This past week marked the one year anniversary for what has become the biggest video game on the planet. With 125 million people playing Fortnite, it certainly warrants the attention of everybody in the gaming community. If people want to talk to me about video games, our conversation will inevitably turn to them asking me which is my favorite place to drop on the map. But here’s the thing…
… I don’t play Fortnite.
Now before you attack the comments section at the bottom of this page, please understand that I get it. I really do. The game can be a fun endeavor when playing with friends, going solo, or looking to have a higher viewer count on your stream (something to which I can absolutely relate). The Macarena and avocados aren’t for everybody, but here we are. Know what I mean? But to give you some insight as to why I’m bucking this trend, I’ll give you some of my reasons as to why I’m sitting not riding the Battle Bus.
DO YOU FEEL LUCKY
Talk to anybody who plays Fortnite, and they will tell you they always have a strategy or at least some tendencies. They have places they like to go, know the locations of most of the chests, and have a preference for what type of weapon they like to wield. The problem I have with Fortnite is that most of what happens in a game is completely left to chance. Drop in at your favorite place, and you might go right for your favorite chest, but more often than not you find yourself staring at some random collection of crap you ultimately don’t want. Pair that disappointment with the 12-year-old that’s downstairs getting four rare items and you’re going to have yourself a bad time. And this randomization isn’t limited to items. Find yourself too far out of the circle, and you’re going to be running out in the open for most of the game which puts you at a disadvantage. Put simply, Fortnite tends to be more about luck than it does about skill. While you’d make the argument that all Battle Royale games have the same problem (and you’d be right to some extent), it never feels like I’m in complete control of my own outcome as much as I am in Fortnite. Put simply, for most players saying they are good at Fortnite is like saying they really good at Candy Land. It’s less about skill and more about where the spinner lands.
IRON SHARPENS IRON
Along with the randomization of the map and other items, who you are playing against seems to be a crapshoot as well. With over 2 million concurrent users, you are bound to get a bad batch here and there. While you can certainly become more comfortable with the controls and work some crude probability, the spread of talent is going to eventually work against you. Mull this over for a second: Ninja still plays against people who are playing for the first time. Say what you want about Overwatch, but one thing Blizzard does VERY well is put players with similar skill in the same game. Not only does this keep you from dealing with entry-level dummies, but it also keeps you from getting killed before you even hit the ground. If you’re the type of person who gets a kick out of holding a ball just out of the reach of a toddler then maybe Fortnite has some lasting impact for you. Conversely, if you like getting killed by better players because they might say your name on Twitch, then more power to you. Personally, I enjoy playing against people who are going to make me better. I appreciate the challenge of being matched with my digital equals, something to which Fortnite doesn’t cater. And before you mention Ninja winning all the time, please understand that he was a professional Halo player before Fortnite and I’ve seen him rack up dozens of kills in a single PUBG match. Ninja would dominate any game he chooses; he just happens to play Fortnite.