Fortnite - Analysis
Fortnite has come to our homes in a curious model: a paid Early Access . This maneuver has become commonplace in the video game industry. You pay a lower amount than the final product, you play the title in question a few months or years before it is officially put on sale and in the process you help in development and do social work. All perfect. The basic problem with Fortnite is that its advance entry costs money, yes (from € 39.99 to € 149.99 depending on the Founder's Pack chosen), but it will not be the case with a future free-to-play edition based on obtaining loot through microtransactions (which are still already included in the product at hand).
Leaving aside the model, and focusing on what the game itself offers, Fortnite is a title that picks up something that Epic Games set a fairly high bar: the hordes of enemies . This time it will not be the fearsome Locust in a dark setting of extinction of humanity. The problem is the same, 98% of humanity has disappeared, but this time caused by a storm that generates waves and waves of undead infantile . Fortnite in its design aims to be a more accessible title, especially to teenagers of the YouTube generation.
Why? Because Minecraft is still one of the most watched games on the video platform and Epic Games knows it well. In this way, almost as important as defending ourselves from the hordes as a pure third-person action title will be the collection of materials and their subsequent use in defensive constructions. Applied crafting , wow. Each of our commanders, one of those heroes with the mission of safeguarding the remaining humanity, has a pickaxe with which he can not only extract minerals, but reduce almost any element of each scenario to its ingredients. Walls, floors, cars, trees. These destructible scenarios are the essence of every Fortnite mission.
The importance of collecting materials is crucial . Burning everything to ashes to fortify the few necessary settlements is the key to Fortnite. Its missions, although with certain differences, are divided into two main branches. The first, the improvement and defense of our own base, to which we can baptize and even send calls for help so that up to three other players come to our aid. The second is more pure cooperative. It is about going to a stage and completing a series of intermediate objectives that always have the ultimate goal of fortifying a certain structure, even adding traps, and ultimately: overcoming the waves of zombies (or perhaps a specific siege time) without destroy the key object in question.
Cooperation is the key in Fortnite . Its stages are huge which makes playing alone a bit boring until you find the intermediate objectives, the required materials or the surviving people that are still left. In addition, as we need to recover certain materials, we will spend a good part of each game destroying everything that catches our pick. That is why, with the exception of collecting materials, everything is much less monotonous when other players join the game . Not to mention that there are times when the final wave would be impossible to overcome if the team did not cover four possible flanks on which the storm will appear and with it the zombies.
Beyond these missions, in which we take an active part in the mission to save humanity, Fortnite hides a fairly complex and, unfortunately, quite messy RPG-like management layer . First of all, by completing the missions we will obtain a quantity of experience points. These translate into an unlock token for each level. So far everything normal. There will also be an independent skill tree in which to invest the research points that we obtain each hour.
In addition to the progression system, managing our fledgling community of survivors involves gathering different cards from different classes that make the base more powerful in categories such as health, defense or armor . Some survivors can be sent on expeditions to get resources, defenders can be assigned in case we do not find human allies to join our game , and the ultimate goal will be to find more people who want to be part of our community by feeling sufficiently safe to do so, which after all is the ultimate goal.
The reward system already shows in advance what the Fortnite of 2018 is planned to be . As it is so fashionable in games like Overwatch, we will have prize chests that we can also unlock with real money, in a unit of currency called V-Bucks. These chests appear in the shape of a llama piñata (yes, the animal) and include random rewards from different categories: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary, and Mythical.
So much necessary element to pigeonhole the different classes that are going to be part of our base in their different sections dedicated to them means that finally it will end up being necessary to get better cards to be able to raise the level of our base and be able to face the missions of greater difficulty , since they are blocked by the potential that we have at all times. Don't have enough survivors to level you up? Then repeat other types of previous missions or simply, spend a few bucks on getting turkeys. It seems a lot since it is going to be a free-to-play of the less pleasant those of pay-to-continue as an evolution of pay-to-win. At least, we know that the variety of Fortnite areas and the number of scenarios and missions in each one will provide hours and hours of play ... essentially doing the same thing .
This feeling of repetitiveness is not helped either by the fact that we notice an alarming disconnect between its three pillars . Essentially we are facing a third person action game and this third is very satisfying. The gunplay works well, we have life bars for the enemies and the headshots have a pretty good effect. On the other hand, taking into account that depending on the amount of resources that we carry in our backpack we can build authentic fortresses full of deadly traps of all kinds, a mission can be completed without having fired a single bullet, simply letting our construction do its job. .
To these two very different parts (although they can be complementary) is added the third, that of the complex and at times absurd management system of the base with RPG touches . Anything that goes to her in situ to improve the shield systems and defend her from hordes is fine, but beyond that we do not find the sense. With the number of squads in which to place the survivors that we find through cards, the strength level of the base will be determined, and we do not even interact with them in any way. To make the transition through the menus more pleasant, an interface that puts obstacles more than simplifying sections does not help either.
Simply by the fact that Fortnite is a game that allows cooperative online multiplayer, it adds to the increasingly common trend of permanent connection . Although we like to face the missions individually or accompanied by the defenders of the AI, we must have our console or PC connected to the network. Otherwise, we will have nothing. The problem is that in our weeks with the game we have encountered various network failures of all kinds. From maintenance of the servers (the most acceptable for the future good of the game) to queues for login, failures in synchronization with PlayStation Network and even detect the console as offline when it was perfectly online.
Facing the technical section, Fortnite is a game that does not take risks in its presentation of the Unreal Engine 4 . The graphics engine owned by Epic Games gives much more, so this game we are talking about today is not the most successful cover letter, although it is quite correct and works quite stable. It will not be precisely the one that will be used in the technical demos . Its peculiar carefree design helps much more, which makes it more pleasant to immerse yourself in this apocalypse. The problem is that at times its cartoon and parodic touch makes it become too similar to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare in what we see on the screen.