Screen Critics dive into Fortnite’s free ‘Battle Royale’ DLC. How does it compare to the juggernaut that is Battlegrounds?
You may have seen or heard of Fortnite Battle Royale recently, it is the newest installment in the battle royale genre, following in the footsteps of PUBG and H1Z1. If you don’t know what a battle royale genre game plays like then allow me to explain, a battle royale game is a mix of a few gameplay elements, you need to scavenge everything in order to survive and at the same time you need to find yourself some weaponry to protect yourself from the other players that will do anything to keep themselves alive. The whole goal of the game is to be the last man standing, you need to overcome all obstacles and stand proudly atop the mountain of corpses as the undisputed champion of the game, well that is the dream at least.
Except Fortnite Battle Royale is different, instead of you relying on buildings, walls or fences for your protection, you build your own, be it a simple wall for some momentary protection in a haphazard firefight, to your own fort for you to build your traps and defences in and wait for the enemy to come to you, you just need to go and collect the three resources available to you, wood, stone or metal. There are plenty of deposits for you to pick from, the most common being wood, wood is the least protective material but the easiest to build, followed by stone and then metal, the better the material you use, the longer it will last and the more protected you will be.
You can also modify your walls to remove a section to allow you to see and shoot out at any potential threats that approach you, you can do the same thing for those tense firefights that you will always get into whilst traversing the map, whichever way you decide to play, building is the key to survival in Fortnite Battle Royale and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a way to win without building at least a wall to protect yourself, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without building before.
Although you do need to build to survive, you also need to choose when and where is the best time to build as the is the storm that keeps drawing closer to you as the game goes on, at regular intervals, you will be notified that the storm is closing in, your map will show you where the eye of the storm, (the safe zone), will be, you need to get to the eye in order to avoid the perilous storm, if you get caught in the storm then you need to try and run through it to try and get to the safe zone and hope that you have enough health to see you through as the storm deals damage over time to you for as long as you remain inside. The storm will eventually close in more and more until the remaining players are forced into an area where combat is the only option and someone becomes the victor, hopefully, me.
Playing this game is so much fun, it combines the strategy you get from games like Rainbow Six Siege with the fun, tense gunfights from games like Battlefield with the well-implemented addition of building your own defenses and cover that puts you in charge of how the scenarios play out. You can choose how you want to play, if you want to take on the world head on and challenge everyone you see and become the reaper of the land then off you go, if you are like me and prefer to go in quietly, make a quick kill, take all of the loot and escape like a thief in the night then that is more than possible, or you might like to pick the tallest structure around, build it up with all of your defenses and pick off people from the heavens then be my guest, just be sure you can escape that storm when it comes to you.
On top of this, Fortnite Battle Royale feels more relaxed than other online survival games. it definitely feels lighter when compared to the Team-based Shooter genre, that place is a real mess. When I’m playing I don’t ever remember feeling like I absolutely have to win or I’ll be disappointed with myself, it feels more like I am just enjoying myself in a stress-free environment where the outcome of the game doesn’t really mean anything, that is until competitive play releases of course.
There is absolutely no risk whilst playing, in Orcs Must Die in the sabotage mode you use consumables to try and make the opposing team lose, there are basic consumables that everyone has and they have unlimited uses but they tend to be mediocre and are easy to deal with, the consumables that cause trouble you have to get before you can use them and you can only get them at the end of the game or in loot chests and they are both random drops, once you use them, they are gone and you can’t use them again until you get them again, you cant choose what you want to get, you just have to hope. In Fortnite Battle Royale, however, there are no variables that players can bring into the game so that means that everyone is on equal ground, which brings me to my next point.
We have got to a point now where it is expected of an online PvP game to have the dreaded micro-transaction, now they are not necessarily a bad thing if they are used to buy cosmetics as they don’t affect anyone, they just make you look better and feel bad about yourself. Now what is unacceptable is when developers allow people to pay to receive an advantage over everyone else, that is just the most money-grabbing thing a company can do and it shows that don’t care about their game, well you can rest assured that we won’t be seeing that in Fortnite Battle Royale, at least not yet anyway.
With all these positives, Fortnite Battle Royale sounds like the perfect experience. But there are issues within the game. The title has just released on September 26th and it is still fresh out of the oven so it is expected to have some problems, the biggest one is the servers. The servers can be an absolute pain, with issues and disconnects plaguing the early experience. I had to log out and log in a few times now to try and get back into the game when it gets stuck on a loading screen but it doesn’t happen too often, definitely not often enough to consider not playing it, we just need to give it time to settle in and before you know it we will be running smoothly.
Meanwhile, the game is also missing features that differentiate it from Battlegrounds. This isn’t necessarily a con but more of a hope for the future, as of now there is no crafting system in place so you need to rely on the random loot for everything, I would like it if they added in a system where you could craft weapon mods like scopes and sights so you wouldn’t have to try and find that elusive scoped assault rifle. If they added more resources, other than wood, stone, and metal, then your crafting options would increase dramatically, you could get wool from beds and use it to craft a makeshift bandage that heals you for less than the regular bandage but could prove to be the difference between life and death, also you could collect glass from wall that has windows and then use them to create the weapon mods, I feel the game would benefit greatly from a crafting system and increase the number of scenarios that could happen, I have high hopes for the future.
Overall though, the Gameplay for me is just too good to pass up, it ranges from game to game, from what loot you have found Vs what your enemies have found, the many different forts that you can build and the super tense gunfights in the middle of the town, it excites me everytime I glide down to my newest landing zone, unaware of what treasures await me and who will challenge me to the death, on top of all of this, it is free, so what are you waiting for, get out there and lay waste to the world.