If you already purchased Darwin Project, you’ll be compensated via a Founder’s Pack. The Founder’s Pack includes several outfits, including full Montreal Hockey gear for both male and female characters as well as ten Fan Gift loot boxes that include more cosmetic items.

Darwin Project is a smaller scale Battle Royale PvP game. It pits 10 players in a Hunger Games–like arena, with an 11th player dropping in as the Director. The Director is able to manipulate the environment as well as bestow buffs and drop goodies.

On both PC and Xbox, Scavengers Studio is celebrating the World Cup with soccer-themed skins. They can be found in the Fan Gift loot boxes, or puchsed directly in the Item Shop. The soccer sportswear will be available until July 12.

Scavengers Studio is aiming to keep the PC and Xbox versions updated simultaneously, but PC is typically easier and faster to patch and update.

When I spoke to Scavengers Studio creative director Simon Davreau at PAX South in January, he was adamant that Darwin Project would not be a free-to-play title. Obviously things changed in the weeks since its launch, but the indie Canadian team is committed to supporting the game.

Darwin Project is now free-to-play on PC and Xbox One. It has not been rated by the ESRB, but I’d put it at the same rating level as Fortnite (T for Teen).

 

darwin project

Darwin Project Now Free to Play on PC

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Fortnite may have become the gold standard of Battle Royale as a free-to-play title with loot boxes. The smaller, 10-person battle arena Darwin Project is following suit.

Indie Canadian studio Scavengers Studio has officially shifted Darwin Project from a standard pay-once model into free-to-play, supported by cosmetic items. Darwin Project is available on PC (Steam), as well as Xbox One. Xbox version will become free to play sometime later this week.

Here’s the full statement from Creative Director Simon Darveau:

“We’ve said from the start that we’re committed to creating a fresh and exciting experience for Darwin Project players and viewers. With features like the Show Director who serves as a master of ceremonies, Spectator Interactions that let viewers directly interact with streams, and an emphasis on tracking that ensures players are always within arm’s reach of a tense confrontation, we still believe Darwin Project offers a quality experience unlike any other battle royale game out there.

darwin project“We’ve been fortunate to have a core community of players join us at a very early stage, with many still supporting us during Early Access, and the last thing we want to do is let those passionate players down.

“Lately, members of our community have reported longer queue times and difficulty finding matches in lesser populated servers. To bring in new players and maintain a level of activity that ensures players are able to get the most of out Darwin Project, we’ve decided to make it more accessible by removing the price tag.

“We’re aware that it’s a big change, and we want to reiterate that we’re remaining true to Darwin Project’s vision as we move forward.”

Players who previously purchased Darwin Project will receive the Founder’s Pack, containing a bunch of unique loot, on April 24. Those who would rather get a refund will have to go through Steam. Due to the shift in payment model, Steam is waiving the normal two-week time restriction on refunds.

Darwin Project launched earlier this year on March 9 via Steam Early Access and Xbox Games Preview. It has not yet been rated by the ESRB.