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Price: FREE

Developer: Epic Games

Publisher: Epic Games

Release Date: 27/09/17

What it is:

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. Words spoken by the immortal beings in the film Highlander, a film about immortal human killing each other in a hunger games competition over centuries on Earth. Thankfully, a round of Fortnite: Battle Royale doesn’t take so long. My first round saw me jumping out of the “battle bus”, a blue school bus that is hoisted into the air via a mixture of jet engines and hot air balloons, into a region known as Pleasant Park, a place that lives up its name in appearances only.

 

I hunted for any resources such as weapons or bandages, trying to stay hidden from potential enemies in the nearby area. A klaxon sounds announcing that the storm will start shrinking the map any moment. I check my map and start sprinting to the nearby hill, the edge of the safe zone. As I make my way to the new shelter, thinking of the guns I may find within, I hear it. A single shot ringing out to my right. I sprint for the shelter and hear another shot, sadly I see my screen fade black as the death screen displays, telling me I ranked 38# this game. I disconnect, sit, and think about how I could improve my strategy next time. Maybe I should go to the Loot Lake next time and search there first. I sigh and click to queue for my next game.

The concept is simple, being the last person standing as the large map closes in on its 100 players. To do this, you’ll need to find supplies: guns, ammo, resources to build structures, bandages to heal, and potions that can grant you shields, speed boosts and more. The game itself is quick to get to grips with, a brief run around the waiting lobby and a few readings of key bindings and I was good to go. The game has one mode, 100-man battle royale, though it does allow you queue solo or as a squad of four which pairs you against other 4-person teams. Replayability and enjoyment of this game come down to if you enjoy the relatively simple gameplay loop: Start a game, find items, hunt others, stay alive, die eventually.

At its current state, there isn’t any progression. Once you leave a game, that’s it. And personally, I think that’s for the best. I am all for adding more items and maps into the game as they would increase variation and allow the game to have a longer life. Progressions on the other hand, outside of cosmetic items such as gun skins etc, would provide a wall to new players that could have them at a direct disadvantage at the start of the game. Aesthetics in this game is quite nice, its colourful and bright which gives the tone quite a cartoon-like feel. Similarities that I can think of are Battleborn, a Gearbox game that has a very vibrant, cell-shaded appearance.

The biggest issue that many people are facing with this game is the controversy between the developer, Epic Games, and the developers of another game that arguably refined this genre, PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds’ Bluehole. Bluehole argued that Epic Games “ripped off” their idea of the Battle Royale and used PUBG as a way of promoting the Unreal Engine that both games are based off. The result of this a lot of negativity towards the game from diehard fans of PUBG, but with the numbers given by Epic Games, this apparent controversy has not affected player numbers. As long as the game is going to be updated and kept alive by the developer, which they have currently said they would, then I can really see this game sticking around and becoming a staple in the genre.

Pros:
  • The game is the only free Battle Royale game that is on the market.
  • The game is already in a more polished state than what PUBG currently is.
Cons:
  • Games can have long periods where nothing happens, with only short bursts of activity.
Who’s it for:
  • People who want to play PUBG-style games
  • People who like games that you can dip in and out of without any issue.
Who should avoid:
  • People who want a deep, meaningful game with progression
  • People who like to slow and carefully plan their next move

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