Fortnite: a review

The original version of Fortnite is focused on strategy. It’s a survival action game for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Mac.

In its mode known as Fortnite: Battle Royale it is a wildly popular last-player-standing game that’s unsurprisingly taken off and is now a massive hit. A mobile version of Battle Royale allows portable players to play against console and PC gamers with whom they can engage.

Fortnite: Battle Royale now incorporates a personalized Creative mode that allows adventure creation and can pit as many as 100 players against each other in various guises: solo or duo, or even as many as four-player squads to test who is capable of surviving the longest against each other as the map shrinks.

The game’s style is cartoonish, but the violence is persistent, though it has to be said that it is not at all bloody or gory. Even though players use both melee weapons and firearms to eliminate their opponents, the blood count is zero.

However, this game does push its players in the direction of in-game purchases in order to acquire many cosmetic objects and animations, though these are not necessary if you just want to play.

There is no profanity in the game’s dialogue, but be warned because its online nature could lead to younger players being exposed to the rough and ready language that can emanate from random strangers in the accompanying chat.

In Save the World, gamers use a combination of creativity, strategic thinking, and forward planning to construct fortifications at the same time as collaborating with teammates to defend both survivors and their objectives from wave upon wave of zombie-style creatures.

Fortnite was developed by Epic Games and had its first release in 2017. It comes in three game modes that share the same gameplay and the same game engine:

  • Fortnite: Save the World, a cooperative shooter-survival game
  • Fortnite Battle Royale, a free-to-play battle game for as many as 100 players
  • Fortnite Creative, a game involving the creation of worlds and battle arenas.

Save the World is only available for macOS, Windows, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Battle Royale is also available on iOS and Android devices as well as Nintendo Switch.

Fortnite Battle Royale is an outstanding success. It drew over 125 million players in under a year and earns hundreds of millions of dollars each month.

In the original two modes, players are able to use pickaxes to knock down structures that appear on the map. As a result, they collect basic resources including brick, wood, and metal. Players can then use the materials they collect to construct fortifications building floors, walls, along with stairs.

Windows and doors can be added. But each material has a different durability property and can be upgraded to stronger versions.

Within Save the World, for example, players are able to create defensive structures through which they can lure husks. Battle Royale offers players the means to quickly travel across the map, protecting themselves from enemy fire, or delaying the advance of the foe. Creative players are exhorted to be very imaginative the design of their fortifications.

Fortnite: Battle Royale Review

Becoming one of the most streamed games on twitch with a recent stream featuring the rapper Drake, it is obvious that many people know about Fortnite. However, it has been a while since anybody has taken an objective look at its popular Battle Royale mode, and it has changed quite a lot since its release. From new weapons, to complete rebalances, the game has changed a lot and I wanted to take an objective look at the popular game.

So Fortnite’s most unique thing to me is its art style. It combines what I would consider high res N64 graphics mixed with the comic-book style of games like Borderlands or Mad World. The bright colors really make the game pop, especially since so many games in the genre (zombie survival or battle royale) are very realistic and drab. The game also has a visual simplicity that lends to more efficient gameplay. It is a lot easier to pick out enemies from the landscape than in other games in the genre. The loot itself is also very streamlined in its visual style. You can immediately tell what something is from the way it looks, instead of having to see the item description. The World of Warcraft esque glow also does a good job of letting you know if a piece of equipment is even worth your time.

In a battle royale game, you are going to be moving constantly, what confuses me is why Fortnite is the first game to really nail this. Ammo and building materials are always picked up when you walk over them, and there are no weapon mods to burden you with the customization. I usually love to have as many customization options as possible, but when I am trying to run and gun, I don’t want to worry about that stuff. The game just does a good job of shortening the number of things you have to worry about. Your main focuses are going to be:

– Your weapon level

– Your position relative to the circle

– Your health

and that is pretty much it. It’s just a lot simpler and reduces the number of things you have to worry about in your game.

However, the game needs a bit more variety. For some reason, I don’t feel like Fortnite forces variety in the way that other games in the genre do. Maybe this is by design but was most relevant to me when they recently decided to shelve the smoke bomb while they released the remote explosive. I can understand the desire to make your game as streamlined and newbie-friendly as possible, but I feel the lack of variety made me bore quickly. The game could also use a few more weapons because the current weapons in the game could be used as categories of weapons in other games. Maybe doing things like the silenced pistol and integrating mods into weapons that cannot be changed would be nice. More things like the scoped assault rifle can help and shake the game up a bit.

The game is just very comfortable and safe. It doesn’t take any risks, but it doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. It is easy to see how it has gathered the mass appeal it has gathered, but it feels like Epic is holding back.

7/10 “good, but safe”

Does Fortnite Have Longevity?

It is pretty safe to say that Fortnite: Battle Royale has become something of a hit. However, they have almost completely halted production on the project they envisioned from the beginning. It seems that after 6 years of development, what is now known as Fortnite: Save the World will follow the tracks of so many promising early access titles (see Ark and DayZ) will end up dead in early access.

 

Epic Games has been working on Fortnite for years, but not in the incarnation many people know it as today. It was designed as a co-op survival zombie game and was actually looking pretty interesting. The game came into early access during the summer of 2017, but they made one key mistake. The game promises it will be free upon its launch, but was charging $30 at launch in addition to loot boxes. This made many people (such as myself) unwilling to buy the game because it would eventually go free. This made the game have an incredibly weak launch, and the game continues to perform lower than their expectations. If they were to make Save the World free at this stage, it would no doubt increase players by tenfold. Fortnite is currently at its peak player base, and I can’t see anywhere else to go but down.

 

This is largely because Epic Games (the developers of Fortnite) have their eyes much bigger than their stomachs. They have stopped supporting paragon, a MOBA they were creating, and it is easy to see why. They think they have struck gold with Fortnite, and they have, but diverting all of their resources towards it will leave them nowhere to go. If the hype behind Fortnite dies out, they will lose everything they have unless they support their other titles. After they make the push to mobile (as they are planning to do), they need to re-prioritize. The first thing they need to do is get Fortnite: Save the World released in full as soon as possible. If it goes free to play, people will certainly buy the loot pinatas which will help fund them. I think it could get as popular as Fortnite if they make it free as promised, and players will flock to it for a good and refreshing free-to-play game. Next, they need to divert resources back into their other titles, because now the Epic Games launcher is in the hands of more people than have ever had it. Nobody wants to have a launcher for one game, so they will be more inclined to download, or even purchase games from them if they were still gaining support.

 

Epic Games have bought themselves a lot of hype and publicity with Fortnite: Battle Royale. So now it is crunch time for the studio. They need to turn this momentum into long-term players, and they have the ability to do this. They just need to gain perspective, prioritize things other than Battle Royale, and start putting effort back into their other titles. Epic Games has always been a quieter and less popular studio, but with the right planning, they have the potential to solidify themselves within the industry forever.