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State of the Game: Fortnite – Epic’s era-defining work in progress



A number of years again, in a bid to clarify Fortnite’s unexplainable world, Epic Video games got here up with the time period “Snapshot” to explain, in-universe, why its battle royale matches can characteristic a number of folks taking part in as the identical Fortnite character, or why seemingly singular characters obtainable in Fortnite – like Peely the banana, or The Rock, or Wolverine – can reappear underneath totally different guises.


What’s a Snapshot? Why is it a Snapshot? Expensive reader, these are questions for an additional time. However the normal time period, not less than, has caught with me as I attempt to sum up what Fortnite was, and is, and might be. Should you’d requested me 5 years in the past right this moment, I would say it was a distinctly common PVE base constructing shooter – and the primary time Eurogamer ever actually coated Fortnite intimately was a preview of this now long-sidelined mode.


Should you’d requested me 4 years in the past, as Fortnite’s quickly-thrown-together battle royale was blowing up and footballers had been doing its dances in World Cup matches, I would say it was in all probability The Subsequent Large Factor. Three years in the past? Fortnite was established as a phenomenon, an industry-leading showcase of engine mastery and dwell service improvement that would pull off in-game stunts like no different. Wish to blow up bits of the map in real-time with a large volcano? No downside. Stage a large monster versus mech struggle and invite everybody in to see it dwell? You bought it.

Fortnite’s taking it simple for a bit with its No Sweat Summer season occasion.


Two years in the past? I bear in mind Epic Video games’ Donald Mustard on stage at The Sport Awards in December 2019, pre-empting the vast majority of the {industry} by proclaiming Fortnite as a metaverse. It could develop into a spot the place every kind of IPs and experiences may work together, he mentioned, forward of a yr which noticed Fortnite fill itself with an attention-grabbing Travis Scott live performance collection and a season absolutely dedicated to Marvel. And it is from right here, actually, the place I really feel like the sport’s momentum continues to be rolling.


Now, do not get me improper, Fortnite stays one of many greatest video games on the planet, and the previous 12 months have proven precisely why. Evaluate the place Fortnite is right this moment with a yr in the past and I may identify a dozen modifications off the highest of my head: a vastly-improved motion system, a superb new Chapter 3 map, numerous gameplay additions similar to rideable animals, common weekly voiced missions with massive names behind the microphone, and maybe most startling of all, the recently-launched Zero Construct mode the place Epic ditched one in every of Fortnite’s unique core mechanics to the delight of many.


Presently we’re within the again half of a really chilled summer time season, clearly designed as one thing of a break in narrative following this spring’s momentous in-game battle that introduced years of narrative to a head. Boogie Bombs are again, which is good. There are challenges to rebuild Tilted Towers, take part with the Island’s summer time events, and in addition examine that big reality-warping tree which is spreading tendril-like roots everywhere in the map and isn’t ominous in any respect within the slightest. Even in peacetime, the subsequent on-Island drama by no means appears very distant.


However I am extra excited for what Fortnite might be within the close to future, as Epic continues to evolve this recreation, or platform, or metaverse (sorry) we at present know as Fortnite into one thing else fully. The following massive step? It is all about bettering Fortnite’s user-created modes, which have been given massively-increased prominence over the previous yr or so. Epic boss Tim Sweeney lately revealed that user-created playtime now sits 50-50 with Fortnite’s personal choices, similar to its core battle royale playlists, and all are actually given equal billing in its menus. The long-awaited arrival of Unreal Editor in Fortnite will grant creators nearly equal improvement energy with Epic, alongside entry to the sport’s huge viewers and market, and certain depart Fortnite’s present crop of user-made mini-games and modes within the mud. Already it appears potential that, in a couple of extra years, Fortnite’s mighty battle royale mode will change into simply one other element.


So, what’s Fortnite right this moment? I can actually solely offer you a snapshot. On the floor, it is a enjoyable battle royale shooter, a user-created content material platform, and a spot the place Peely the banana and Darth Vader and Batman can all seem on display on the identical time. However greater than something, I feel, it stays a piece in progress. Once I look again over how Fortnite has advanced through the years, I am reminded of how a lot has modified and the way a lot Epic Video games has been prepared to vary – indicative, I feel, of a recreation which cheerfully stored its “beta model” tag for greater than two years. It’s the accrued digital creation of 1000’s of Epic workers with a long time of engine expertise and years of experimentation. It’s the energy of a laundry listing of brand name offers in a pop culture-obsessed period the place crossovers stay king. And it’s a recreation which nonetheless retains an viewers of thousands and thousands, fuelling all of it with their funds and free time. That is Fortnite, for now anyway. Ask me once more in six months.


This piece is a part of our State of the Sport collection, the place we test in on a few of the greatest service video games operating to see how they’re getting on. You could find a lot extra items prefer it in our State of the Sport hub.





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