Barstool Sports has been shoving Fortnite videos in my face for the better part of 3 weeks now, so of course, I had to download it and see what the fuss was all about. Free to download, the early access version of this relatively new game is only half of the base game, which also includes a zombie horde mode as well, for a price. In development for well over 6 years, Fortnite was an early promise by developer Epic Games. The developers of Paragon, Epic Games kind of left Fortnite on the back burner for the better part of a decade. It was originally announced during the Spike TV Video Game Awards in 2011 and has been in production until its “early release” format was opened to the public in July of 2017. When first released, the battle royale was (and still kind of is) full of bugs and did not live up to the hype but the zombie horde mode was really fun for friends to play, as seen here in our first impressions. Fast forward to today and we are seeing what could be the making of the next big thing as Fortnite is finally piecing together as a complete game.
The free mode is the version that I downloaded, which only consists of the online multiplayer battle royale, in which 100 players are dropped off onto a map from a sky bus and they have to survive. A really cool concept, this game has been kind of a staple of my video game diet the past 2 weeks. In the game, you have to find supplies, weapons and materials to build with, in case you need to be protected or get somewhere you cannot reach on your own. The guns range from plain old pistols to golden RPGs and bubble bombs; it honestly depends on what you find and if you can find it before someone else finds you. The other snag in your plans is that there is a storm that surrounds the island and it shrinks as time goes by and players die. If you get caught in said storm, you lose health by the second. It might put a ripple in your hiding plans once the storm rolls up.
Fortnite has the recipe to be a major hit and has been all over social media with its crazy glitches, insane kill shots and incredible suicides. One media outlet, Barstool Sports, has been promoting the game non stop, inviting people to play with members of the Barstool team and sharing the craziest clips they could find. However, I think what has really helped it take off is the fact they have offered part of this game for free. I am a sucker for something free and when that something free is actually worth much more than that, I have no issues buying what that product has to offer for a price. Middle schoolers, high schoolers, college kids and yes now grown adults have tapped into the Fortnite magic, making the playing experience fun for everyone.
Some of the aspects to this game that make it great are its quick matchmaking abilities, the element of surprise and the thrill of the hunt. When launching into the game, you have 30 seconds to jump off the air bus, which means you could end up somewhere in the middle of the island with nobody around, or you could be surrounded. Sometimes when I play, I feel dangerous and jump off into a place that has a ton of people. Sometimes, that pays off; sometimes I get absolutely wrecked. What is nice about this is if you die, you can immediately go back to the lobby and find another game within seconds. It is actually remarkable how fast it is, compared to other games and how long matchmaking can take. However, when I am not immediately dying, I love to run, find supplies and seek out people to battle against. The range of guns is extensive, with a good mix of short range and long range weapons. The deaths are pretty realistic and understandable. The level of weapon dictates the amount of damage you receive, but thankfully you can find and use shield potions to keep a small buffer from death.
I personally gave this game a ton of slack, knowing its history and the lack of commitment for a release. And even so, today we still only have an early release of the game. Honestly, it might have been for the best though, because I doubt I would have ever bought this game, until now. When the full version comes out, if it does, I would for sure buy it. For now, I will stick to the free version and maybe support by buying battle passes for the seasons to get cooler stuff. Either way, Fortnite is fun and exciting. With a big new update as of 1/18/18, now might be the perfect time to jump on and see what the world of Fortnite has to offer. Because after all, it is free and free is the best kind of thing.