Us gamers, we have a tendency to love games with zombies as evidenced by titles such as Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising, and who can forget Nazi Zombies? Epic Games calls the above creatures monsters, but they aren’t fooling anyone. Those are zombies in my book! As gamers, we also like to play with others (get your mind out of the gutter), so online co-op or competitive game play is a virtual necessity in our current gaming society. What else do we like? Oh I don’t know, maybe building stuff? Yeah… definitely building stuff. Just look how ridiculously popular Minecraft is. Then to wrap it all up, how about we add in some third person, action gameplay with RPG style progressions? This entire paragraph sums up what Fortnite is about.
Checking into Fortnite shows that it clearly takes many influences from Team Fortress 2 graphically. The comic book/cartoony graphics look eerily similar, but have their own charm and polish about them. I also feel it’s safe to assume the speed of the game play may also liken to that of TF2, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. Beyond that, though, nothing about this game screams TF2 clone and it stands on it’s own as if a strange and unrelated amalgam of concepts were mixed up, placed in a blender, and pureed into a silky video game smoothie. I like the idea, it breaks the mold, it’s different, it’s ambitious, but is it too ambitious?
A game such as this with so many different angles and elements requires a great deal of balance. RPG progressions means balance among the different classes/characters. Building progressions means balance among materials, collections, scavenging, looting, and so on. Building elements equates to tons of physics and balancing against gimmick structures. Combat means balancing the player with the enemy NPC’s, monsters, zombies, or whatever. If they ever decide to introduce PvP elements into this game, it adds another layer into the proverbial CF of trying to combat potentially OP or game breaking mechanics. This has to be approached delicately, but hopefully Epic Games can show it the TLC is needs to hit this one out of the park. The good news, everyone can give this game a try as it will be a free to play title.
Currently Fortnite is in the very early stages of alpha, but even in the early stages of development and testing, they have already released a solid amount of information, a bit of media, as well as some true game play footage. My only hope is this game contains the proper humor to compliment all other facets. If it lacks that zaniness, or the feeling of wacky calamity, it could really hurt the overall immersion of the game and the fun with this title. Despite the currently unknown variables, this project still looks sound and should remain on our radars. Being free to play, how can you completely avoid this one?
For more information, visit the Fortnite website: http://www.fortnite.com/