* Fortnite is currently in early-access, thus our opinion is based on an unfinished product.
Fortnite is a brand-new title from Epic Games that is currently in early access. It’s unlike any other game I’ve played and could only be described as a cross between Minecraft, tower defence and an FPS.
The world of Fortnite is perfectly normal and tranquil until a mysterious storm hits which causes zombie-like creatures, called husks, to emerge and go on a brain eating rampage. Your job, as a hero, is to rescue stranded survivors and protect valuable locations. Each mission will task you with completing a certain goal; this could be to destroy X number of encampments, protect a weather balloon or find useful intel. The level will randomly generate in one of many varying biomes, such as industrial, city or forest, which results in a different experience every time you play.
Before each mission starts you can pick which hero you want to play as. There are 4 classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses; Soldier, Ninja, Constructor and Outlander. Soldiers focus on firepower and eradicating as many husks as possible. Ninjas allow you to leap around the battlefield dealing extra damage will melee weapons. Constructors will point their attention to fortifying defences, being able to build quicker helps here. Lastly, Outlanders, they can attain more resources from the chests and boxes around the map and support the rest of the team. Over time you’ll level up your favourite heroes which will allow you to take on harder challenges. Furthermore, you will want to be putting points into your skill tree. This will grant you access to more skills and better loot.
A standard mission in Fortnite, which you’ll come across a few times, is to locate a van and protect it until it can escape. Once you spawn into the level you’ll be given bonus challenges, one of these is to complete the mission within 2 in game days. It’s not a difficult challenge but it helps get you better loot if you accomplish it. Scattered around the level will be all sorts of items; cars, trees, rocks, bins, lamp posts, buildings, the list could go on. These items, when destroyed will give you resources. There are three main resources; wood, brick and metal. These are used to craft defences and can also allow you to reach further areas. Once the van is located you’ll want to make use of these defences by crafting walls, floors and ceilings around it. You can really go to town on your design to make sure no husks get through. Early in the game it’s not so important to worry about your building, it’s quite easy and not much of a challenge. But later you’ll need to ensure that your design is top notch and will prevent husks from reaching their target. Most missions will follow this basic pattern of locating an area, fortifying said area then defending against the husks.
Crafting is a large part of Fortnite and the way you build is super cool. It’s very straight forward and you don’t need to remember any specific recipes. Simply open the build menu, select your piece (wall, floor, ceiling, stairs or roof) then place it down. But what happens if you want a door way, or a window? Well Epic Games have got that covered. You need to enter edit mode; this allows you to make changes to your building pieces. You’ll see 9 blocks cover the building piece and if you remove certain blocks, the result will change. Let’s take a wall piece for example, imagine 9 small blocks making up this wall, if you remove the middle lower 2 blocks and place the wall, it will have a door built into it. Likewise, to make a window, remove the centre block and voila, you have yourself a window. It’s an incredibly simply mechanic but allows for an array of different designs so that no two fortifications are the same.
Along with buildings, you will find yourself crafting weapons and traps too. To craft these items, you first need to learn the schematic; these can be gathered from loot or by picking up a previously unknown weapon. This means that if you have a sweet weapon but your friend doesn’t, drop the weapon, let them pick it up so they learn the schematic then get them to drop it down for you. They can then go off and craft their own.
When I first jumped into Fortnite it seemed like a huge game with lots to offer, I could see myself playing this game for quite some time. However, I quickly came to realise that it’s very repetitive and “grindy” in nature. Each mission, whilst visually different, starts to feel the same. And the satisfaction for completing these missions wasn’t enough to keep me coming back. I had a lot of hope for Fortnite but I’m sadly disappointed. Fortunately the game is still in early access, due for a free release some time in 2018. The team at Epic Games are constantly pushing out updates and listen closely to the community so whilst, in it’s current state, I can’t say I overly enjoyed the game, I expect in a few months time it will be worth revisiting to experience the new features it has to offer.