Flawed But Fabulous

Reviewing a game that is in early access, like Fortnite, is always a tad tricky. A lot of what is at hand to talk about will likely be altered moving into the final product. So take all the negative aspects of this review with a grain or two of salt. Thankfully the things that are wrong with Fortnite aren’t enough to detract from the overall experience.

Fortnite takes an interesting spin on the zombie apocalypse. The zombies weren’t some wide spread disease caused by a patient zero, nor were they some result of chemical warfare. The zombies for lack of better terms spawn from this mysterious storm that has riddled the world. The zombies from there killed off and infected the majority of human population. This is conveyed through some first person cut scenes where Ray (the lovable little Robot) tells you what happened and asks you to help lead the resistance against the undead masses. Seriously though, pretty sure Ray is a national treasure we must protect from all things bad in this world.

I didn’t get a chance to speak to it but the zombie variety is very well done

Crafting in Fortnite is pretty simplistic. Collect material by switching to your pickaxe and beat the hell out of whatever is in front of you. Cars will get you mechanical parts for weapons as well as nuts and bolts for the production of ammo. Rocks, trees, ores found in caves and anything metal will grant you precious building materials for forts, weapons, and trap. Some of the parts of the better weapons are a little challenging to find, which can be a good thing. The sword, I love using, as well as this flaming scythe require a special part. It’s essentially a small spinning coil and both of them require at least three to make. There are a few ways to get that part, break down mechanical things, find one in red tool boxes or get really lucky and find a safe. Safes have a ton of goodies in them. Building materials also help with storm base defenses. Those are the ones where you report back to the main base you built around the storm defense system and defend it from waves of attacking zombies. Some of the base designs I have seen put Minecraft builders to shame, people are getting really crafty with the limited amount of materials. So far forts can only be built with wood, brick or metal sheets, which makes some of the builds I’ve seen all the more impressive.

The skill tree is wonderfully in depth but it may need to be scaled back just a skosh. Having characters level up universally and all getting needed skills to improve game play is all fine and dandy but Fortnite takes it a tad too far and puts remedial mechanics in its skill tree that really should not be there. For instance, there is a high chance that Fortnite’s loot system will give you duplicates. Those duplicates will continue to stack up early on in your various inventories. Normally a game grants the player the ability to trash those duplicates for material to remove them and create more space for newer better items. Fortnite grants you that ability, a few hours into the game. It takes a significant amount of time to get to that spot on the skill tree. It is a semi minor inconvenience in the overall game. For example, I have two heroes stuck at the max level that needs to be evolved, looking at the skill tree I still have over ten slots to fill before I can even unlock the ability to evolve them and even then I still need to find all the materials I need to complete the evolution recipe.

At the point I am at the skill tree has seventy-four main slots that affect aspects like dexterity, which heroes are playable, overall fortitude, etc. The wonderful thing about it is all heroes are playable. You are not locked into a single character type for the whole game so you can switch between a constructor and a ninja at will. It looks like a second skill tree is added later on but I have not hit that point quite yet. There is, however, a smaller skill tree that boosts the survivor characters. Those are the ones that run out on side missions like scavenging for material or the defenders that appear at your base during base defenses.

Some of the biggest grievances with Fortnite so far is the loading times and the crashing. It has been a long time since games crashed on Xbox (at least for me) but like clock work, every few hours Fortnite crashed to the home screen on my Xbox. Which makes streaming the game a bit of a struggle. The first time I had it running on Twitch it crashed in the first twenty minutes, then again not even an hour later. The loading times were so long I felt like my chat was getting disengaged from what was happening. Often times players would load in well before the others would. That could just be a server or a connection error, but loading for several minutes before people or being on the opposite end of that is a bit of a nuisance.

This appears in my nightmares

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

The gameplay itself is really satisfying and incredibly simplistic. Most maps involve four players spawning into an area and having to find some sort of objective. Once found players must then build a fort and defenses around it and spend a set amount of time defending it from wave after wave of zombies. Before that happens though the players are free to scavenge for supplies, find hidden treasure chests, and complete the bonus objectives. Which is fun for a time, then the itch to finish the objective usually kicks in. Once the siege for the level is started the combat begins and the different types of zombies start attacking.

Weapons and characters are all unlocked via a card based system. Items range from common to legendary and epic the latter of which are of course more durable and worth more in the long run. For instance, the common weapons you find in boxes and treasure chests in the game break down really easily when compared to the legendary and epic weapons. Which is nice because as stated before it is a tad difficult to get some of the parts needed for the better melee weaponry. Heroes that are on Rare, Epic, and Legendary cards also start with better stats than those who are on common cards. Which, when paired with the XP chips used to level the characters up, makes them damn near unstoppable. Seriously my legendary ninja and rare constructor have never even been close to death.

The Non-Candy Piñata

The loot system is hysterical, in a good way. I never thought hitting Llamas with random melee weapons would ever bring me that much joy. Every time a Llama is unlocked they are accessible by the loot tab in the game menu. From there you can claim the Llama. Don’t worry animal lovers all the llamas are actually just Llama Piñatas that talk a little smack before you give them a whack. Instead of candy, they explode into XP boosters, survival characters, weapon skins, new heroes and loads more of deliciousness. There is also a chance you can upgrade your Llama before you reap its tasty innards for rewards. Sometimes instead of a direct thwap the Llama will get a love tap and spin into a silver Llama. If you can time it right after that you can get another spin and get a golden Llama guaranteed to give you the top tier level of goodies.

What A Bunch Of Characters

The characters are pretty fun and help set up the fun that is the overall universe. The only problem I have with the characters is as of right now there are no real character customization options. They change a bit after each evolution but other than that, how they spawn is how they look. It seems like something that may change in the future when the full game is released. Players can already customize their fort banner, mine is a giant coffee cup because coffee is life. In any regards, it feels like it is being alluded to at least indirectly and I hope it happens in the future. The allusion began when I noticed there were emotes in the game. So far there are only two of them that make the character dance and say a snarky line, but I would not be surprised if more are available at a later date. Each character also possesses a unique special attack. My Shielder Izza puts down a small contraption that spews out a few grenades, which is useful for when zombies group up. My Legendary Ninja who’s real name I can’t remember throws out ninja stars that spawn back pretty fast, usually within ten seconds whereas Izza’s grenades take about two minutes to unlock again.

Not going to lie, Penny is gorgeous

Overall

At the end of it, all Fortnite is still in early access which is why what is wrong with it is highly forgivable. It’s almost worth an eight on our rating system, however, the things that are wrong with it warrant the actual score it got below. I can not stress enough the fact that I really enjoy this game and look forward to seeing what it becomes. Be that as it may, there are still some wonky aspects to the game, melee swings don’t always connect even when directly in front of enemies. The loading times are atrocious and having to always play with others on each mission are minor nuisances that don’t detract from the experience that is Fortnite. Despite its minute flaws you can do a lot worse for thirty bucks than Fortnite. It’s diverse array of weaponry and characters as well as game play that never gets stale are sure to offer players many hours of entertainment. I am really looking forward to seeing what Epic Games does with the future of Fortnite.

 

Fortnite Review
The Good
  • Game play is highly enjoyable
  • Llama Loot System
  • Ray
The Bad
  • Melee Swings Don't Always Track Correctly
  • Crashes every few hours
  • Oddly Structured Skill Tree
7.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel