Last week we took a look at the characteristics and abilities of three of Fortnite's starting classes: the heavily armed commando, the melee-focused ninja, and the fort-building constructor. Today we're focusing on some of the deadly monsters you'll be up against.

Epic is crafting a rogues' gallery of unique beasts to complicate your adventures in Fortnite's procedurally generated world. These monsters originate from The Storm, the mysterious purple clouds that form at night and during certain level objectives. While there might not be a whole lot of backstory behind The Storm, this nebulous menace allows Epic to flex its creative muscles when designing enemy types. "We started off with ultimately what feels like a stylized zombie," says Fornite's art director, Pete Ellis. "And then we felt, 'Well, we don't just want zombies. We want some cool ethereal creatures as well.'"

Unlike the enemies you find in most action games, each monster type in Fortnite has been designed with its own purpose and technique for breaching your strongholds and causing havoc. Here are some of the first monsters Epic has lined up for the launch of Fortnite. Click on each image for a larger view.

Name: Husk
The husk is the most basic enemy in Fortnite. These zombie-like creatures appear to be emaciated humans. While it's difficult to tell from the above character render, the husk's face has been pulled back behind the creature like a hood, with its skull protruding from its own sagging mouth.

Like zombies in other games, the standard husks are melee enemies, and swipe at players with their claw-like fingers. Husks will charge you on sight, but only really pose a threat in larger groups. However, they'll also attack your fort during level objectives; in the missions where we had to activate and defend a portal from waves of enemies, the run-of-the-mill husks proved surprisingly adept at exploiting the weaknesses of our improvised strongholds and making their way to the vulnerable core.
Threat Level: Low

Name: Pitcher Husk
Fortnite's pitcher husk serves as a basic projectile enemy type, albeit with a tongue-in-cheek twist. These sporty foes carry a baseball helmet full of bones, which they throw at players and structures to deal long-range damage.

Although pitcher husks aren't a huge threat, they do make players prioritize their attacks. They can be a particular nuisance to ninjas; as the melee fighters take on swarms of invading husks with their trusty katanas, pitcher husks will hang back and dish out pain from a distance. Commandos perched on the roofs and balconies of their forts are also at risk, though once they identify the source of the incoming attacks, they won't have much trouble stopping them.
Threat Level: Low

Name: Exploding Husk
These rotund monsters pose a significant threat to ninjas – the propane tanks they carry on their shoulder will explode upon their death, causing major damage to anyone caught in the blast. As you might expect, commandos can use this to their advantage by targeting the tank to also take out nearby enemies.

While exploding husks may not sound all that dangerous, it's worth stressing how hectic the battlefield is during Storm invasions. Epic is using the extra power of its Unreal Engine 4 to throw large numbers of enemies at players; it's easy to overlook one of these self-destructing enemies when you're cutting down swathes of charging husks outside of the safety of your base.

The exploding husk's propane tank can also damage your fort when it explodes, so players should try to take down these enemies from an elevated position before they get too close.
Threat Level: Moderate

Coming Up Next: Fortnite's more formidable foes...