For the past couple of years, battle royale games have taken the video game industry by storm. In 2016, H1Z1 pioneered this style of gaming by incorporating the “King of the Kill” game mode into their product. In this mode, players were put in a hunger games-esque situation where their character would be spawned onto a large map and try to survive until they were the last ones living. Grabbing weapons and supplies in areas of the map are necessities to winning the game. Other games followed suit, such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, (also known as “PUBG”). This game, instead of H1Z1, focused solely on making a battle royale game. With refined combat mechanics, better graphics, and an overall better player experience, PUBG has overthrown H1Z1 as the king of this genre of games. However, this glory may be short lived by PUBG, because the new third person shooter game Fortnite has introduced their own twist on battle royale, and it has players by the millions already calling it the next big thing.
So what is Fortnite? Fortnite is a PvE (player vs enemy AI) game that allows gamers to co-op with friends and try to survive against hordes of enemies using a unique building system and weapon system. However, most players are not downloading this title for this aspect of the game. Fortnite also has a separate game mode called “Battle Royale.” In this game mode, you are hoisted into a lobby of 99 other players either by yourself, with a friend, or with a squad of up to four people. Once everyone has loaded into a game and the lobby is full, the countdown to begin a game begins. Usually match wait times don’t exceed five minutes.
To start the game, you are flown over a gigantic island filled with unique landscapes, abandoned neighborhoods, and a plethora of other environments in a flying bus. Once you are over the island, a timer begins, signaling you to exit the bus and descend into the island. Once you abort the vehicle, you rapidly plummet to the ground. Using a hanglider, you can maneuver yourself better while falling, allowing pinpoint accuracy for a designated landing spot.
Like other battle royale games, finding supplies when you first land in Fortnite is paramount. Depending on the location you land, you can either find really good loot or absolutely nothing. For example, if you land in an abandoned neighborhood, your chances of finding weapons and first aid is a lot more likely than you landing in a shed at the very edge of a map. However, players recognize this so more people will be at the neighborhood than at the shed, so being decisive on where you want to land is crucial to surfing the game.
When it comes to combat, Fortnite is unique in its approach. Each gun has a possibility to be in five tiers. Common (Gray), Uncommon (Green), Rare (Blue), Epic (Purple), and Legendary (Orange). The power of the weapon is higher corresponding to its tier, (Legendary being the strongest and Common being the weakest). There are also many different types of guns, such as assault rifles, pistols, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, and shotguns. Although your weapon may help determine the winner of a gunfight, a player’s skill is crucial for victory in a battle, regardless of equipment. If you defeat an opponent in a firefight, you can loot his person of the material they had on them while fighting you.
What makes Fortnite‘s battle royale game mode so unique is its addition of building and destroying structures during a match. In Fortnite‘s regular game mode, building is used almost always to defend players from the monsters attacking them. But by adding this function into Battle Royale, players are able to gather material and build to protect themselves from other players. There are three materials used for building in Fortnite. Wood, (weakest), brick (sturdy, in the middle) and metal (strongest). Building is usually done at the climax of a game, where there are likely less than 20 players alive. In games like H1Z1 and PUBG, this never was an option. The environment in the game was set and could not be altered. But in Fortnite, structures in the map can be destroyed to give the player materials to build their own forts. The options for building includes four different options. A wall, a floor, stairs, and lastly a triangular roof. These can modified also to include doorways, openings, etc., allowing for tactical positioning by the fort dweller. But be careful, because your structure can also be destroyed, so building comes at it’s own risk.
Fortnite, in conclusion, has all the tools to be one of the best games on the market today.
“I haven’t played a game this good since… I can’t even remember!” exclaimed Prep junior Andrew Angelini.
By already amassing 10 million players in its first two weeks of being on shelves, Fortnite is prepared to leave its mark on the video game industry. With some minor tweaks and combat balancing, this game will certainly rival PUBG and other battle royale games to come.