After what has felt like an eternity, Epic Games has recently pulled back the curtains on their scavenge-build-battle action title, Fortnite. Breaking their silence has landed the game on the cover of this month’s issue of Game Informer, and as coverage on that high level usually tends to bring, a number of details on the characters, mechanics, enemies and online play have begun to appear online. Fortnite may not be reinventing the wheel when it comes to crafting, but it’s certainly taking it to a size and scale that will turn some heads.
The most recent gameplay footage showed that the game hadn’t changed from the cartoony third-person shooter we saw at Comic-Con 2012 – claimed by Epic to be a prime example of how the Gears of War studio is targeting casual gamers with a less bro-tastic experience. That being said, the team showed particular talents for crafting a wave-based survival shooter; and in Fortnite, they’re only building on that premise.
According to details gleaned by CVG, it seems that the core mechanics of Gears of War‘s Horde Mode have evolved alongside several other mechanical and procedurally-generated game philosophies and shifts in the industry. For starters, players will be dropped into the game’s world with little more than a wooden board and nail, and forced to being scavenging supplies to build more and more complicated items and structures. And for those wondering, the similarities with the likes of Minecraft or Terraria don’t end there.
The world itself is assembled from a number of ‘stages,’ randomly creating a game world out of pre-made hexagons with random resources, structures, and even terrain (explaining the wide variety of settings seen in the gameplay footage). The developers claim that the crafting experience won’t be as minimalistic as that of Minecraft, since the crafting of single items isn’t the heart of the experience. More than anything, it sounds like Fortnite is a race against the clock from the very beginning.
For the team of four players aren’t alone in the world: and when night falls, the storms begin. These storms bring with them monstrosities dubbed ‘Husks'; crazed enemies spawned with every lightning strike, with variations on enemy types deployed by an AI director to tackle the specific defenses players have assembled around their starting fort. The players must work as a team to fight off the attackers, and defend a device known as an ‘Atlas,’ capable of closing the ‘portals’ which allow the storms to tear into the game’s world.
Little is still known about the exact enemy types or fictional explanation for the waves of attackers, but with each successful defense, the players move through the assembled ‘stages’ in a choice of either a 10, 20, or 50 hour campaign. Multiple campaigns can be active on a single account, with experience combining along the way.
The playable characters are divided into four different classes, each with their own specialized abilities. Constructors are able to build quickly with fewer resources, Commandos are (as their name implies) combat specialists, Scavengers are able to harvest resources faster for their team’s Builder, and Ninjas – yes, Ninjas – bring a blend of stun weapons, a double-jump, and increased mobility.
Epic apparently has plans to craft even more classes in the future, but like Fortnite‘s free-to-play model, the developers have yet to work out the exact details. Either way, expect more official information to arrive in the coming weeks. For now, it seems that the studio has taken a proven formula and adopted several mechanics and features of a number of successful survival games. All in a format familiar to any Gears fan, as well.
We’ll keep you posted on more Fortnite details as they arrive, but what do you think of these new details? Promising, or seeming like too far a step from their past experience? Sound off in the comments.
Fortnite does not have a release date, but will be launching exclusively on PC.
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