Fortnite (Early Access)

Ever wanted to test your creativity in tower defense games but was always limited to the same old layouts and levels that games threw at you? Well let me tell you that Epic Games has developed and published the ideal game for the genre. Fortnite is their latest release, bringing a fresh whole look at building, surviving waves of enemies, and unique play styles, all for Steam, Mac, XBO and PS4. Out now on paid Early Access.

WHAT IS THIS EVEN ABOUT

A strange storm arrived to planet Earth unexpected, humanity itself is at the brink of extinction as the storm spawns mysterious creatures that take humans as husks. Fortunately, groups of survivors have decided to confront this menace by scavenging resources, building forts, crafting exotic weapons and make alliances to fighter the common enemy. These heroes are here to fight the storm, and no, this isn’t a Blizzard spin-off game.

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SOUNDS INTERESTING, BUT IS IT REALLY UNIQUE?

Fortnite plays as a third person shooting action game, featuring various procedurally generated maps worthy of exploring. The game offers various game styles each with their own specific objectives, this allows for matches to be very unique by themselves. Your “objective” will always spawn in a different location in a procedurally randomly generated map, which makes fort building or exploration always different and giving players the chance to experiment new strategies every single time they launch a mission.

Missions vary depending on what you choose in the Map tab of your hub. Defend the Atlas is one of them, in which you first have to find a specific location in the layout to place BluGlow (a mysterious blue substance that powers up technology ever since the storm arrived) inside a contraption. This apparatus always spawns in a different location, meaning players can build around it and have it conveniently placed to their advantage or disadvantage against incoming waves of husks. Other missions makes things harder by making you defend 2 Atlas or up to 4 of them at the same time, while other missions your whole objective is to find survivors, build radar towers, or find loot before the time limit finishes and you get extracted. When you start building your fort, you can use the primary 3 resources of the game to do so which are wood, stone and metal, one stronger than the last.

HOW DOES A GAME LIKE THIS, EVEN WITH RANDOM MAPS STAYS ENETERTAINING?

Fortnite features a very in-depth progression system with a lot, and I mean a lot of screens in which you can develop and progress your game. First of all, you can play up to 4 different classes:

  • Soldier: basically a weapons specialist with improved damage to guns, frag grenades and bigger guns!

  • Constructor: Allows the ability to make a B.A.S.E., which is basically a contraption that you can place on top of a fort to make it much stronger and easier to repair.

  • Outlander: A specialist in finding caches in the map for resources.

  • Ninja: Melee weapon specialist with shurikens, smoke bombs, double jumps and slashes.

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Each of these characters are portrayed by different female and male models, they also have “sub classes” in which basically their ‘level up’ abilities show in different orders and have different bonuses. The game allows you to choose whichever classes you want easily, but say you want a specific look on a Ninja or a unique ability for the Constructor? Well, here’s when the game stumble on you.

The loot system in the game works around chips, these chips unlock characters, survivors and schematics for weapons or traps (for these last two, once you have them you can freely craft them whenever you want). How do you get chips? By obtaining piñata llamas, these are obtained by completing missions which award the in-game currency V-Bucks, you then smash these piñatas and have a RNG style of loot with rarity portrayed as colors from grey to orange depending on how rare they are (another Blizzard reference!). So you want a female Outlander? Then you depend on luck, but don’t worry as you can also buy llamas with real money by buying more V-Bucks, because why not spend even more on RNG.

THE SENSE OF PROGRESSION

Everything in the game can be upgraded. Your hero can be upgraded with Hero XP (awarded by missions) and eventually be “Evolved” into a more defined character with better stats and small visual changes. Your Defenders and survivors can also be leveled up with their own specific XP type. Your account is leveled up by completing missions and this will award you Skill Points, used to unlock permanent buffs and perks inside giant various skill trees (there’s more than 3). You also earn Research Points, which are gained simply as time passes, and are used to unlock OTHER permanent buffs in ANOTHER series of skill trees.

You would think the game could be the same with a much simpler mechanic of progression, but it doesn’t even stop there. The main focus of the game is to do Quests, the main quests are obviously related to the main plot and at first they are simple and joyful, then suddenly the hordes of husks get angrier as you unlock new zones in the Map. This halts your progression and will eventually force you to GRIND your way through the game by revisiting missions, grinding for resources to build a better fort in your Home Base (for the Storm Shield missions). But that still doesn’t stop there. Your account levels up and earns Skill Points, but that’s just an infinite bar, your actual account does have a level and will go up the higher your Defenders, Survivors and Heroes are in your team. You will find missions requiring a specific set for this exact level, which gives you an idea of how difficult the objectives will be for you and your team.

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DOES PLAYTIME EVENTUALLY HOLD UP TO BEING FUN?

After all I mentioned before, the game basically mixes the fun survival, crafting, fort building and tower defense aspects with unnecessary in depth progression and micromanagement that also includes RNG loot. This makes the game difficult to advance sometimes and honestly almost unpleasant IF you play by yourself.

Playing with friends does make things a lot easier, since the RNG of 1 person is different to that of 4. Meaning one friend has a rare schematic for a trap, while others have rare schematics for guns, while others have a special hero, and you can all work together to completing objectives and building an impressive impenetrable fort. Teamwork is exactly dependant of winning a game, but it does make it a lot more fun.

With this I can arguably say that Fortnite has been an interesting experience, quite fun if the right parameters occur, but probably not recommended for people who aren’t into this mix of genres. Creativity with traps and teamwork is really the essence of the game, and there are still a whole lot of content and game modes waiting to hit the game.

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In Short

  • + Every mission is different from the last in terms of placement and strategy.
    + Various ways of fort building, fun trap placements and teamwork synergy.
    + An inmense loot pool of weapons, traps, heroes, with various abilities that can be strengthen.
    + A lot of gameplay content to keep you playing on and on.

  • - Way too many progression mechanics that are too dependant on RNG, grinding, and micromanagement.

Comments


Posted at 6:57am on Monday 2nd October 2017

HaroTweseBen

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Posted at 6:57am on Monday 2nd October 2017

HaroTweseBen

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