Fortnite is one of the rare retail ‘early access’ console game that is currently the norm on PC. While the final game is planned for a release in early 2018, the early access is essentially the complete version with a strong focus on post-launch support that will keep changing and improving the game. This makes it harder to review the game in its current state because it is an ever evolving product, however the aim of this review is to take a look at the current state of the game since the game is also available at retail, and to decide if it is worth a purchase.
Originally revealed in 2011, Fortnite started as a Tower Defense game with a focus on defending objectives while keeping in control of the action with a Third Person Shooter mechanics thrown into the mix. It wasn’t really a unique idea of its time especially since there was already a game called Orcs Must Die with similar idea, but what makes Fortnite unique is its sandbox nature mixed with co-op gameplay. The multiplayer co-op in Fortnite can prove to be fun if you play it with the right people. There is a lot of customization option available for those who prefer to tweak every set of variable for their character and with the huge variety of loot available, the game is not short on content either.
The one thing that becomes immediately clear once you start the game is that it is complicated. The controls will take a while to get used to and it was particularly difficult for me to grasp because this was the first time I had played a game with a sandbox survival design. The shooting is fairly simple though and works really well. You can also perform headshots for critical damage to enemies and they aren’t really that hard to pull using the variety of weapons offered in the game.
Speaking of the weapons, you will be able to find a lot of them doing just the regular story missions but plenty of them are available through loot boxes that you can either purchase them using the in-game currency or utilize real-life money in order to get some of the more rare quality loot. However I wouldn’t lie when I say it that despite having the addition of Loot boxes, they never quite felt like they made the game ‘pay to win’ for me. You will be easily able to get more than enough in-game currency fro the loot boxes that unlocking new items shouldn’t be that much of a challenge and this is part of the fun in Fortnite.
The story in Fortnite is fairly typical about evil taking over the world with nothing interesting thrown in the mix. It tries to establish a purpose for the gameplay and while there is not really a lot to do here in term of writing, it has its moments thanks to the detailed animated cutscenes that are used to advance the story. Aside from that, you will be mostly playing the game by completing the variety of missions, all of which are playable in co-op with upto 4 players at a time. These missions have a certain objective that must be accomplished while also offering bonus objectives that result in a better reward and loot at the end of the mission.
Speaking of the loot system in Fortnite, it is perhaps the most addictive part of the game. There is a lot of loot to collect in Fortnite and even though the game supports microtransactions for its loot, if you are able to complete the missions and achieve some of the extra bonus objectives, you shouldn’t really have much of an issue in getting the most out of it. The loot can be availed by bashing a pinata. Since it is random for the most part, you can also get either Silver or Gold loot depending on your luck. While I personally didn’t really face much issue with how it was integrated, I have seen complaints of the game not being generous enough for the player requiring them to grind their way in order to get better loot.
The visuals in Fortnite bear a similarity to Plants vs. Zombies in term of the animated look that the developers have picked for it. The main enemies in Fortnite are the Husks and there are a variety of them thrown in the mix so that the combat doesn’t feel monotonous. You have to use a different strategy each time during an attack and it is always a a satisfying feeling once you create a stronghold full of traps that kill the enemies while you clean of the rest with your weapons.
While Fortnite still has a lot to prove especially since it is being planned for a final release as a free-to-play game in early 2018, the current version of the game has plenty of potential for those who are looking for a third person shooter with strategical elements laid on top of it. The main elements of the gameplay are extremely polished and it is toppled with a progression system that feels rewarding and an equipment system that should keep the player busy with the variety of customization it offers.
Fortnite Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Fortnite is a co-op sandbox survival video game developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games, the latter of which also serves as publisher for the game.
Despite being an early access title, Fortnite offers a lot of content and features an addictive co-op based sandbox gameplay brimming with potential.