Opinion & Review

“Fortnite Battle Royale” Takes World by Storm

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Players wait in the pre-game lobby before entering the battle royale. Photograph courtesy of Polygon.

“Fortnite Battle Royale” has become a global phenomenon, amassing 40,000,000 players in the mere 100 days since its release, according to Shacknews.

Yet, the game’s success is not coincidental.

“Fortnite Battle Royale,” commonly referred to as just “Fortnite,” is a 100-player player versus player game. Within one giant map, 100 players fight until the last one stands.

Epic Games, the develepor of “Fortnite Battle Royale,” has had previous experience with similar titles. Months before Fortnite, Epic Games released “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or “PUBG.

Yet, unlike PUBG, Fortnite Battle Royale possesses a much more distinctive ethos.

The game’s fan base targets a broader audience than more immersive titles. This, on the surface, is because the game is free. By playing a free game, players don’t have to fear a “pay to win” situation, and more individuals have access to the game.

Hunter Hegmann was one of many who expressed this view. He claimed that free games eliminate fears of being disadvantaged by not spending money.

But here, the game’s whimsical aesthetic is also a contributing factor. The game’s appearance masks violence with the ridiculousness of animation. This distances players from the brutality.

This is one of the game’s greatest assets since it is more marketable than more hardcore and graphic titles. To the unsuspecting eye, the game just looks fun. As I played, the violence completely went over my head.

This marketability is a factor crucial to the game’s success. Fortnite is advertised so frequently that even those unfamiliar note its ubiquity.

Junior Evan Taliaferro noted seeing the game’s commercials despite being unaware of the content. He asked, “Is Fortnite the game that is always advertised on YouTube videos?”

The game’s commercial presence has propelled the game to the forefront of the gaming world. It currently is the third most watched game on the streaming platform Twitch. But, is the game deserving of such notability? 

For one, the battle royale idea is unoriginal.

Two years preceding Fortnite’s release, Daybreak Game Company debuted H1Z1. This game popularized the battle royale concept that Fortnite barely deviates from. At its best, Fortnite‘s most genuine concept is its building system.

While the implementation of building revolutionizes gameplay, it doesn’t make the title innovative. But, the game continues to receive extreme credit from those ignorant of its unoriginality. Senior Ryan Hurley noted this when he inquired, “Has everyone ever heard of the titles H1Z1 and PUBG‘? They’ve been released first.”

This was also noticed by junior Aidan McNulty who stated, “Fortnite reiterates a previous idea, but, it’s free.” Fortnite‘s marketing and lack of cost have seduced fans, causing them to neglect previous titles.

Yet aside from the idea’s unoriginality, the game remains enjoyable to play. Unlike previous battle royale games, Fortnite exists on consoles, elevating the social scene of the game for the average consumer. I had more fun playing it on a console than the PC because more friends possess consoles.

Moreover, the game is well balanced. Though shotguns and rifles are overpowered, weapon balance is remarkable for 100 days of operation.

The developer’s decision to exclude vehicles also adds to the balance of the game. Without vehicles, I never truly felt safe from the action. 

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Player drops into the map at the start of the battle royale. Photograph courtesy of Forbes

Fortnite‘s building system also revolutionizes the typical strategy of battle royale. The game revolves around players’ skills in building the most protective structures. Player’s seek to hone their building skills rather than solely get the most effective weapons.

Yet, the game does have some fixable issues.

The game’s aiming mechanics interject too much variation into a skilldependent element. Also, rendering myriad textures and joining densely populated servers causes lag and crashing. Yet, once Fortnite divides servers among regions and continues to update the game, these issues should disappear.

Categories: Opinion & Review

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