Fortnite Battle Royale is by far one of the most polarising video games out there right now, you either love it or you hate it, rarely is someone indifferent.
The reasons for this are numerous, on one hand Fortnite is viewed as a mechanically in-depth game with a deep emphasis on building, featuring numerous weapons, an ever changing map, infinite content and a bustling community. But on the other hand it’s also seen as catering towards young children with the hordes of shoehorned in skin collaborations, along with the significant de-emphasising of the core shooter components in favor of prioritizing spam building and random game elements. This element of building is the core subject of today’s video.
Personally my view is not one of hate or love, it’s more so of nostalgia. I used to play Fortnite every single day back when it first came out in 2017, and the reasons were obvious. It was a new battle Royale game with a great gameplay loop, cool mechanics, an awesome map and an addictive nature to try and keep getting wins. However as the seasons went on and the game went in the direction it went, my love for Fortnite dwindled to the point where I, and many other people, uninstalled the game for good.
This is because with this latest Fortnite season old fans are coming back in troves due to a huge building change, resulting in huge login queues and today we’re going to talk about why this is happening
Fortnite Battle Royale, for the entire time this game has existed, has always had a precarious balance between shooting and building. On one hand it is a third person shooter, but it also has a significant building component that at this point defines the game. I’ve always been of the opinion that building isn’t bad, I just want shooting emphasized over it, and as turbo building was introduced in season 2 and spam building became the norm my love smoldered.
So with the latest Fortnite season, building has been vaulted for the next week. This is to get players accustomed to the new movement mechanics, which includes sprinting and parkour. It’s a significant change to the game so adding the movement stuff plus keeping building would probably be too much at one time.
But inadvertently Epic Games has brought back the feeling of season 0 Fortnite where nobody knew how to build, or has it?
The first thing I’ll say is it definitely feels better than normal Fortnite, as with no building you need to think a lot more about your decisions and that makes the game more intense.
Normally, if you get shot you just do some 90’s and you’ll be okay for a bit, but with no building you’re forced to be a bit more aware and heavily utilize not only cover, but shock horror the new movement. The movement itself is pretty good, quick sprints up the pace and the parkour elements open up the map. However, there is a point to be made that the map has lots of super open areas so no building feels very rough, and that makes sense. To compensate they have added the over shield which makes everyone a bit harder to kill, and this eases things up.
It’s also ironically enough less stressful in a sense given you don’t have to go into a massive build battle every time you see someone, the environment is your battlefield here. This also means it is much better for squad play and brings back those nostalgic old season vibes as you can just chat away, we can see this as many prominent former Fortnite influencers have expressed their love for this new change. Furthermore the emphasis is put back on the shooting which is awesome, you have to rely on aim and also movement to get kills and this feels like what I’ve been missing. Now to be fair we’ve already seen a bit this year with the new red dot assault rifle that allows you to aim down sights and put your aim to the test, but to see it front and center now is sick.
Fortnite feels much more like a traditional arcade shooter now and it’s fun, but Fortnite is different for a reason. While removing building makes it more accessible to basically everyone, it also limits combat creativity which isn’t good as the core element of being able to create your own cover and dynamically approach fights is important.
Now people have been calling for this no building mode to be a permanent addition to the game, but to be honest I don’t think that’s the right move.
Building is such a crucial element to Fortnite that removing it completely will make it feel generic and hollow. There needs to be a balance, no building means anyone can play it but it will definitely be boring after a while, but having crazy turbo building though just feels terrible to play against and is a core reason why so many people have left the game. It’s also extremely unfriendly to older players coming back and trying Fortnite again, the mechanical difficulty of complex building is so high that you just feel helpless against it if you haven’t played in a while. This is an extremely underrated point and is very much a problem that stands in the way of Fortnite, look at every popular game right now, warzone, CSGO, league of legends, Valorant, apex, all these games are mechanically in depth but the minimum skill floor is actually quite easy to achieve, obviously you’re not going to be the best without practice but even if I haven’t played CSGO for months I still feel like I can at least play and do okay. Fortnite is very much the exception as the required building mechanics are hard to reach and that’s because no other game really has this
So what solutions are there? Change building too much and you might get old players back, but at the cost of alienating the current player base, there needs to be a compromise. One suggestion could be a much lower materials limit, would force players to strategically use their materials and also incentivize high level gunplay. Big build fights could technically be possible but de incentivized to focus on a fair balance between building and shooting. This would mean the game is accessible to more people, but still enables the type of gameplay Fortnite is known for. Another alternative could be a smaller, more close quarters map similar to rebirth island from warzone, but where there is no building functionality. With this there could be lots of structures and less open ground, making it much more viable as a permanent addition to the game.
Is this the best for Fortnite the game though, who knows, either of these options would definitely get me playing more past these 9 days of no building but it’s hard to tell what the community sentiment is. Epic Games has a formula and a niche for Fortnite and it’s naturally working given the levels of success that this game sees, so deterring from that for more than this event’s length really depends on the community’s response. Let me know what you think in the comments section below