Dauntless Frost Escalation Preview — We Heard You Love Roguelikes

Dauntless Frost Escalation Preview — We Heard You Love Roguelikes

The new Dauntless Frost Escalation adds tons of new features to make for a constantly changing mode that is sure to delight the game's fans.

Today, the team at Phoenix Labs is dropping the 1.5.3 update into Dauntless. This includes the Dauntless Frost Escalation, which pits players against a brand new behemoth. However, just getting to Urska’s lair is going to be a challenge in itself. Recently, I sat down with some of the devs and had them carry my new player butt through the latest content. Should you too give it a whirl? Read on to find out.

So, to be clear, I’m a very new Dauntless player. Many of the systems are still overwhelming as I’m just slowly starting to dip my toes in after getting a chance to play Reforged before it released back in December. The changes they made there (and just how beautiful the whole game is) really piqued my interest. However, everything coming in the Dauntless Frost Escalation has me incredibly excited to really dive in.

Frostbite Keeps Things Constantly Moving

See, the new Escalation brings in elements from two of my favorite genres: roguelikes and survival. Since the new world you’re entering is in a constant state of being frozen, you’re forced to deal with that element. If you can’t keep warm, you’ll slowly start to accumulate frostbite. Once that meter maxes out, you’ll be frozen in place until your buddies can heat you up.

It leads to an extra sense of urgency at higher difficulties as you sprint from brazier to brazier trying to stay warm. Thankfully, you have some help from the resident NPC who’ll grant you different boons. These are randomized, but give you different ways to warm up while you’re fighting behemoths.

Roguelike Elements Add Even More Replayability

You might be wondering where the roguelike part comes in. Well first, thank you for keeping me on track, dear reader. And second, let’s talk about it. As mentioned above, the boons you get from your helpful NPC guide are randomized from run to run, but it goes much deeper than that. After each behemoth that you kill, you’ll get a choice between four different abilities.

These abilities can be all kinds of different things and have their own tiers of rarity. However, the important part is that you can customize your build from run to run. For those of you who were obsessed with Hades last year, it’s a bit like that, but in a monster hunting game. It’s a rad new way of keeping things fresh.

Given that you’ll be running through the same areas again and again, that ability to change things up is super important. Obviously, the lesser behemoths are going to change each run. However, Phoenix Labs’ choice to constantly mix things up feels like a godsend.

All told, my early time with the Dauntless Frost Escalation was incredibly positive. Granted, the dev team had me kitted out with a fully-leveled character. That said, I think the new elements they’ve added really take this Escalation over the top. If you’re a long-time player looking for something to do or a newcomer like me, this seems like an excellent time to hop in. Dauntless is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.