Fortnite Battle Royale Raises the Standard for Multiplayer Video Games

“Fortnite Battle Royale” has been the game of 2018 so far. During a game, one hundred players are dropped into a colorful world with one goal: be the last one standing and achieve a “Victory Royale.” While the game has a third person shooter perspective, it has a cartoon aesthetic— instead of realistic military style— and is much less violent than other battle royale games with players being teleported out instead of dying when they run out of health. Because of the fun landscapes and playful violence, the popular Fortnite has reinvented the multiplayer video game in a refreshing, creative style that sets a new standard for video game developers.

The core gameplay revolves around dropping off of the “battle bus” into the map littered with fun alliterated sections (“Tilted Towers” being a favorite among the locations) in search of guns and supplies with “the storm, ” which is an area filled with a purple haze that deals a few points of damage every second to players inside of it, progressively shrinking the map as the game progresses. Players then use their materials to build forts in firefights. Unlike other games where players rarely concentrate fully and just sprint through the map and feel invincible, strategy is key: hit points and defense shield run out quickly in a gunfight, especially as many people flock to buildings where users can find loot (weapons, items, shield potions). That’s where building comes into play and can be the key to a victory. Players have the ability to chop down trees and demolish most structures in the map that can be used to build temporary makeshift blockades and bases.

The fun and colorful art direction and mechanics —that are simple to grasp, yet hard to master— make for a very addicting game that can suck people in for hours. Because of the potentially long sessions, nothing is more satisfying than seeing the “Victory Royale” appear on screen. While the beginning of a game can be boring depending on which part of the map the player chooses to land, the game ramps up very quickly once the map shrinks. Multi-squad firefights can lead to a game over. However, seeing how many other players died first can suck the player into another round. It is very easy to lose an entire day to playing when with friends. While learning to switch in and out of the building menu and shoot accurately takes practice, once the skill is mastered it becomes second nature.

There are three standard modes where the players can play in a four man squad, with one other person, or alone. However, without friends, a player can find the game dull and tedious. While the solo mode is there, it is not the focus and it feels that way. Solo rounds have the same feeling of tedium with the resource collecting stage lasting longer because the one hundred players end up being more spread out over the map, and with no way to talk to other players in solo mode, the player ends up feeling disengaged. Another issue is that there is only one map, and while it has plenty of charm at first, it quickly becomes boring as the named locations to get weapons and equipment are spread out very far. This leads to many people going to Tilted Towers because it has the most loot and can be a very easy way to get a game over. Building is easy and intuitive with a mouse and keyboard, but it is not so easy on a controller because controllers lack enough buttons to make building easy, and as a result the game is more just running and hiding behind trees and rocks on consoles. Eventually, trying to get first place gets boring; however, the “battle pass” has additional challenges to complete for in-game rewards. The “battle pass” is not free and costs real money. That is the real issue with most skins, taunts, and other items needing “Vbucks” that have to be primarily obtained through using real money. Without a secondary currency that can be gained over time through playing instead of using real money, players potentially can spend more than sixty dollars, which is the standard price for a game. The things being purchased also give no advantage over other players and are just there for players to look cool.

Fortnite can be a very fun game to play with friends. It can give the player hours of enjoyment. However, it has its flaws that hold it back from being truly great. While free, it is very easy for some people to spend a lot on just skins, and the gameplay can get repetitive. Eventually, it becomes difficult to play just because of how boring it can feel when playing solo. When playing with friends it is one the most fun games to play, and can bring hours of enjoyment.

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