As of late, it seems that the Battle Royale craze has grown to new heights, and will continue to grow as more and more developers add the Battle Royale concept to their games. The latest game to get a Battle Royale mode is Fortnite. Fortnite: Battle Royale tries to merge the traits that help make games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds so popular while trying to interject the something new to the formula. In the end, Fortnite‘s Battle Royale mode can be an enjoyable experience if you can get past some of the game’s notable flaws.
Before we go any further, it is best to quickly discuss the controversy surrounding the game. The PUBG developers themselves have gone as far as to threaten Epic Games legally for “replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.” Whether or not the game is a cheap rip-off is for you to decide. Fortnite: Battle Royale does borrow heavily from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, yet it separates itself enough from PUBG by not simply being a lower quality clone of the it. Some may disagree and most likely this will continue to be a hot topic for debate as more and more developers add the Battle Royale mode to their games. With that said, both sides have valid points and no matter what side you choose, hopefully it does not hinder your overall experience of the game.
Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free-to-play PvP mode. To access the new mode, you need to have downloaded Fortnite, but you are not required to purchase either the new Battle Royale mode or the base game. In this mode, 100 players are dropped onto an island and fight until there is only one player left. Fortunately, the game runs pretty well on console. There seemed to be no lag issues and the matches themselves have no big issues. A problem the game does have is the wait time. This issue has been fixed to a degree with recent updates, but it would take a couple minutes to find a match and another two and a half minutes just for a match to start. Waiting three to five minutes just for the match to finally begin starts to get old very fast.
Fortnite: Battle Royale shares a lot of gameplay elements with a lot of other Battle Royale games, like collecting better gear in the map and strategizing the best way of moving to the safe zone. An interesting aspect that Fortnite adds is the building and destruction mechanic. A lot of the environment can be destroyed to create custom structures, walls, steps, and even some defense mechanisms that can eliminate opposing players. The building mechanic does not feel like a gimmick and actually controls pretty well. While switching between your tools and blueprints does not always feel smooth, the overall mechanic of creating or destroying a certain objects fits very well into this type of game mode. Traveling through the environment can be enjoyable as well. Your character does move around fluidly but the lack of vehicles makes traveling through environment boring at times. Especially if you play multiple matches in a row.
The actual gunplay itself can be, no pun attended, hit or miss. All the guns do feel very distinct from each other and collecting better loot as you travel through the world is very engaging. What can sometimes hurt the overall experience is the aiming and accuracy of the guns. When you go to shoot someone (unless they are right in front of you or a few feet away) there seems to be a disconnect with the aiming. It seems that even when your cursor is on someone at mild distance, the guns feel arcade-esque and unreliable at times. From longer distance, even with a sniper rifle, the guns just seem uninspired. While the sniping in the game can be more dependable than you might think, the same cannot always be said about the other weapon variations. Over time you do get the hang of the weaponry, but that does not distract from the fact that when you compare the gunplay to other shooters out there on the market, it just seems subpar at best.
From a visual perspective, the Battle Royale mode shares the same graphics that the main game of Fortnite showcases, and that’s a good thing! While describing the character design and overall environment as revolutionary would be stretching it, the game still provides a fun cartoony atmosphere that help complements the gameplay, but there is a catch. Surprisingly, Fortnite: Battle Royale‘s map are not procedurally generated and that is concerning. No matter how fun a games is, when that game starts to feel bland and boring because of the environments, there is a clear problem that needs to be fixed. Another attribute that is unanticipated is that there are no customization options for your character. You do not even get to keep the same character each match as every one you play has you control a different character with no real name or backstory.
As it stands there are no microtransactions in Fortnite: Battle Royale, yet. Whether there will be any micro transactions in the future is unknown at this time. The fact that the game is free-to-play is both a blessing and a curse. The positive side is that more and more content will be continually added to the game. Already a few new features and improvements have been added such as new games modes, quicker load times, a personal stat section, and a new report options to make it easier to flag cheaters in the game. When you look at the negatives, the game suffers from a lack of content. At launch, there is only one mode to play on a map that, as previously mentioned, is the same each time you play. Besides a couple of other options, there is no character customization. Before each match, you are randomly assigned a character that has no unique qualities. Most likely character customization will be added in the future along with other features like leaderboards, diverse maps, and more. This is something that’s appreciated, but it’s not enough to justify the game’s lack of content.
It is nice to see that Fortnite: Battle Royale does have a bright future for itself. The updates are key to the overall success and survival of the game, which will continue to make it a good game. With solid gameplay dynamics including a building mechanic which separates the game from the competition, this Battle Royale should be experienced. Add in the fact that the game is free makes downloading this game an almost no brainer. What holds this game back is the lack of content at launch and the problem of the game feeling average when compared to the other options on the market right now. The fact that the game is free and is continually improving should hopefully prevent this game from being mediocre. Instead, Fortnite: Battle Royal is a solid experience that will continue to improve over time.