Fortnite, The Sensational Battle Royal

The latest sensation in the video game world is Fortnite, a 100 player free for all battle arena game that is attracting huge amounts of attention.

Fortnite is available on every major console as well as on computers and smartphones. Plus, with a zero dollar price tag, it’s easy to get into. Fortnite was released on July 25, 2017 and has a peak player count in April of 45 million players.

Fortnite is not the first battle royal game to garner massive numbers. H1Z1, a popular sandbox zombie game, featured a battle royale game mode that has served as a blueprint for games like Fortnite. In 2017, Player Unknown’s Battleground brought the battle royal genre out of the woodworks and into the public eye, becoming the most popular game on Steam, an online video game store, within three months of release. Fortnite stands out because of its popularity and attractive style that suspends the realistic design of predecessors in favor of a more lighthearted atmosphere.

Southeastern Lousiana University Sophomore Mica Roby said, “Fortnite was really easy for me to get into.” According to Roby, the free to play model was what originally attracted him to the game because it did not require an upfront capital investment. The fact that other games such as Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and H1Z1 cost money made the decision to start with Fortnite easy.

For some die hard fans of the genre, Fortnite falls flat. Sophomore Quiere Blue said, “I have played most of the battle royal games out right now, and Fortnite hasn’t quite hooked me. The game is good, but not competitive enough for my tastes.” Blue expressed that Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is his favorite Battle Royal game because of the hyper realistic mechanics and gameplay consistency.

The fact that Fortnite is available on smartphones attracts a more casual audience of players, who are looking for a fun experience on the go. Junior Carson Velasquez said, “I would not consider myself a gamer, but Fortnite just pulled me in.” Velasquez expressed that he plays the game on his phone and will sometimes be able to sneak a game in riding the bus between classes.

Southeastern’s computer engineering club even sponsored an on campus Fortnite tournament for any players interested.

Because of the cross platform compatibility of Fortnite, players can all que up in the same match whether playing from phone, computer or console. But naturally, some platforms are more optimal and lead to smoother controls. Fortnite players on mobile have the biggest disadvantage due to limited access to surround sound in order to hear where people are shooting from and unfamiliar controls. Next, console players have access to Xbox and Playstation controllers which serve as a comfort pick for many players. Mouse and Keyboard has the most precision and accuracy.

Southeastern Graduate Tyler Laiche, playing Fortnite

The difference in platforms is significant to Blue. Blue said, “I have played Fortnite on my phone and on my computer, and the game is just much easier to control on the computer. I can usually tell if my opponent is playing on their phone simply because of how linear their movements are. The platform has several inherent disadvantages.”

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