5 reasons Fortnite still vanquishes all the online pretenders
One-on-one battles with legendary weapons. Wooden skyscrapers razed in mere moments. Dabbing as a vanquished foe watches on with regret. John Wick getting shot by Ariana Grande. What game could possibly offer all of this, I hear you ask? Well, as you’ve seen from the headline, I’m talking about Fortnite.
Since releasing in early access back in 2017, Fortnite has become a behemoth of the live service gaming scene. While from the outside it may be easy to write off as a kids’ title, those of us who have descended from the Battle Bus know there’s plenty to enjoy in Epic Games’ ever-evolving experience. However, there are five core reasons the battle royale game remains a titan of its genre, and here they are…
1. Higher TTK
Perhaps the biggest reason newcomers take to Fortnite is the relatively high time to kill (TTK). For the uninitiated, TTK is the amount of time it takes for a player to be eliminated when attacked. If you’ve played Apex Legends or Warzone, you’ve probably experienced being downed within a fraction of a second. This is because they both possess lower TTKs.
In Fortnite, you usually have a bit more time between being hit and getting eliminated. There are exceptions, like when shot by a Heavy Sniper Rifle or a Havoc Pump Shotgun, but most weapons take a fair few blasts to bring a player down. This means you can react to an attacker by riding out a few blows while preparing to reply.
The result is an experience that feels balanced, allowing the average encounter to play out more like a fight instead of an execution. Not only is this more beneficial to newcomers who are yet to adapt, it’s also a boon for those of us who are starting to lose our once-razor-sharp reflexes. Time comes for us all, my friends.
2. Amazing crossovers
As you can see from the current Spider-Verse crossover, Fortnite is no stranger to spectacular special guests. A huge amount of characters from across pop culture have been added to the game’s cosmetic collection, from Star Wars’ Anakin Skywalker to Dragon Ball Super’s Goku Black.
It doesn’t end with outfits, with in-game locations and items often being inspired by other universes. Along with Spider-Man’s Web Shooters, the ODM Gear from manga/anime series Attack on Titan features as a weapon/traversal hybrid device. There are even wooden replicas of Titans populating many areas of the map.
Not only does Fortnite’s continuous collaborations help keep the battle royale fresh, they also fill the void many franchises have of letting fans play as their favourite characters in a genuinely great game. Obviously Star Wars and Dragon Ball aren’t short of solid titles, but the Mistborn fantasy novel series isn’t so fortunate.
3. Regular updates
As Thor said in Avengers: Endgame, “The only thing that is permanent in life is impermanence.” A statement true of both human existence and Fortnite. Maybe the God of Thunder had the Epic Games title on his mind when he uttered those heavy words. After all, his mate Korg regularly played.
The point is that the battle royale game is a thing of endless change. While the main focus of trying to outlast opponents stays a constant, there are numerous variables brought about through routine updates. Weapons come and go. NPCs enter and exit. Game mechanics rotate in and out. Locations get replaced. In fact, the entire map even flipped over once.
In short, Fortnite is like a rolling stone. It gathers no moss thanks to its endless tinkering and reinventing, making for a live service game that changes enough to be almost always interesting while never losing sight of its core gameplay loop. A masterful balancing act indeed.
4. Different modes
At present, Fortnite has a selection of different battle royale modes. As well as the classic casual option, there’s also Zero Build. As the name suggests, this version does away with the building aspect, letting you focus more on the combat. Both of these modes have ranked and unranked versions, with various team formats of squad (four members), duo and solo.
It has to be said that the addition of Zero Build was pure genius on Epic’s part. So many people I’d spoken to in the past confessed they would dabble in Fortnite if it wasn’t for the construction aspect, and I totally understand them. The first time you’re in a firefight and your opponent builds a five star hotel in the blink of an eye, it can be a little jarring. Zero Build eliminates that possibility, although I personally prefer being able to assemble a bunker in an instant. It’s literally the ‘fort’ in Fortnite, and adds an extra element to the carnage when fighting for the W.
But if you’re not feeling the high stakes gameplay of the battle royale in any of its forms, there are more modes to boot. Team Rumble lets defeated players respawn continuously in a two-team deathmatch which ends once a side has reached the designated number of eliminations. Or if you’re not feeling competitive at all, why not sample one of the creator-made adventures that eschew violence, instead focusing on exploration or some other manner of peaceful play. Honestly, there are plenty of game types to be found.
5. A constant sense of progression
Whether you’re all about the win or more into leveling up, there’s always something to keep you on the treadmill that is Fortnite. Thanks to the ever-changing roster of weapons, the game’s meta is fluid. Learning which loadouts work best is all part of the endless grind, and each time you figure out the ideal mix is delightfully rewarding.
If you’re not so fussed about victory royales (winning matches), there are new quests added on both a daily and weekly basis, although the latter tend to be more rewarding in terms of XP. While dailies earn you 1,000 points a piece, with the first three each yielding an additional 15k, weeklies tend to offer closer to 30k. If raising your character level is how you like to have fun, regular play sessions are the way to go, and if you buy the battle pass (roughly £6.49) you earn in-game rewards, too.
So there you have it, our five reasons why Fortnite is an all-timer. If you’ve never dabbled before, it’s about time you did. If you haven’t played for a while, get back on the Battle Bus. If you never stopped playing, you’re a person of taste and culture, and you’ve probably fought me on Loot Island. You got lucky by the way, I’ll win next time.