The eternally developed Fortnite is almost here. It's real! We got to play it and came back with some impressions of a new preview build of the game. Here's what we think of Fortnite so far.
The Game Is Convoluted
Fornite has a relatively simple concept: Combine the horde-defense gameplay of Orcs Must Die with the resource gathering you'd find in Minecraft. Craft forts, traps, weapons, and so on to defend certain key points for a certain period of time while zombies converge on you. However, Epic aggressively builds on that concept, introducing multiple skill trees and mechanics every step of the way. This is not a game you can just sit down and play for 10 minutes and "get it." Expect to spend hours messing around in menus if you're going to get the full experience.
The Combat Is Really Fun
The moment-to-moment gameplay of building traps, like spike floors and laser darts that cling to walls, and blasting zombies away with creative weaponry is really fun. Enemies explode in a purple clouds as you toss grenades about and call down airstrikes. It's not exactly innovative, but the combination of trap-building and meaty gunplay serves Fortnite well.
The World Is Gorgeous...And Breakable
Fortnite's setting is lush and beautifully animated in spite of its grim premise, with environments and characters who look pulled from a Dreamworks animated movie. Also: 95 percent of environmental objects you come across can be broken down into resources for your crafting, including doors, walls, and entire houses. The destructibility of the world is quite impressive. I remember early on coming across a gas station and just demolishing it and everything inside in about two minutes for some brick, steel, and wood. The destruction was fascinating to watch.
The Writing Is Surprisingly Funny
There's actually quite a bit of NPC dialogue and story bits in what we've played of Fortnite...and a lot of it is pretty funny. A mixture of lighthearted doomsday jokes and violent slapstick, the jokes and gags come at a decent pace and it never feels like Fortnite is trying to go for a joke that doesn't work.
You Really Should Play With Other People
You can technically play Fortnite on your own, but it's more efficient (and fun) to have yourself a squad of teammates, each of them assigned different roles during an invasion, like a builder of traps, someone who repairs damaged walls, etc.
Fortnite will be available in Early Access on July 25. For a fun trip down memory lane, you can check out our extensive coverage of Fortnite's earlier iterations by clicking on the banner below.