Everyone loves a good co-operative shooter and since the days of Left 4 Dead it’s a genre that’s been ever increasing in popularity.
Likewise it’s also become somewhat stale as developers strive to reach the quality found in Valve’s Zombie smash hit, so there’s a few eagle eyes watching on as Fortnite hits Early-access.
Fortnite initially comes across as a mix between Left 4 Dead, with an art direction that feels more Time Splitters and enough tower defence elements to make fans of Sanctum 2 drool. add to this the relatively new concept of base-building and Fortnite certainly sounds like an interesting idea.
The storm is upon us, and Zombie monsters are spawning left right and centre, after discovering your base and activating the shield, you’re tasked with slowly expanding the shield to cover a larger area. The problem is these zombie’s aren’t content with taking over 99.9% of the world, so you’ll have to defend your shield generator from constant attacks, while fighting to extend it’s coverage.
To help protect your beginning, you build a fort, and can fortify this with traps on any available walls, floors or ceilings. Thankfully the world is your oyster and fort’s might initially start as pre-scripted designs, but soon develop into massive castle like structures.
The strength of your defences will depend on what they’re made of, so you’ll want to keep a steady flow of wood, brick and metal acquired from random drops or destroying surrounding items. It might all sound like hard work, but with up to 4 players, and a very accessible and easy to manage build system you’ll soon be throwing up buildings like Milton Keynes.
With a strong Free-to-Play scent surrounding the game, it’s a little confusing whether Fortnite will remain a paid game, or a budget (£35) release, but should it switch to F2P, I’m sure there’s going to be a massive windfall of in-game items to those who invest early.
Whether it’s quest rewards or beating up the Pinata style reward Lama’s you’ll get drops of new heroes, survivors and staff to help you on your way and enough weapons to make it feel like a new iteration of Borderlands.
Fortnite is great fun to play with the only real question mark coming over the amount of Micro-transaction available and the Free to play concept when you’ve just laid down at least £35. But once your in the fight, it’s certainly an enjoyable experience with few bugs, and plenty of baddies to gun down, AI isn’t a major issue but you will notice them swarm to either you or your base like moths to a light, rather than take and drastic tactical action such as flanking the base or sending one mob to distract your team while another attack the fort.
Graphically everything looks sharp and well drawn and while there’s the occasional fuzz as textures load in, it all runs smoothly. Even with a full game I didn’t encounter and major graphical hitches, but it’s worth noting new players are likely to need to take a few solo until the more populated later levels.
There’s a pretty light-hearted approach to both graphics and sound, with one liners coming across fluently with a script that is as enjoyable to hear as the more cartoon like graphics are to see. Voice acting is well done, and background music does the job of filling the quiet areas without distracting from the gameplay.
It’s fair to say the overall presentation of the game is done incredibly well, but some will find the menu’s and massive skill tree’s a little off-putting, however invest the time into Fortnite and you’ll definitely be rewarded.
Fortnite is a big game, even after hours of play, you feel like you’ve barely scratched the surface, and while backtracking isn’t always fun, the joy of regular loot unlocks and smashing open reward Lama’s keeps you coming back for more.
As with any co-operative game, there’s a large emphasis on who you’re playing with, but I regularly found games with random players that turned into fun and frantic experiences. Work together and you’ll happily fight off hordes of zombies, but just when you think you’ve found a perfect game, you’re next match-up might see one guy running off after storm chests, another summoning the hordes while a third is too busy trying to make windows on the wrong side of the fort.
Jump in with friends, co-ordinate your gameplay and Fortnite becomes a whole new experience, which is possibly the most fun I’ve had in a co-op shooter since the days of Left 4 Dead or the original Borderlands.
I’m sure should Fortnite transition into a full Free-2-Play title, then matching up with friends and making the most of the game will be even easier, but it’s a little hard to recommend on those grounds when it means paying out £35.
For Value, It’s great… but what happens if you pay out now and a few months down the line, the game goes free and you’re left with nothing more than a few extra weapons you’ve already got the equivalent of.
This means there’s an unfortunate ‘Wait and See’ which will put many people off the purchase, but if you’ve got a handful of friends looking for a competent co-operative shooter, then Fortnite is certainly well worth considering.
Fortnite is a fun co-operative shooter which smells suspiciously like it’ll end up being free-2-play, this will put off ALOT of people from making the purchase but those that do will find a solid co-op shooter that will keep them occupied for ages.
Gameplay : 8
Graphics : 8
Sound : 8
Story : 7.5
Value : 7
Overall : 7.7 / 10