As many of you may already know i mainly review VR or indie games, larger more established reviews pretty much dominate the world of mainstream gaming and like one voice cheering in a crowd at a football match my voice may not be heard. However there are some games that are just so good, yet so under advertised you just have to try.
Fortnite (a spelling, as a Brit, i reserve the right to get wrong…it is night not nite damn it lol) is a game that has taken me by complete surprise, when watching the videos on the psn store(important news for pc/multisystem users further down so bare with me) i thought to myself here is a cool co-op game, me and my mate will have fun with this in short bursts. After all we have all seen games that allow you to build and survive against waves, they may not be a dime a dozen but they are fairly common, they are usually also only fun for a short period, often with no real complexity to them. This is different.
Ok so you have heard that before, how s this different?
- Cross-platform purchase/progress
First of all let us look at something that is outside of the game, and take a brief minute to talk about purchasing, we will get back to the game play stuff in a sec but this is pretty major.
I own a ps4 pro and a pc, often to game with my irl friends i have to get the ps4 version of a game and here Epic have shown a surprising lack of greed and the game is enabled on your Epic account, so you can install the client on pc and ps4 and no matter which you brought the game on you can play it on both! (I do not own xbox so can not comment on that)
To add to this your progress is seemlessly duplicated over both systems (oh rockstar, you could learn a thing or two here!)
Sadly you can not play with mates on pc while on ps4, but this is something that is not new to us gamers and i say we instead focus on the fact that we do not have to buy the game a second time or have to restart from scratch to be able to play it with our ps4 and pc friends.
- Rpg complexity
This is something that really took me by surprise, in this type of game you would typically expect to maybe level yourself up and or a hero, but in Fortnite the RPG system goes into such more depths, ever schematic you find for making stuff (weapons, traps,tools etc) can be levelled up from a pool of xp dedicated to that section.
Each hero (the characters you play as) can be levelled up and gain new abilities.
You find survivors both in the field and as loot llama drops (yes loot llamas) they too can be levelled up! And formed into squads (the function of which i am not far enough into the game to know, though EMT and FireSquad sounds pretty suggestive.
Then you have your skill tree or to be more accurate skill trees! That you spend skill points on! When i said in the title be confused i actually mean that in a good way, this game has some major complexity and after being hand held in so many games i really welcome that.
- Persistent base and resources
At your shield generator certain missions allow you to expand it, when you do you have to protect it, the base you build around it is persistent, and you can pop into it at any time to add to it, just done a mission and came away with 999 metal? Hop into your main base and upgrade some walls, build that guard tower with en-suite healing facilities you always wanted). You see that is the other thing, resources you have left after a mission persist on you, how many times have you played command and conquer, had a base load of resources and really not wanted to finish the map as you would lose them…ok maybe not often but to a hoarder like myself……
- Really great building creator
One of the let downs in this type of game is the building editor/functionality, this has to be one of the most easy to use yet complex editors i have ever seen,
ok let me give an example, in most games you have as a side of the building option: A wall, A short wall, a door (door crafted separately), a window. Anyone without an ounce of forward planning has always built too many windows or not enough walls etc, HOWEVER in fortnight there is “wall” you select the material, place it where you want it, but it is more than just a wall, go quickly into editor mode and you see it as a 3×3 set of rectangles, remove the middle center and the wall becomes a window, remove the top 2 rows and it becomes a short wall, remove the middle center and bottom center and it becomes a door (which auto closes too…neat!). In the same fashion if you remove parts of a floor (which is also a ceiling) it becomes a work way complete with railing, it is a system that is really easy to get used to and really quite powerful.
- No time limits (well ok some but none where they are normally inflicted)
All missions follow the same sort of format, find or place the item you are meant to protect while resource gathering, build around it, survive the wave*.
Now where games similar to Fortnite go wrong is the first stage will have a time limit, it is rush rush rush, not so in Fortnite 🙂 you can (and me and my mate did) harvest the entire map before starting the mission, we have had massive protection builds built, we have spent hours on a map and this is awesome, you can go at YOUR pace. Sure there are better rewards for completing fast, using under a certain amount of items but that is all optional and i love that!
*when i mentioned the game format you may feel that was repetitive, to be honest it is the same as any game on one hand it may get repetitive but on the other it does what it does really well and i really want to load it up right now and play.
- The maps are HUGE and random
With the exception of the shield maps which by nature are small, the maps are really really big, the devs also say no two maps are the same (from my own tests i can say this seems true) there is plenty of hidden loot, stuff to smash and explore. Again this is something that is not often done well in this type of game but here oh man it is awesome.
- You can build ANYWHERE any time
Once outside the tutorial levels which by definition are restrictive, you can build anywhere on the levels you are on and the animation for building makes this a joy, many times i have been running towards a cliff and placed stairs in front of me, without stopping i have been running up the forcefield of the stairs while boards whizz past and snap into place, it is just so intuitive that once you get the hang of it you will be building your way to wherever you want. This is also very useful for reaching those hard to get to areas that may have treasure 🙂
You can also use the build anywhere function to close off areas, funnel the enemies when they are attacking into your best trapped area 🙂
The icing on the cake, you can build whenever you want, suddenly realise that you left a bit of your fort weak? Just improve it while your mates hold off the enemy horde.
Again this is something fairly unique in tower defence games, usually you only have a set place to build (or a tiny map).
So you can see there is a lot to love about the game and i myself am still exploring it, i have only owned it for one day and feel compelled to write about it, that in itself speaks volumes.
Oh and you know i mentioned loot llamas? Yeah they are awesome 🙂 (“So you got an axe, umm why do you have an axe?”)
This has not followed my usual review pattern i know and is a bit wall of text like, but although i could have just said “buy it, its great, 10/10 would smash llama with axe again” but that really would not of been me now would it 🙂
At the minute you can get immediate access with a founders pack (i went for the $69 pack (deluxe) and wish i had the money for the higher ones!)