I like to be fashionably late to the party, except this party is 5 seasons in and I am out of my depth and don’t know anybody here. Seriously, none of my other friends play Fortnite but even if they did, I would still be just as overwhelmed.
I downloaded the game on PSN to see what all the hype and fuss was about, after all I figured that I write about games so I don’t have an excuse not to play. When the download was complete I booted up the game and there it was, I wasn’t fussed on character creation at this point so I went default and entered the game.
I recognised a typical server screen waiting on another 99 players and decided to use that time to play around with the controls…or mostly to work out how to break dance with other players. Who knew the medium of dance could convey so much?
Once the game server was full, myself and other players appeared on a bus in the sky and began sky diving down to the game area. I saw a couple of other players land pretty centrally on top of a tall building, so I followed suit, luckily I had worked out how to use my glider in time and landed with grace and dignity.
So there I was, on top of a building unsure of what to do next. My own gaming knowledge and history dictated that I should stay here and snipe unsuspecting players until I realised that I didn’t have a sniper rifle nor did I know if one was available and if it was, where I could acquire one.
So, I wandered down through the building and discovered I could destroy the building itself. It’s an understatement to say I annihilated it from the inside out. At this point I was unaware that I could even build my own structures and walls or that I could essentially use those things as defence or to move from one point to another. A few other players were in the vicinity, however they seemed to ignore me.
Little did I know, they were more concerned with the impending storm circle, alas I was taken too soon from this game world. However, come the next game I had learnt from my mistake. I quite enjoyed the storm circles as a measure to stop campers however, it did mean that I was hesitant to build anything. I didn’t want to abandon my precious creations…except I didn’t have a choice, the game made me!
Now I enjoy building and crafting, I adored it in Fallout 4 and I’m long time player of The Sims games, in which I mostly just design, build and decorate a variety of homes for my Sims who are definitely not modelled on my friends and family (yeah, sorry but if I know you there’s most likely a Simlish version of you). However, it took some time for me to accept that I had to vacate my forts and leave behind my series of badly positioned walls so during my first few games I wasn’t doing so great.
In other games, I spent way too long building and almost forgot there were enemies around, this seemed to work out relatively okay as I made it into the top 20 or 30 players when I did this. But, usually another player would destroy my work of art and then shoot at me. RIP shoddily made wooden tower #21.
That being said, every time I died was a new lesson and I’d figure something out that I wish I had known in previous games, such as where ammo crates might be hiding, rationing my ammo, going quiet and crouching when I thought another player might be near, creating platforms as I’m free falling down a mountain to avoid certain death. You know, the basics!
Having to adapt my play style was a challenging task, I very rarely fired my weapons yet somehow by fluke I finished 8th in one of the games. It felt like a lesson in patience, I waited for the right time to move and only built when I had to.
I can definitely see where the appeal lies in Fortnite, as a player, user experience seems to be at the forefront, it felt organic and the design is inoffensive. It’s easy to pick up, much less complex than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Epic Games have done a great job at ensuring new players like me aren’t too put off by the games exponentially growing popularity.
It’s not a game I’ll seek out often but it’s a nice palate cleanser between my usual sprawling, open world RPGs. If you haven’t played it yet, don’t let being late to the party put you off, I implore you to try it.
Plus, it’s free so you don’t have anything to lose (well, except your beautiful wooden creations).