Battle Royale? I couldn’t think of anything worse. Fortnite? No thanks, that’s for little kids. What about Firestorm, Warzone or Blackout? You’re ruining the games I love! Can you please stop pushing Battle Royale modes on me?
That’s what I sounded like up until a few days ago.
It’s unquestionable – this is a successful formula. You put a huge amount of players into a map to fight to the death with an array of weaponry, and the victor is the last person alive. It’s simple, it’s familiar, and it’s extremely effective. This is the type of game that guarantees high tensions, displays of skill, and collaboration.
So why was I so vehemently against it?
I’d never fallen in with PUBG (the first successful Battle Royale title), so I didn’t realise the appeal of such titles in their earliest days. When Fortnite was released, I thought it was cartoony rubbish, and wanted nothing to do with it. As time went on, these feelings strengthened, and I saw Fortnite as nothing more than an embarrassment to gaming.
I hated the animation, the community, the intended audience, the microtransactions… Everything.
Let’s be honest, seeing a nine year old ‘Fortnite dance’ in the supermarket while begging his mother for ‘Vbucks’ isn’t going to encourage anyone to play, is it?
And that’s a big ‘however’…
I decided to give it a try.
Yes, three years after launch, I finally decided to install – and play – Fortnite.
You know where this is going, right? I absolutely loved it. I was head over heels after the first game, and have remained so since. It was the candy shop, and I was the kid – only I didn’t have to pay a penny for the delicious sweetness within. I played ‘Duos’ (speaks for itself) with my fiancée for a few hours, and grabbed some ‘Squads’ play with my friends the following night. Fortnite continued to deliver, time after time.
The ‘action building’ (or ‘combat’ building) was so fast, innovative, and tense. It was so simple to do, yet deeply complex to master. The graphics popped with such a fantastically varied palette; it was a treat for the eyes. The combat was exciting and rewarding, and exploring the map proved to be both satisfying and engaging.
I know you’ve heard all of this before – probably. Nevertheless, you need to understand my perspective. I hated Battle Royale, and here I am falling in love with the most unlikely of the lot.
Is a Battle Royale my new favourite multiplayer?
I’d definitely say it’s a strong contender! I’m used to playing titles like Red Dead Online or Battlefield, so this is definitely a very refreshing change. It’s so vibrant and deeply accessible that it’s hard to resist it on any format – especially mobile. There’s crossplay, so I can engage with all my friends. It’s free to play, and there’s no real requirement to pick up ‘Battle Passes’ or skin packs.
I’m not even sure I’d try another Battle Royale at this point, as I don’t want to taint this honeymoon period just yet. After all, Fortnite is incredibly new to me. Would I have the same experience playing Firestorm on Battlefield, for example? That’s a game I’ve sunk hundreds of hours into, and I’m worried the Battle Royale aspect might sour my opinion of the game if it weren’t as good as Fortnite.
Another aspect that honestly shocked me was the rapidity of the matchmaking. I was always put off Battle Royale titles as I imagined a huge delay between matches. If I were to die at number 98, would I have to wait ten minutes to restart? That’s not the case in Fortnite, as you can enter another match immediately after being taken out.
I’m not kidding – I’m seriously finding it difficult to unearth something negative about this game.
How does it appeal to Grown Gamers, particularly parents?
See all the above.
It’s an entry-level online experience that won’t cost you anything to explore. After all, this is a game designed with a younger audience in mind. Although the weaponry is based on real-world variants, it’s cartoony and animated – there’s no real violence.
You can play couch co-op with your children, or use intuitive parental controls to monitor and restrict their playing time and habits. You could go so far as to reward them with the – admittedly affordable -skins and Battle Passes for good behaviour.
It’s a brilliant title to bond over, as it’s not strenuous, it isn’t difficult, and there’s a very small learning curve. Ultimately, you run, you aim, you shoot. Yes, you can build and set tactical traps and work as part of a well-oiled team, but it isn’t mandatory to enjoy this title. You just drop in, and have fun.
By all means, give it a go!