“Fortnite” Frenzy Storms the World


Justin Storrs

A player hides behind the ruins of an old house as enemies close in around. The Fortnite building mechanics allow players to build cover or a base anywhere on the map, something unique in battle royale genre.

Justin Storrs, Staff Writer

“Fortnite” storms the world as players team up across gaming platforms to build, destroy and fight their way to the coveted first place victory.

Since “Epic Games” launched the new gamemode back in September, the battle royale addition to the “Fortnite” game has been attracting millions of gamers from across the world for its unique building mechanics and cross platform gameplay. Plus, it’s free.

Although “Fortnite” mimics other popular battle royale games such “Rules of Survival” and “Player Unknown Battlegrounds,” it brings in new and exciting elements entirely unique to the genre.

“Fortnite,” like all battle royale games, have strong survival and exploration elements. The start of the game see players parachuting to specific areas from a plane or, in “Fortnite,” a flying battle bus suspended by a hot air balloon.  After dropping into the massive map, players scavenge for healing supplies, shields and guns.  After a few minutes the massive map starts to contract.  The storm shrinks in short increments until eventually a small circle or “safe zone” is left, getting caught outside the circle usually results in death.  The safe zones are in a different and random part of the map each round.

Each match can consist of a hundred players or more, however there can be only one winner, whether it be the solo player, the duo or the squad.  Players can queue into a game playing by themselves, with a partner or with a group of friends.

What makes “Fortnite Battle Royale” stand out from competitors is the unique building and destruction mechanics. When players first drop into the world, they are only armed with a lone pickaxe. From there they can mine resources such as wood, brick and metal, along with the traditional search of supplies and weapons. Wood can be taken from trees and houses, brick from the rocks and boulders that are scattered throughout the landscape, and metal from the occasional car.  

Players can then use these resources to build ramps for when they are trying to climb over a mountain or house and walls for when they are caught in the open by enemy snipers and need to quickly build cover.  In the late game, players can build massive bases in the center of the safe zone to protect themselves and get the much-needed height advantage when shooting down onto their enemies.  

“Fortnite” takes on the Minecraft-esqe building culture, although they are in an active and ever changing game, players can build whatever they want as long as it’s in the zone and they have the resources.

“Fortnite” doesn’t only beat other competitors through their success with the building and destruction gameplay, it completely redefines the battle royale. Games such as “Player Unknown Battlegrounds” prioritize the scavenging and looting aspects of the games. Upon first entering the world, players are not focused on fighting each other, instead players spend their time looking for food, medpacks, armour, silencers, extended mags and backpacks. In “Fortnite,” Epic Games streamlined the looting system, players can find a health pack, a gun and a shield all in the same house, all in the same minute and then be ready to fight.  

This explains a large part of Fortnights success, instead of looting, players are attacking the enemy, building, running around the map.  Without the emphasis on loot, “Fortnite” matches are quick and action packed, unlike the drawn out, two hour rounds seen with Player Unknown.

Apart from leading a new looting aspect and building mechanic, “Fortnite” is also a pioneer in cross platform play in the battle royale genre. Sadly, cross platform play doesn’t include connections to Xbox gamers.  Currently only PS4 and PC players can connect with each other.  Even then the process is a bit complicated.  The results are worthwhile however.  

Another component that makes “Fortnite” unique is the art style.  Most battle royale games today have a gritty, hyper realistic graphics. “Fortnite” totally throws that out the window, instead opting for a light hearted animated aesthetic. There is something nice about prioritizing the swaying of the trees and the shimmer of the water rather than the blood and gore that comes from killing the enemy seen in other battle royale games.

Probably the most important factor separating “Fortnite” from the rest of the games in the battle royale genre is how it’s free to play.  The main game, a player versus environment mode, will set players back about 40 dollars, but “Fortnite Battle Royale,” the big ticket item, however, is absolutely free of charge on all platforms and consoles. Epic Games is able to turn a profit on their free game by selling cosmetic skins, items and emotes.  

“Fortnite,” its unique gameplay mechanics, cross platform compatibility and free charge, is a serious contender in not only the battle royale genre, but the entire gaming industry. The game has taken the mistakes of other battle royale games and corrected them, making a truly fun and unforgettable gaming experience. There is no doubt that the game will continue to improve over time, gaining popularity and players, for years to come.