It surprises me how dead this thread is, considering the rise of Fortnite Battle Royale (FNBR) as one of the most popular games on Twitch. This was taken today:
As a fan of both Fortnite and Waypoint, Waypoint’s coverage of FNBR has been truly disappointing. It seemed to me that FNBR would be a slam dunk over PUBG for this team. Take the same core ideas, strip out the price and gun fetish milsim roots of PUBG and add color, construction and destructible environments, character, humor, speed, accessibility, and optimization.
Instead, since the release of FNBR on 9/26/17, Waypoint has hosted just 3 articles on the topic (4 times that number have been posted re: PUBG). The first was by Patrick, and theorized that many more games will include battle royale (BR) modes. The second was a teardown by Janine whose criticisms could be reduced to “This game mode is not for me”. (Why have someone uninterested in BR games write the only piece of criticism of FNBR on the site?) The third article was light news coverage by Patrick of the now seemingly-dead spat between Epic and Bluehole.
I struggle with reconciling my enjoyment of this game and the lack of coverage here and elsewhere by writers I respect, whose opinions otherwise often align with my own. These are topics I would have loved to read a Waypoint take on:
- How FNBR brought the BR experience to a wider audience by launching on PS4, XB1, and PCs across the technical spectrum. My PC is 5 years old, and was not top of the line when I bought it. It struggled and continues to struggle with PUBG, but has run FN flawlessly since day 1. My story is not an unusual one, based on feedback on the FNBR Reddit.
- Epic’s ability to rapidly respond to feedback while simultaneously releasing new content at an aggressive cadence. Epic’s devs and community people are in constant contact on Reddit and their internal forums, and release at least one update every week, with meaningful content changes and fixes. New items, new weapons, new game modes, new skins, etc etc.
- The cheating problem and Epic’s response to it. There was a time early on in FNBR where nearly every match was rendered unplayable by a cheater ruining your fun. Epic took legal action against cheat distributors and released an update that autobanned thousands of accounts that used cheating tools. These days, cheaters are rarely seen and in-game reporting tools can result in nearly immediate action (there’s even a ban message in the kill feed). This topic in particular as Chinese cheaters rise in numbers in PUBG seems interesting.
- The wealth of cosmetics and especially the new Battle Pass reward system. When the Battle Pass rolled out, me and everyone I know playing this game bought it because of how many cool items were in it. I mean…have you seen these winter holiday skins? Right now I’m literally a gingerbread woman with an icing smiley face that falls out of the sky holding on to a disco light-festooned glider and smacks things with a pink flamingo head. Come on! Meanwhile, in PUBG, the best I have to hope for is a…mini-skirt? Jesus.
As someone who has played a lot of both games, the differences are just striking. A PUBG round can take twice as long as an FNBR one, and 90% of that time is looting and moving, with very little action (unless you’re a Counterstrike pro like Shroud). FNBR rounds have far more of the actual fun stuff: interacting with other players. The loading lobby is shorter, the flying is faster, the island is smaller (which encourages actually seeing and eliminating other people). Engagements don’t just come down to who saw who first, because there’s tons of counterplay (and way fewer snipers). Enemy above you? Wall and ramp up to where they are to even the odds. Multiple enemies? Block off your angles so you can take your shots in peace. Enemy in a fortified structure? Use explosives and knock them down! Not to mention that PUBG generally looks kinda ass, unless you’re running the game on Watson. There’s a reason SO many PUBG players use Reshade or other mods to make the game look like something you actually want to have your eyeballs on for any length of time, rather than a brown mess. FNBR also has cross-progression, so I can play with my friends in squads on PC, or durdle around in solo matches on my PS4 on the couch on the same account.
I could go on and on. I think the thing is that I spend so much time reading and listening to and watching Waypoint in all the various forms and venues that I feel close to these people, and I want them to have the fun that I’m having. Instead, they seem to have passed over FNBR as just a clone of PUBG without really having tried it, and that saddens me. Seeing how dead this thread is, I wonder if that’s true of the community as a whole. If so: try it. This game is huge, there are tons of people playing it, and it’s free.