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Video Game Review: Fortnite Battle Royale

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Fortnite Battle Royale: Everyone’s heard of it, and almost everyone’s played it. Fortnite represents high-skill gaming in the media, and it’s one of the most popular games on the console and PC market as of late. Competitive players bring life to the scene and expose the game millions of viewers daily. However, is Fortnite really as polished as the game’s popularity would lead you to believe?

 

In a “Battle Royale” style game, a large number of players compete against one another, fighting to be the last one alive. The meta, otherwise known as the combination of weapons that are the strongest in Fortnite’s “Battle Royale” mode, is based around firing a shotgun and quickly switching to a sub-machine-gun (SMG). Fortnite’s balance team is constantly nerfing (decreasing)the stats and buffing(increasing) the statistics, weapons or entire weapon classes seemingly at random, causing the meta to be very developer-defined. A developer defined meta is bad for players because it forces a specific strategy onto the player base. If a player base is unable to figure out new strategies to play the game, it becomes boring and stale. Fortnite’s team should put more effort into balancing specific weapons, less on forcing strategies on players.

 

A new mode or item in Fornite is frequently updated which causes unbalanced weapons to be added, and their constant removing of items causes less powerful weapons to be removed from the game. The developers can be rash, shown with the catastrophe additions of the jetpack and guided missile, which were so powerful they destroyed even the most advanced players. The SMG, however, is a perfect example of a weapon that was really turned around. Originally thought to be one of the worst weapons in the game, the SMG became much stronger after balance changes were added from the Fortnite team. This balance change helps prove that the development team can make very positive changes to the game if they focus on changing powerful weapons, and improving less-played ones.

 

Another problem with Fortnite is that the servers, or the host for all players connected via the internet, are a disaster. Fortnite is also a fantastic example of a game that blew up and couldn’t handle the player base. Due to the games overnight success, servers were never meant to handle millions of players at a time, and are extremely unstable. The waiting ques (time to find and connect with the other players in a match) between games are seemingly endless on update days, with the timer sometimes reaching four to five hours when new game modes are released. Poor servers can also be cause for lag and game entry delays, making players wait extra time just to play another round. Fortnite’s servers are one of the main reasons players will leave to play a competing game.

 

Overall, Fortnite is a perfect example of a game that still needs time to adjust to its popularity. Although it needs some work done, Fortnite is a game that’s rapidly improving. The servers are getting more stable, the balance of the game has improved over time, and the development team has come to terms with their massive player base. In the end, Fortnite still has a lot of room to improve.

 

Image citation: Games, Epic. “Epic Games’ Fortnite.” Forums, Epic Games INC, 2018, www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/home.

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About the Writer
Peter Collins, Staff Writer

Hi my name is Peter Collins! I am a staff writer for Westside Wired this year. I am currently a freshman and this is my first year on Wired. If you have...

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