What The Tom's Team Played This Weekend: 'Fortnite: Battle Royale'

Who knew that skulking around office buildings, scavenging for supplies, and then shotgunning anyone who crosses your path would be so much fun? Well, based on the popularity of games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale, the answer seems to be "everyone." There's something very satisfying about being dropped into a digital playground where the only way to win is to survive by any means necessary.

PUBG was the premier battle royale game for a long while after its Early Access debut on Steam. The game was so popular that Epic Games' plan to pivot its single-player Fortnite into a similar title was laughable. How could anyone be expected to compete with a game that shattered records for the most concurrent players on Steam or viewers on Twitch? Yet now Fortnite: Battle Royale seems to sit atop the battle royale throne.

It's not hard to guess why. Fortnite: Battle Royale is free, boasts a cartoon-like art style, and concerns itself more with letting you engage in wacky hijinks than with even remotely accurately emulating the real world. All of these factors have contributed to my switch from PUBG, and are probably a big part of the reason why Fortnite: Battle Royale has become a cultural phenomenon that you can't escape if you tried.

I'll be the first to confess that I'm not good at this game. The building aspect of the game eludes me--while other people are building skyscrapers to get a better angle on their unwitting victims, I'm struggling to set up a single ramp so I don't have to walk around a steep hill. I'm still content to just shoot people, though, or to quietly make my way around the map while everyone else battles over the coveted top spot.

The nice thing about Fortnite: Battle Royale is that I have these options. If I feel like being aggressive, I can land in a popular spot, rush to the nearest weapon, and try to kill anyone I see. But if I want to hide in a bush all game and then steal the final kill, well, I can do that too. Each game feels like a choose-your-own-adventure book where each ending just happens to involve cartoonish violence.

That freedom helps keep Fortnite: Battle Royale interesting but not overbearing. You can play the game as much or as little as you like--it doesn't really make a difference in the long term. Compared to grinding through single-player titles or competitive multiplayer games, having the option to spend 15 minutes or 12 hours running around a cartoon world picking up building supplies and trying not to die seems awfully refreshing.

So if you're stuck in a rut with another game, or if you have limited time to play something, it might as well be Fortnite: Battle Royale. It's the gaming equivalent to watching sitcom reruns: Everything will be familiar enough to be comfortable, but different enough to stay interesting. Just relax, turn off your brain, and hope someone in a John Wick costume doesn't pick up the Hand Cannon and snipe you from across the map.

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  • lperreault21
    fortnite sucks, PUBG is better, also this seems like a advertisement
  • Giroro
    I like Fortnite in theory.. but the controls they came up with are just ...bad (and crazy laggy on PS4, even with mouse and keyboard). So it's okay to be bad at building, because pretty much anybody who hasn't spent a long time setting up macros and scripts ends up being bad at building. The building controls were clearly not designed with fast action in mind.

    This is the first time I've ever played a game on my PC and felt like a gaming mouse (with four side buttons) and keyboard is inadequate. All the buildings are mapped to the (too far away) F keys, and even the macro keys on my keyboard are too far away to hit quickly enough.

    I mean, bare minimum the game needs a dedicated "last weapon" type button so you can switch back and forth between pickaxe/building and the gun you want without trying to figure out what slot it randomly wound up in.

    As for PUBG, i have no idea if its any good, but I would probably be better at it. Although, why should I pay $40 for a micro-transaction based hat simulator when the competition is free?
  • lperreault21
    1886042 said:
    I like Fortnite in theory.. but the controls they came up with are just ...bad (and crazy laggy on PS4, even with mouse and keyboard). So it's okay to be bad at building, because pretty much anybody who hasn't spent a long time setting up macros and scripts ends up being bad at building. The building controls were clearly not designed with fast action in mind. This is the first time I've ever played a game on my PC and felt like a gaming mouse (with four side buttons) and keyboard is inadequate. All the buildings are mapped to the (too far away) F keys, and even the macro keys on my keyboard are too far away to hit quickly enough. I mean, bare minimum the game needs a dedicated "last weapon" type button so you can switch back and forth between pickaxe/building and the gun you want without trying to figure out what slot it randomly wound up in. As for PUBG, i have no idea if its any good, but I would probably be better at it. Although, why should I pay $40 for a micro-transaction based hat simulator when the competition is free?


    fortnite is all microtransactions too