Do I consider myself a gamer? No.
I’ve played games, but usually those that provide little to no pressure. So I was nervous when I tried a hand at Fortnite: Battle Royale, the latest interactive video game that surged in popularity amongst avid gamers.
The original Fortnite was released in July 2017 and is a four-player cooperative survival game set on a post apocalyptic Earth. The objective is to build shelters and defend yourself and your team against hordes of zombies.
Fortnite’s game developer, Epic Games, recognized the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds [PUBG] that pitted 100 players against each other in a last-man-standing battle and released a new version of Fortnite featuring similar gameplay.
In Battle Royale, players can either work alone or in pairs with the objective to be the last remaining player or team alive out of 100 people. Considering myself to be a non-gamer, how well do you think I did on my first try fighting solo against 99 people?
Not good at all, I died quickly. I’ll describe my second time playing because it’s much more impressive.
I began my adventure by jumping to the battlefield from the sky, since the game has players eject from a floating bus and parachute down towards one of the 19 areas that they wished to roam around. The entrance pumped me up for what was to come and gives you a fair enough chance in deciding your fate by choosing the setting you want to land at.
Shifty Shafts was my landing destination, and it wasn’t the prettiest location since its theme consists of mining and underground tunnels. However, I was pleased by how desolate it was. While I gathered weapons and materials in solitude, other people were being slain left and right.
When you’re not fighting for your life, the game feels more carefree and you have time to notice the effort put into the game design. Even though the purpose of Battle Royale is to kill people, the locations aren’t very chaotic or dirty like you may expect. Even when players get killed, there is no bloodshed or remnants of their corpses. I think that’s a contrast the developers intended to make; the environment goes against the horrors of the battlefield, and you can almost forget that there are other players hunting you down.
I wish I could’ve continued to collect things until I was the sole player left, but the game would not allow that. Unlike other battle royale games that I know of, this one makes sure no player hides alone till the end, thanks to the freakish act of nature known as The Storm Eye.
From the beginning of the game, the storm gradually overruns the platform, closing the players in more and more until it eventually covers the whole board. If you get caught in the storm, the environment transforms the lovely landscapes into a purple-colored and wild setting that will kill you itself if you don’t run out of it in time.
My hands on the game controller were getting colder and sweatier from the pressure of running away from the storm. That was the moment where I got a better sense of why this game grew to be so popular; nobody is able to win from pure luck- not often anyways.
No matter what you do, in the end you have to fight for your survival. No wonder I’ve seen people so ecstatic when they win a game of Battle Royale. It truly is a battle of wits.
I ended up running towards a popular location called Tilted Towers. There were only three players left at this point, and I thought the best thing to do was to build a shelter to protect my character.
I was all set to create one thanks to my collection of random materials. I built some barriers as fast as I could, knowing that the storm was creeping behind me and I was near completing the shelter when suddenly- ZAP! An enemy’s drone weapon exterminated my character and I was out of the game. I was left to sit there and watch as the player who killed me went on to win the whole game.
Even though I pride myself in being a level-headed person, there was a boiling fit of anger inside of me once I died. Being in third place made me the most upset, because despite all of the possible times I could’ve been killed earlier, I survived longer than a majority of the players and some part of my brain told me that perhaps, on my second try, I could’ve won the whole thing.
Playing Battle Royale was truly an intense learning experience that brings you to the edge of your seat no matter how you decide to play it.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, I think it would be a fun game to try by yourself or with friends to hype up the already tense atmosphere. Personally, I don’t know if I’ll attempt to play it again because I’m not a big fan of pressure, but I know millions of gamers will go in my place.