Fortnite – Review
Follow Genre: Action shooter, base builder, base defender
Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Epic Games
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac
Tested on: PS4

Fortnite – Review

Site Score
6.2
Good: Original mix
Bad: Repetitive, too elaborate
User Score
5.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Fortnite is all about building. And shooting. And looting. And crafting. And so much more. Developer Epic Games tried to create a pleasurable experience for people who want to play with adaptable building blocks and shoot at things from their own creation.  It’s a mix of the survival-games full of crafting that we got a huge load of these last few years, combined with core-defending gameplay, lots of guns and a slight amount of wackiness. 

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Story

A purple storm has taken the planet and killed most of the inhabitants. With the storm, weird monsters started to appear in waves, wiping out what little resistance was left. Luckily, under certain circumstances, fleeing from the monsters, you stumble upon a command center that is run by a few charismatic robots. The robots decide you will be the new commander and put you in a chair from which you can look through weird VR-like glasses to search for help and weirdly enough control survivors. Even though the game is not clear about how this exactly works, you are able to help the last remaining humans nonetheless. After initially saving the first few people, countermeasures are being searched for and played in the form of quests. These measures will help you to slowly take back the world that once belonged to you and your race, and maybe even save yourself from extinction. The story goes on for quite a while from this point. By doing quests you get assignments to i.e. upgrade your defenses by expanding and protecting your Storm Shield, which is comparable to a base of operations in the field that pushes back the enemy. Other times you might find yourself defending a scientist his van that’s connected to an inflating air balloon to bring him to safety so he can help you later. The story flows on like this and you can replay the parts you already did, though you won’t receive the quest rewards you did the first time.

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Graphics

Graphics-wise the game looks quite amazing. It has this slight amount of cartoony looks about it but while playing and during animations, everything else feels serious enough to give the game something adult. The scenery, characters, animations and gameplay all look highly polished. Sometimes a load of numbers showing the damage done to enemies or a gigantic wave of targets coming at you makes the game a bit chaotic. That does not change the fact that overall it manages very well to give (and maintain) a certain style to the game that simply works and gives some eye-candy in the process.

Sound

The best sound in the game probably consists of the sound effects. They make the combination between slightly cartoonish looks and a serious game work. When farming resources there are wacky sounds on hit, when shooting guns the guns sound good and like they actually have an impact. The effects seem to be manufactured for each action or animation separately which works rather well. At least better than the equivalent of different styles when looking at the gameplay. The background music barely helps to build any atmosphere and seems rather replaceable. Normally this could be bothersome, but in Fortnite, it was never really about the music anyway.

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Gameplay 

So. Wow. This game is an action-packed shooter, base builder and wave defender. But also you can craft or collect weapons and schematics and loot materials to craft even more. First of all, the main gameplay loop is either to defend something by shooting a lot of monsters or to shoot and collect other things by shooting monsters. It always involves shooting monsters. The second part of this loop is that you can run around levels to farm some materials and build a nice base of stairs, windows, traps and more. Besides doing these two things you will get certain objectives depending on the quest you are doing. You could do all these things in singleplayer, though the game is definitely based on multiplayer gameplay. So before you know it, one of the first few quests the game will have thrown you into a game with other people, which can be really annoying. As an example, they can simply sabotage you by removing buildings cause they don’t agree with your artistic soul. Also, most quests have a bonus objective such as ”do not create more than 30 objects”. There will always be that one person every now and then who creates 31. This screws up a possible higher loot at the end for you. That’s why the conclusion about multiplayer is: The fun is greatly enhanced playing with friends you actually know.

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Besides being a base builder, defender, and shooter, Fortnite also gives you the opportunity to upgrade so much. You got a skill-tree, different types of champions that have different skills, NPC’s you can collect and upgrade to defend your structures, and even the weapons are upgradable. It’s worth mentioning that all these systems go hand-in-hand with a microtransaction system. Obviously, players can spend money for a chance of better gear by buying ”Lama’s” to smash them with a random weapon and gaining some loot such as new weapons, XP or a different currency to buy other things. Though this might seem tiresome, the game is supposed to be free-to-play somewhere in 2018. So from a developer’s point of view, it’s kind of understandable.

The gameplay can get a bit dull quite fast for a couple of reasons. Like mentioned, if you don’t play with friends you actually know, it’s simply less fun. Also, certain small things like the number of times you have to reload to keep on blasting enemies can get bothersome once you start paying attention to them. It’s very cool how you have elaborate options to build a fort the way you envision it with just a few button presses and some resources. Even cooler is the amount of adaptability that allows you to i.e. create windows and doors wherever you want for that fortress-feeling. But all these options also undermine the game’s accessibility and core gameplay, which is a shame since it had potential to become something bigger. But by trying to be the biggest, just like when making constructions, it’s easy to become unstable or even eventually fall down.

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Conclusion

Fortnite is one of those games which has a developer that tried really hard to deliver so many things that the core game got clouded by its own ambitions. A real shame, since it could have been something amazing if only it had taken a few steps back to look in the mirror. Sometimes it’s needed to kill your darlings to create a better product and this did not happen. Playing with friends enhances the joy you get from playing a game about mayhem, but the biggest issue with the game remains repetitive patterns, rather chaotic and simply leaving most players indifferent. However, it doesn’t mean it’s such a bad game. The amount of freedom you get to discover new and more fun ways to build is refreshing, and shooting enemies or collecting new weapon recipes might be slightly addicting. Also, it has to be said that Epic Games clearly tried hard. This is to be found in the elaborate upgrading systems and the graphical finesse. Now let’s just hope next time the gameplay will be more centered, cause right now, Fortnite has so many things inside that it feels like a single present under the Christmas tree containing everything you ever and never wanted. In 2018, when it’s free-to-play at some point, it might be worth it more to pick up the game with your friends.

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Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Fortnite - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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