This review is going to break from my normal review formula. The game I’m reviewing, Fortnite, has become something of a cultural phenomenon. Recently, I’ve noticed when I tell people I play video games, they ask “Do you play Fortnite?” even if they don’t play video games themselves. That is the main reason I’m writing this review. To provide some background and explain what I think of the game.
Fortnite is an early access, battle royale, third person shooter. You may be wondering what in the world does that mean? Basically, the player enters a game, either alone or with up to four teammates, and is placed in a flying bus. There are roughly 100 players per match, and you all jump out of the same bus to find a place to land, then begins the mad dash for weapons and supplies. A clock in the corner of the screen counts down the time till a storm engulfs a portion of the map. If the player stays in the storm, they will slowly take damage until they die. If you get killed, there are no respawns. You can continue to watch other players until there is only one survivor or leave and join a new match. Fortnite has a cartoonish art style, and received a patch some time ago that bumped up the overall graphics quality.
There are limited time game modes with different rules, but the main battle royale mode is the most popular. If you lose your health during a team mode, you are merely knocked down. As your secondary life meter slowly drains your teammates can revive you. In solo mode, all bets are off, and you die instantly when you lose your health you stay dead. Because the map is so large and there are so many players, there are stretches of time where you’ll just be walking. If you land in the more popular locations, like Tilted Towers or Anarchy Acres, you’ll almost certainly be killed within the first 5 minutes. Finding a balance is difficult, but the longer you stay alive, the smaller the circle gets, and the more likely you are to find other players. There are many frustrating moments. The damage for certain weapons is inconsistent, every time you are killed you freeze several seconds before you die, but overall, Fortnite is good for an early access release.