Fortnite: Battle Royale popped into my radar and to be honest I was a little weary of the title as I had seen practically zero gameplay.
What I am NOT here to do today is compare this entry to the elephant in the room- PUBG. What I AM here to do today is review this game.
The game was fairly straightforward in getting to the lobby and selecting which game mode you want to play. Fortnite Battle Royale in Early Access has only one main activity which is to be expected at this point in time. I’ll admit the graphics style normally isn’t my thing but I was curious to dive in and experience Battle Royal gameplay.
After toying around in the lobby and listening to annoying dance emotes for roughly 20 seconds I was loaded up onto what can only be described as a Magic School Bus of anarchy. I was familiar with the concept of picking a good location to drop into but the more I waited on an opening with few players the less opportunity I felt like I had at getting good gear.
Dropping in was a peaceful moment before the coming storm. I could see terrain and points of interest as I carefully landed near a hillside. Shortly thereafter the firefights began and the game set in on me.
At first I realized I should have read up on what to do before my first match, but I decided to learn the old-fashioned way. Gearing up was a great yet scary experience as I grabbed everything I saw while simultaneously looking around walls to make sure I was alone.
Within the first few moments the kill-feed on the left screen was already heating up. Players were dying at an alarming rate and with the circle forming I decided I needed to make an opening move. I carefully scanned the landscape looking for cover and somewhere I could scan my surroundings. A nice thing about this game is the ability to sprint indefinitely and also that there are so many different approaches to any given area.
I wasn’t very good in my first few (read: several) matches, but I soon caught on to the basics of surviving past the 50s. The real meat of the game is how you interact with opponents. It may seem like a standard shooter thing to do when you see an opponent- shoot them, but there is so much more to it. How you approach potential conflict is all up to you, and personally I’d rather leave it be than engage in a firefight which could cost me my life.
What I liked
- I liked that the game took the route of being a cartoonish and light-hearted version of PUBG. In this it really separated itself by being different.
- The weapons were pretty straightforward and I didn’t feel too conflicted when it comes to knowing what to pick up.
- It doesn’t have a huge learning curve and rewards creative approaches to problems.
- I loved the concept of building in the game. Different resource types and durability meant that you can throw up a wall that could last 3 seconds or 6 giving you enough time to save yourself.
What I didn’t like
- Playing one map takes a toll on you even when it is packed full of unexpected and hidden locations to loot.
- I felt like building was a huge part of what makes Fortnite: Battle Royale unique in this genre. However given the shrinking play area it’s really hard to build a base that you can get comfortable in.
- Fortnite has a lack of depth compared to its competition, which isn’t entirely missed due to the fast paced gameplay. I would like to see in the future the ability to customize weapons with attachments and upgrades.
- Inventory space is INCREDIBLY limited, but that’s the point- not that you can pick up anything and every gun without consequence. In the future I am hoping for backpacks that can be found allowing for more inventory.
- Another thing missed is vehicles, which I don’t feel are too crucial but would add a lot to the experience- perhaps in a future map.
- One thing that still feels really clunky is the parachuting aspect. It would be nice if there were added controls to smooth our the experience in general
Fortnite: Battle Royale exceeded my expectations and managed to take up a lot of my time. After many, many matches, I can say that I greatly enjoy it. If you need an alternative to PUBG for the console then Battle Royale is a must.
*UPDATE (11/12/17: Added to list of things I didn’t like.