Working under the caveat that “you can’t truly understand something until you’ve experienced it” – I decided to see what all the fuss was about with regards to this franchise. Join me as I swallow my pride and play Fortnite.
Being an open-minded sod i decided i can’t justify my hatred for a game i’ve never played, so i decided it was time to skydive into the game that all the kids are going mad for. (See also our delve into Roblox)
Mention the “F word” around anyone under 18 and they’ll most likely make a high-pitched squealing noise. Mention it around most self-defined “serious” gamers and they will grumble something unintelligible, lower in pitch but nevertheless filled with venom. Say the word within earshot of a typical Reddit user and you should probably just change your name and move countries, if you manage to make it out of the room alive…..
I’m as skeptical as you are, believe me, but as one commenter recently pointed out “16 million autistic children can’t be wrong”.
Let’s Play Fortnite
I joined the game during Chapter 3 and the subsequent Winterfest event. (The Winterfest event offers the opportunity to receive free skins and consumables while celebrating everything, err, Winter)
Where the story is concerned, it’s all very unclear. My character wakes up on a beach. Theres a guy i can’t interact with, sharpening his sword near by. I’m doing a gimpy little run to a campfire where some characters i don’t recognise are sat. There’s much chat about the Imagined Order being a bunch of arseholes but no other exposition. With that i’m left to experience the game itself, unaware how relevant that exposition may, or may not be.
The titles and waiting screens are all, in artistic terms, aggressively loud. For a middle-aged man i’m finding the loading process a bit daunting, like with any new game: Why is Marcus from Gears of War on the screen? Or Spiderman? I fear this is going to escalate and get infinitly more confusing.
Getting into a match, i find i’m dropped in at the deep end, without any kid gloves or tutorial. Somehow I managed to survive my first match and even claimed overall victory – a feat i put down to luck and beginner matchmaking rather than any level of natural skill.
It’s now plain to see how kids spend so much of their parents money on this game. From the get-go the player is bombarded by aggressive sales tactics and worth noting that the products are price-heavy.
After a few different game modes i delved into one of the community-created games on offer – creator eatyoushay‘s “City Park property hunt” which was a fun hide and seek game mode. Everyone on my team somehow turned into props but I just hid behind a tree because i didn’t know how to transform. This flawless strategy worked for all of about 10 seconds….
Navigating the menus i found that a number of my “serious gamer” friends already had invites pending which was a real eye-opener.
At this stage of play (the first hour) I’m still unsure how the building aspect of the game comes into play. I’ve seen Youtube videos of people building structures and hiding behind them but i’m only interested in shooting other players at this stage.
(As time progressed i realized how naive this outlook was but stuck with it nonetheless, as detailed below)
After an invite from my pal (who turned up dressed as The Mandolorian) we entered a competitive duo match and came out on top. Which was a nice surprise. We got to the end point early and camped behind a log at the centre of the quickly closing circle.
As far as i can ascertain you need a battle pass, or in layman terms “to pay money” to use these characters like Spiderman or Han Solo.
After a week of play it’s safe to say i’m hooked on the game and its flashy dopamine stimuli. I’m unsure how much longevity the game will provide for me personally but it’s safe to say other games are currently fighting for my attention, at least for this week.
My play style involved not building (or editing), anything, ever. Now this style is contrary to the professionals prescriptions for the game – in that a good player must be able to harness both building and battle aspects of the game – but what i found during play is that by eliminating this feature from my style i was able to dominate many squad games using gunplay alone.
It’s also worth noting that when you play Squad matches with the Squad Slots set to “Don’t Fill”, you enter the game as a squad of one. While this definitely sorts the middle-aged men from the boys, it also makes the mode extremely difficult.
It’s not quite Call Of Duty or even Halo for that matter but it’s clear to see the influence that exists here both to and fro. The Battle Royale aspect doesn’t have to be gritty and serious, so why not have fun with it?
I’ve enjoyed my time in Fortnite but I’ll not be flossing anytime soon….
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