Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free-to-play (which immediately put it on my radar) battle royale game. It features up to 100 players, all with the same objective. Eliminate all other competitors on the battlefield and be the last player standing. And you must achieve this while staying within a continuously shrinking safe zone lest the unblinking eye of God turn his gaze upon you, burning you to ash! Or maybe it was the eye of a storm that is ravaging the world, I wasn’t paying attention. Its premise is similar to PUBG, last man standing, shrinking battle arena, hell! They even have you approaching the map inside an airborne vehicle with other competitors, but there are a few distinct differences.(“You’re on your fucking own!”)
Fortnite has taken the simplistic approach to your loadout and inventory arrangement, you are given a mere five slots with which to build a hopefully game winning arsenal. This is good for two reasons, 1) It lessens the amount of time spent flicking through sub menus trying to find a gun or attachment. 2) it forces the player to put some thought into their strategy and play style, rather than just letting them collect everything as they go and having at it.
When the time finally comes to unleash a stone-cold can of whoop ass, you will quickly find that each fight, duel or standoff can be over in the blink of an eye. In fact, depending on what area you are in, say open spaces with sniper rifles or in a town for some CQC, it will more often than not come down to luck rather than skill.
Which can be disenchanting for players who put the time in, only to have lady luck unload a 12 gauge of luck into them by some first-time player. Not a playstyle I myself like at all as it feels very chaotic, uncontrolled and all round less fun. I found Fortnite’s fast paced nature to be in direct contrast to PUBG’s tense stand-off feel. Where fights can sometimes feel like an eternity and one miss-step or ill planned strategy could be your undoing. I prefer the PUBG approach as it didn’t make me feel that all my time spent mastering weapons, environments and equipment would be undone by some idiot jumping up and down with a shotgun.(“Dear guy behind that wall…Fuck You!”)
One of the more interesting aspects of gameplay is the ability to harvest and gather material such as wood, steel or stone. These materials, when put to appropriate use, can protect you from gunfire, help you to reach special drops/loot crates and even scale mountains. The one main drawback to this feature is that it is pretty much integral for victory and may put new players off, because you will have to learn to build while also fighting for survival. While initially intriguing I lost interest in this feature quickly. I was here for the shooty violence, not to build some glorified Wendy house for some arse monkey to snipe me through the upstairs window.(“for the last time Frank, no penis shaped buildings!”)
Multiplayer shooters tend to be tactical, dark, perhaps with a sense of foreboding about them. But with Fortnite they have gone in the complete opposite direction, opting for bright and colourful visuals that have a rather cartoonish aesthetic. While this isn’t really my cup of tea they do compliment the games narrative wonderfully.
Fortnight is a game that relies on childish mechanics built off of mostly disposable structures. It is a game that has you relying on blind luck rather than on player skill and hopes that the bright colours will distract from its issues. Trying to kill 99 other players would be (and is) more fun and enjoyable if there were decent weapon physics and an aiming system that wasn’t designed in the dark. There is very little to bring the player back, and for that I shall not be boarding the next battle-bus, nor the many I’m sure will sadly depart after that.