There’s no way I’m playing Fortnite with randoms

The PC and Mac beta is coming this year

I don’t know that I’ve ever previewed the same game twice, but that’s the situation I’m in after seeing Fortnite again at a recent pre-E3 event. It was much the same as last year. But since many people are unaware of what the game is — or that it’s still happening — let’s consider this a refresher.

Fortnite is a colorful third-person action/shooter game about building and surviving. You’re dropped into sprawling, procedurally-generated levels and immediately get to work whacking rocks, trees, bushes, cars, houses, and anything that isn’t the dirt, basically. All of these things grant resources that can fuel the creation of weapons, ammo, and the foundation that will make up your fort.

You and your pals will need to construct a base with traps to keep ghouls away from a device that, once initiated, will alert the nearby monster hordes but eventually push back the storm from which they come. (Assuming they don’t wreck you first. Damn those explosive projectile attacks.)

That’s the gist. It might not sound fresh, but the execution is good — both for the intuitive, rapid building and the snappy combat. Epic’s latest game build was online-enabled and had a playable intro. It’s coming along. The overarching out-of-level gameplay was implemented, too. You’re presented with a hex map on which you can uncover new levels shrouded by the storm and also build and upgrade a home base to acquire resources and new character classes.

I didn’t come away with any major new insights. This is a meaty game meant to be experienced over a long period of time, and it’s hard to get a sense of how justified that will be from preview events alone. At what point do you grow tired of smacking abandoned junk for resources?

There’s also the matter of putting a lot of care into your fort’s design but not quite enough care to stop the masses from ripping everything apart. Or maybe you didn’t craft enough ammo, and now you’re being overwhelmed by bees and laser beams. The threat of the grind demoralizes.

I’m fond of Fortnite, conceptually, but I wonder if people will connect with it the way Epic hopes. It being free to play on PC and Mac will help. If you’re planning on playing, be sure to do so with friends who can hold their own, communicate, and adapt when things inevitably go awry.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.