Travis Williams and I had the opportunity to play Dauntless at PAX West this year. We understood some about what Dauntless was, but didn't know a whole lot. I like to approach games at events knowing just enough to be aware of what sort of game it is, letting the developers fill in the details. Dauntless was probably the most surprising game of the whole show for us in terms of just how much we enjoyed it. Once we fought two Behemoths in the demo, we had the opportunity to talk with Dauntless' Design Director, Chris Cleroux.
Dauntless will immediately get a lot of Monster Hunter comparisons due to the way the game works. Basically, you create a character and go out to kill monsters, working your way to behemoths, to collect what the drop to create better weapons and armor. Then you go to kill some more Behemoths.
Though, as Chris Cleroux says in the interview above, Dauntless is trying to push the social aspect of the game further to make it fun with a group of people. So there are guilds, hubs for players to interact with, and I can only imagine fighting the Behemoths is more fun with more people. Instead of a single source of stimuli for the AI to react to if playing solo, having four players makes a fight with a behemoth more dynamic.
In terms of the combat, Dauntless is probably closest to Dark Souls. You have a stamina bar, your attacks are deliberate, and you have to be very careful on your placement and time your dodges correctly. Travis Williams is the Souls player between the two of us, and I know he was praising Dauntless for its tight controls that felt really good to use.
Dauntless is currently in closed beta and is looking to release sometime late this year. It will be releasing on PC.