Fortnite had me excited. I get sent a lot of games to review, many of them I’m not too interested to play but Fortnite was one I was eager to get my hands on. The zombie horde mode plus building mechanics had my attention. How does it play?
Fortnite is a fun yet frustrating game. The core concept of exploring a large map to collect materials then using these materials to build a structure to defend is great. Unfortunately outside of these core concepts Fortnite doesn’t quite work.
Is Fortnite free to play?
I has to be said that the pay/free-to-play launch model is a horrific mess. Fortnite is a free-to-play game but won’t exist as this until next year! For now you have to buy it to play it. There are several versions of the game, the more you pay the more unlocks for you from the get go. It is a messy way to launch but not Fortnite’s only problem.
What is going on with Fortnite’s menus?
This may sound odd but Fortnite regularly reminded me of a mobile game. There is a definite feel of classic mobile games such as Candy Crush and Farmville from Fortnite. When not in third person exploring, building and protecting mode the elaborate menus reek of mobile influences. Fortnite has an incredible amount of additional elements that all require minor levels of management. From what I’ve played none of them are fun, none of them are interesting and all of them are further ways to pump cash from the player. This is particularly irritating for a paid for game (at the moment).
Exploring in Fortnite
When in third person explore, build and protect mode Fortnite does improve. This is the main gameplay feature and the one that has got lots of us excited to play. Up to four players are spawned into a large procedurally generated map. These maps feature plenty of different locations to explore and resources to collect.
To collect resources players hit them with a pickaxe. The resources do not take too long to collect and I found it enjoyable enough collecting resources ready to build.
Building in Fortnite
The building controls are very impressive in Fortnite. Walls, floors, ceilings, staircases and traps can be constructed quickly and easily with an impressive amount of creativity allowed. This is without doubt my favourite aspect of Fortnite. To control method that has been created to aid in the construction is well thought out and works perfectly.
Maps see you collect resources and then have a location that will need to be protected. Once players feel they have enough resources they must build a protective structure. When ready then players alert the horde who begin their assault. If players can design a build a well thought out protective building it can make a huge difference to the protection stage.
Protecting in Fortnite
Once the horde begins to attack teams use their weapons and their structures to ensure the location to protect remains safe and secure.
The weapons in Fortnite are varied but pretty standard. Pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, swords etc are used to keep the ever approaching zombies at bay. The shooting controls feel ok. Despite being a third person shooter there are no cover mechanics. The weapons sound fine, they aren’t too exciting to use but get the job done without breaking new ground.
How does the gameplay feel?
With these different tasks to complete in each level there is a mixture of gameplay that combines into one gamemode. The problem with it is that there is little variety in each level. I have clocked up almost a dozen hours on Fortnite and am bored of it. In fact I’ve been bored of it for a while. Starting a fresh mission holds no interest for me. I know exactly what to expect. Collecting resources feels like a chore. Building is enjoyable enough but I get the idea now and can build what I need to get the job done. Once the attack begins I protect it with my teammates. Each game last 20-30 minutes and during the assault I frequently feel pretty bored.
Fortnite had me excited but I feel as though I’ve already played all that I am likely to play in it. The huge amount of additional systems requiring some management in menus are a total waste of time. They discourage me from playing. The main gamemode is a nice idea but is ultimately pretty boring. When Fortnite is free to play it will probably be worth a go but ultimately don’t get too excited.