Nintendo fans have been embracing Fortnite: Battle Royale for nearly a month now, and I thought I would share some experiences about the game on this format.
There cant be many people on the planet who have not heard or, or know what Fortnite is. Kids and grown ups love it, parents and teachers hate it. Regardless, Fortnite – Battle Royale is the biggest game of the past year and its popularity is truly awe-inspiring, breaking records and uniting gamers along the way.
First releasing as an early access game in July 2017, Fortnite – Save the World is the original incarnation of the game which is essentially a sandbox co-op game where you have to fend off wave after wave of zombies, using a weapon and gathered materials. As the name suggests, it is not just a shooter, you can build defences to gain advantages or defend. Although a good game, it wasn’t pulling up trees.
Epic games, the developers and publishers of Fortnite, could see the massive popularity of the hugely divisive game PUBG (player unknown battlegrounds) on XBOX ONE and decided to create their own Battle Royale mode. Battle Royale is essentially the last man standing free for all involving up to 100 players, be it in solo, duo or squads. Epic does a fantastic job in updating modes and keeping it fresh, such as 50v50, 5 squads of 20, snipers only, you name it and they bring it. This really helps keep the game fresh and full of energy. Players can team up with friends or randoms, whatever you choose. The best part?? Its FREEEEEE, yep freeeee, that’s right, free. Did you know its free?
There are micro-transactions available which pay for battle passes (which allows unlocking of certain cosmetics) or you can buy specific skins (outfits), gliders or axes. These types of micro-transactions are ones I wholeheartedly approve of as they are cosmetic only. They do not enhance a players performance or give advantages. So whether you have paid $100 or $0, you are on an even playing field.
One of Fortnite’s appealing features is it is popular with younger gamers as well as older. Yes, its a shooter and your ‘killing’ opponents, but is done in a way which isn’t gory or ultra-realistic (the graphics are cartoonesque in nature), this where it vastly differs from PUBG. That said, the game is rated 12 over here in the UK due to its violent nature. Its caused a lot of controversy over here with parents allowing younger children playing, and then getting upset that it’s affecting them. My philosophy is that of, its the parent’s responsibility to know what’s appropriate for their child, this is why I don’t allow my 8 yr old son to play it. I just don’t feel its appropriate for him at this time, even though most of his friends play it.
Fortnite: Battle Royale is now one of, if not the, most popular games right now. According to Epic games over 125m players have played the game in less than a year, with around 40m playing per month, that’s huge! No wonder its made over $318m in the month of may alone (according to SaveData)! The numbers are massive, it’s also the most streamed game on Twitch, with top streamers making a fortune in the process. There are a lot of high profile players too, from celebrities and athletes. The first Fortnite PRO-AM has also taken place, won buy Ninja and marshmallow, watched by over 1.3m viewers.
All this shows that the decision to bring the game to the Nintendo Switch is an obvious one, albeit later than we would have liked. The game was presented by Reggie during Nintendo’s big E3 showcase on June 12th 2018. The brilliant part is that the download was available straight away, a very smart move by Nintendo and Epic! So much so that in the first day there were over 2m downloads! Wow. Nintendo gamers are used to being left behind and having to wait for 3rd party games, but we embrace them nonetheless.
Fortnite on the Switch has all the features from the other formats, including a massive game changer for switch players, proper voice chat! I know, I know, PS4 and the others easily do this. On the switch, not so easy. The only game that supports voice chat is Splatoon2 with the use of the Nintendo Voice Chat app (which is pretty awful). When paying Splatoon2 with friends, most of us use Discord as its a lot simpler. The great thing about the chat on Fortnite is you just plug the jack straight into the console, something we didn’t even think was possible! I for one hope other develops can use this feature for other games.
All the same modes and features are available except one big notable exception, no cross-play with PS4!!! Boo PlayStation, in fact, if you have a Fortnite account (Epic account) and have used it on the PS4 then you cant use it on the Switch. That really is a joke, especially if someone has spent time and actual money on their account. Gamers are embracing cross play with XBOX and are putting pressure on Sony to play nice! XBOX and Nintendo are best friends at the moment, leading to crossplay for Minecraft too. Maybe this will lead to some XBOX characters in Smash?? Maybe, but that’s for another article…..
The main advantage of the switch is the portability, and playing console games on the go is pretty epic! Fortnite is no exception, however, the graphics and frame rates are not as good as the PS4 and XBOX, but that’s to be expected. It doesn’t infringe on gameplay at all, you can even join up with 4 friends in local play, which sounds great.
It’s disappointing that the game took so long to arrive on Switch (it was released on IOS in April) but the hype train is still there and still growing, its an evolving game with regular new content to keep gamers interested. The only problem I have with Fortnite is………………IM NOT VERY GOOD AT IT!