Some video games are all about killing things, and some video games are all about building things, but what if there was a video game where you could kill things and build things? OK, there are also quite a few games like that already, but that doesn’t make Epic Games’ fort-building, monster-slaying, day-night-cycling adventure romp Fortnite look any less exciting.
The premise is fairly simple: monsters come out at night, and monsters are bad news. In order to fend them off, players must use the daylight hours to build a fort filled with traps and obstacles to keep the horde at bay. Where the traps aren’t enough, players also have a selection of weapons that can be used to dive into the fray and take out enemies with a more personal touch.
Fortnite has had a fairly tumultuous development due to the departure of Epic Games developers Cliff Bleszinski, Adrian Chmielarz and Rod Fergusson. Now, two and a half years after Fortnite was originally unveiled at the Spike VGAs, Game Informer has published a featurette on the history of Fortnite‘s development, as well as details about the current incarnation of the game that will be releasing later this year.
It seems clear that the Minecraft comparisons become less and less apt the further into Fortnite‘s gameplay you delve. Although the system of “build by day, survive by night,” is similar, the construction element of Fortnite is a lot simpler and it’s possible to build an entire fort in about a minute. Players can select where they want a wall or ceiling to go and then run off and do other things while it builds itself.
The basic crafting system is quite simple, as everything can be made from the three key elements of wood, stone and metal, and players craft walls, floors, ramps and traps from these using a menu rather than a crafting table. Breaking things down for material is also much simpler as there is only one tool: an all-purpose pickaxe that can be used to deconstruct an entire building. Be warned: there are no Minecraft floating blocks here, so if you demolish a supporting structure in your fort than you can expect everything above it to come tumbling down as well. This is especially important to remember since enemies can attack the fort itself, so try not to build tall stone towers over wobbly wooden foundations.
Fortnite looks reminiscent of quite a few games – Minecraft, Orcs Must Die and Team Fortress 2 being just a few examples – but the whole package nonetheless feels very fresh and designed to appeal to those who loved building forts and playing make-believe fantasy games as kids. It’s certainly a far cry from the gritty, action-oriented, “dudebro-ish” feel of the Gears of War series.
As Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney has mentioned previously, it also seems to be geared more towards casual players than hardcore gamers, and the fact that crafting and building takes less time is representative of that. While some gamers can get a lot of joy from painstakingly building, for example, the USS Enterprise brick-by-brick, Fortnite looks geared more towards throwing up buildings fast and then fighting for your life.
Fornite will be out this year for PC.
Source: Game Informer