Sandbox crafting games are still experiencing a renaissance period.
Minecraft is still untouched as the sub-genre giant, plus featured titles such as Terraria, Portal Knights and Stardew Valley are still going strong. Epic Games (Unreal Tournament, Gears of War) and People Can Fly (Painkiller, Bulletstorm) are looking to step into the ring with a unique take on that aforementioned category of gaming. Their latest joint venture is known as Fortnite, a game described by Tim Sweeney as “Minecraft meets Left 4 Dead.” That statement alone should already have some of you intrigued about what else this title entails.
Now that game has kicked into its Early Access period, it’s time to get everyone up to speed on everything you need to know about Fortnite.
1. Fortnite Was Initially Shown to the World All the Way Back in 2011
It’s hard to fathom how long its taken for Fortnite to finally become available for the playing public. While Cliff Bleszinski was still associated with Epic Games, Fortnite saw its debut within a reveal trailer during the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. Afterwards, the game stayed in development for an unexpectedly long period of time. Epic Games soon acquired video game studio People Can Fly at one point, who was added to the project as development assistants. Even though People Can Fly eventually went back to being an independent studio, they still chose to offer their help during Fortnite’s continued production.
Big news for the game arrived in 2014 when Fortnite was announced as a free-to-play game. Those lucky enough to check out the game during its Alpha Phase got to play it that very same year. A Closed Beta version of the game became available soon thereafter. Come July 25, 2017, Fortnite will become even more accessible when it enters into its Early Access period. The final version of the game will then transition into its free-to-play phase in 2018.
2. Players Have to Brave the Dangers of a World Ravaged by Monsters
Fortnite is a co-op survival game with crafting elements. In order to survive within its dangerous world, players have to accomplish a variety of repeated tasks – explore, scrounge up all types of items, develop firearms/melee weapons, construct fortified buildings and defend your allies/fort from a monster horde. While the sun is still out, you and your party set out into the world to accomplish all of the game’s collecting and crafting goals.
The overall terrain of the maps you play on are randomly generated, so players can’t just simply remember the layout of whatever location they’re placed within. The game’s ever changing elements challenges its participants to evolve as they’re thrown into ever changing situations. When a certain set of purple clouds form, all hells breaks loose. The action-centric portions of the game kick in as you utilize all types of weaponry to fend off rampaging creatures.
3. There’s Four Character Classes to Choose From – Ninja, Outlander, Soldier and Constructor
You can choose to brave the dangers of Fortnite as one of four different character classes – Soldier, Constructer, Outlander and Ninja. Soldiers are battle ready and usually carry around heavy weaponry, such as shotguns and rocket launchers. Their special abilities are “Debilitating Shots” (allows them to increase the amount of damage on a chosen target for a certain period of time) and “Make it Rain’ (a Soldier will be able to increase their rate of fire for a limited time after they land a headshot). Constructers are master builders, but they tend to move slowly. Their specialty tool is known as the B.A.S.E. (Basic Automated Sentinel Edifice), which gives them the ability to build structures at a much cheaper cost.
Outlanders are more suited the survival/exploration elements of Fortnite. Their skills give them the edge when it comes time to comb through every part of a locale and gather all types of helpful items for their allies. And finally, Ninjas are swift moving warriors who focus on utilizing melee weapons. They come outfitted with swords, throwing stars, smoke bombs etc. When it comes to maneuvering, Ninjas can clear the distance at a much faster rate than their Solider contemporaries. More abilities for each role can be unlocked over time. At the moment, Fortnite primarily focuses on player vs. environment gameplay. But a player vs. player mode that maxes out at 10 players is planned to be included in the future.
4. The Storm Gives Rise to the Creatures You’ll Regularly Have to Defend Yourself From
The more action-centric mechanics of Fortnite tend to activate once a set of purple clouds alluded to as “The Storm” begin to form. Those clouds give way to an onslaught of monsters that includes zombies and more eccentric creatures. Some of the enemies you and your small army will come across includes the Husk, Exploding Husk, Flinger, Lobber Husk and Smasher. Fornite’s art director, Pete Ellis, spoke to Game Informer about him and his studio’s devotion towards creating such varied enemy types:
We started off with ultimately what feels like a stylized zombie. And then we felt, ‘Well, we don’t just want zombies. We want some cool ethereal creatures as well.’ We didn’t want them to be grotesque. They’re sort of like adorable abominations. They’re pretty creepy, but they’re not the type of thing where they’re repulsive. Right now we have sort of a cohesive palate of monsters in the game. They feel like they came from the same world. But maybe someday – what happens if we put something totally off-kilter in there? That will happen eventually. I don’t know when, but we’ll see.
5. Everyone Who Pre-Ordered a Founder’s Pack Can Start Playing Now, Plus PS4 Players Will Get Access to Four Exclusive Hero Cards
So for those who pre-purchased one of the game’s many Founder’s Pack deals for the game, a special paid Early Access period for them activated on July 21. Note that that deal has to have come with a head start bonus. The Standard, Deluxe, Super Deluxe and Limited Edition of Fortnite offers that four-day head start and a set of specific in-game bonuses. If you chose not to pre-order a Founder’s Pack but purchased one afterwards will be able to play Fortnite on July 25. Also, PS4 players will be able to play as one of four exclusive heroes through special cards. You can check out all that content on display in the video posted below:
Buy Fortnite (Early Access) for PS4 or Xbox One here.