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Platform(s): Android, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, iOS
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: July 25, 2017

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


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PC Preview - 'Fortnite'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on June 17, 2015 @ 3:00 a.m. PDT

Fortnite is an expansive original world that invites players to be creative, resourceful and collaborative, combining building skills and destructible environments with intense PvP combat.

The last time I saw Fortnite, it was little more than a teaser trailer about building bases and killing enemies.  Since then, the game has become much more developed.  To check out the game in its current state, I played a four-player, co-op game.  In this mode, we were tasked with locating a special gate object in the procedurally generated world and then deactivating and defending it from waves of enemies.

At first, we spread out and began to investigate the world to look for this gate.  Hostile creatures must be dealt with, but it is also a good time to gather some resources for the eventuality of building a base.  Metal, stone and wood are the main resources, and they can be gathered in the expected ways, such as cutting down trees and breaking up boulders.  These resources are all you need to make a base, but they're usually needed in large amounts.

Once we found the gate, we needed to secure it for the battle ahead.  There's no real pressure to do so immediately, so it gave us plenty of time to scour the nearby areas for resources.  The game is postapocalyptic but errs on the fun side of that term, as opposed to the dreadfully depressing one.  Still, it meant that there were quite a few old houses that had searchable containers of loot before you salvaged the house for materials.

The building system is quite intuitive thanks to ease of controls and a novel approach to customization.  Building walls, floors, and ramps is only a matter of picking that option, guiding the hologram of the object to where you want it, and clicking.  You can choose which resource to use, with metal being the strongest but most rare, and build progress continues without any player involvement.  This lets you start up a bunch of buildings and then loop back around to upgrade them.  Additionally, some objects can be modified, such as adding windows or doors to walls.  This is done by customizing and the left-clicking parts of the resulting hologram to make the holes you want.

Upgrading your base is just as important as building it, since it reinforces your walls and roofs to make them more durable.  Additionally, if a base piece is fully repaired, you can edit it as you would if you were placing a new one.  Thus, you can easily add a door to an existing wall, or add a window from which to shoot.  These modifications lower the overall durability of the piece, but the trade-off can be work it if it's done smartly.

Once we activated the gate, all hell broke loose.  We quickly found that our initial defenses were woefully inadequate thanks to the enemy's ability to walk off a cliff and onto our base's roof.  This type of forward thinking in how you build your base seems to be important, but thankfully, we were able to barely adapt before things got out of hand.  The location from which enemies spawn is randomized, but the general direction shows on the minimap.  When enemies are pounding on the wall, this also shows up on the minimap, so you can properly defend the base.

Combat can be ranged or melee, with the former consuming ammo and the latter putting you at a higher risk.  New weapons can be created via the crafting system, but we didn't get too deeply into that.  In either case, combat can be challenging; some enemies utilize powerful melee attacks while others have both direct and artillery-style strikes to damage your base.

Fortnite will be four-player co-op, and each player can choose one of the four available classes (two additional classes are planned).  We briefly touched upon other features, but Fortnite seems to be on the right track.  The base building is freeform to the point that you can build the most impenetrable base of all time, but doing so requires plenty of skill and smart decisions about base layout.  With any luck, we'll see a lot more of Fornite soon.

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