Fortnite, Fortnite, Fortnite. What can I say about a game like Fortnite? Well for one it’s a game filled with both happy rage and just the deepest of sighs. Right off the top I can say that for an early access game it isn’t half bad, but it still comes with some baggage relating to a problem EA ran into not so long ago.
This game in which every market place you reside in is free to download, but that will only give you access to Battle Royale.
Whichever platform you happen to reside in, Fortnite is free to download. But that free download will only give you access to Battle Royale, a 100-PvP multiplayer game that lets you team up with friends in a duo, a team of four (squad), or if you want to be a loner you can play it solo. The other mode, Save the World, is the online multiplayer campaign that has the player going through multiple maps with three other players fighting husks (zombies) to complete the main objective. Save the World is not free to play, so I’ll give you a run down of the packages you can buy, and I’ll let you decide if it’s worth it by the end of this post.
Depending on how much you’re willing to pay for the campaign, you can unlock different tiers of starter packages. For example, £35 (£16 in the PSN January sales) got me the basic package (standard edition) which includes seven Llama packs and four in-game badge icons. Whereas if you’re Christmas money is burning a hole in your pocket then you can buy the limited edition package for £120, which gets you two legendary heroes in a class of your choice along with a legendary weapon, rare weapon starter pack, the Founder’s pistol, starter hero pack, two exclusive in-game defenders, 99 Llama packs, two standard edition Save the World campaigns to give away, 10 extra back pack slots, 200 extra vault slots, 20 in-game badge icons and access to the exclusive Founder’s chat channel.
First off, I want to talk about Battle Royale, like I said up top, it’s a 100-PvP multiplayer for you to either team up with friends or go at it on your own to try and come first place. The game starts off with you flying across the map with the other 99 players, you choose to jump off the flying bus at any time and land in your desired location. Once you have landed you are on your own, you must scavenge for weapons, materials, and traps to defend and attack opponents.
The loot you find is randomly generated so you can’t visit the same place in two separate games and expect the same weaponry. You can however expect to find lots of loot in more built up areas, but that’s some huge risk as other players will be landing there to, so watch your back! The map is huge, especially after the recent update, so to bring players closer together you must stay in the ever-shrinking eye of the storm otherwise it will kill you.
That’s the description finished with, negatives are as such: There are no negatives! I have had nothing but fun with this mode (regardless of the lucky few players that find the best weapons early on). It lets you try out different strategies so you can see what best suits you – which in my case is stealth and only killing when necessary. Yes, it’s a snakey way of playing but, hey, I’m not too good at going gung-ho and taking everyone head on. This mode is really what you make of it and I’m no fan of multiplayer games at all, but this mode gets everyone on a level playing field so the only thing a player can bring to the table is previous experience.
The map has a lot of balance, there’s plenty of built up areas but still there’s vaster landscapes for you to take the odd chance to find something in the middle of nowhere. As you can tell from any of the promos you may have seen, the graphics are stylized making everything more 90s era cartoony. This makes for a nice breath of fresh air as I don’t always need gritty and bloody gameplay, it’s also a plus as it’s a lot more kid-friendly and the more the merrier, right?
This mode also makes use of the building mechanic found in Save the World which lets you create structures out of wood, stone, or metal. This is a skill that you will have to work on as you will need it when you get into one-on-one gun battle so you can quickly erect some fire cover.
More skilled players can be seen near the end of the match making some of the coolest fortresses that will give them ultimate protection and perfect vantage points for shooting their opponents.
Save the World
Unlike Battle Royale, Save the World will set you back some big pennies regardless of if you go for the lower or higher tier editions. But is it worth it? Well, in this mode the player is given an extremely loose story in which the end goal is to… Save the World…
To achieve this, you need to play through a handful of maps full of smaller locations to complete main objectives. Completing these objectives and finishing the location objectives will let your hero level up through the complicated skill tree and progress through an objective system that has no end in sight. This mode also introduces crafting, the player must break and scavenge items to build anything from guns, to traps, and to more crafting tools. The bad guys in this mode are of course the AI driven zombie-like creatures called Husks that come in different variants which makes for some interesting and sometimes fun gameplay.
As you may be able to tell, I am slightly sour about this mode. It really has its ups and downs. Good point: Taking on big hordes of husks is a lot of fun because you get to show off some special abilities that you’ve learnt from the skill tree, and who said jumping around like Neo in the Matrix was no fun? Bad point: To take on a horde and complete the objective, all four players have to be helping you out otherwise you’ll die and fail (therefore making you start the whole thing over again), which can be a nuisance since a lot of players are actually in the map to complete their own independent objectives and/or mine for materials (i.e. they’re not there to help you!).
On the positives again, levelling up and unlocking new abilities for your hero is incredibly gratifying and, like I said above, showing off your new horde-busting abilities makes the game extremely fun and adds hours onto the playtime.
But, to actually find out how and when you’ll be able to unlock the next cool thing is something to be independently studied as the skill tree and the hero level up system is so complicated. Alongside this there are a couple other home screen tabs that are completely lost on me, the game makes next to no effort to explain what most of the tabs do. For example, there’s a survivor tab that lets you assign random characters you find to a special squad, what does this squad do? I have no idea.
Last good point (so you get the gist), 90% of the gameplay runs smoothly helping to create a more immersive experience for the player to sink their teeth into. Most of the time you can go from being on the home screen to in game with three other people within the minute, which is perfect for the player addicted to Fortnite. Though all this gets ruined from time to time, when either the game’s network is down and not even letting you play the game you paid for, or mid-game when a new player joins the map making the frame rate drop to minus numbers!
A standalone negative that you can’t avoid is the reward system – there’s no good in this at all. Like previous multiplayer games *cough Battlefront 2*, Save the World comes with microtransactions and good ol’ gambling. Yes, for 100 V-bucks (in-game currency) you can buy a regular Llama (loot box if you will) that will give you the chance to win some ‘epic’ prizes including new weapon designs, new trap designs, new heroes, and more. To earn V-bucks you can either grind through the objectives and get rewarded, or you can buy them with the real money. Mmm classic rip-off smells good, right? In these Llamas you are very likely to get to the same designs you already have, which is what you get for working hard I guess. Oh the rage!
Overall this game has vast amounts of potential to become masses of fun for the whole family. It’s action packed and lets the player play how they want to. The negatives of this game really do bring it down in the ranks for me. Just be done with microtransactions and the Llamas, I shouldn’t have to spend more money on a product that I already paid for just for a gamble at something.
Though do take everything with a pinch of salt at this point as the game is still in early access, which means that some things may change in the future when the full game comes out. Should you buy this product on any of its full price tiers you should either wait for it to come out free this year or if you’re impatient like me buy when it’s in the sale.
Hi my name’s Charles and I’ve been addicted to Fortnite now for about five weeks, I loose sense of time and I can’t give Grand Theft Auto the love it deserves anymore because of it. If you liked this review give us a like and a share. If you want to talk Fortnite then get at me on Twitter at @charliewarnerw. If you didn’t like this review I hope you get the same schematics over and over again from the Llamas!