For the unintiated, Epic’s Fortnite is the first game that will utilise the Unreal 4 engine, big brother to the engine that an astounding number of current gen games use. The results: It looks gorgeous. Then again looks aren’t everything, right? Good thing, then, that the gameplay sounds fantastic as well!
It’s a co-op survival sandbox game, in which 4 players have to explore a randomly generated world by day, collecting useful items to build and defend a safe house to fight off the hordes of enemies through the night. You scavenge around to find materials to build up this fort, but also to create or modify weapons. At SDCC Epic showed off the evolution of the crossbow weapon based on what you have found, it can progress to shoot 3 bolts at a time, have a stun effect through electrified bolts or even fire a zip line to allow you and other players to reach higher places. The materials will be randomly generated as well, so it sounds like each game will offer something new with all possible kinds of combinations.
One of the most interesting things is the universality of it. Epic wanted this to be a game for gamers, and by that they mean anyone who has played a game before of any kind. If you like the hunting/gathering aspect you can focus on just that while sleeping the night away, other players more into shooters and the like will be able to skip the building phase and jump straight into the defense at night time. It seems like a perfect blend of Minecraft and Left for Dead, which sounds frickin’ amazing!
The art style is beautiful, described as a mix between “Tim Burton and Dreamworks” the cartoonish visuals differentiate the product from stuff like Call of Duty’s zombie mode, instead dropping you into a stunning world that looks like the love child of The Walking Dead games and Brink. They really seem to be pushing the boat out in terms of design, both visual and gameplay with some of the enemy types sounding simultaneously ridiculously annoying and great fun.
The game is designed specifically for PC, with Epic’s Design Director Cliff Bleszinski saying that the next generation of gaming is here: “It’s a high end PC.” However they haven’t ruled out development for other consoles. Have no fear though, it seems the Unreal 4 engine is highly scalable so if your rig can run games at all you can probably run this.
The entire premise sounds truly exciting and a nice departure from the dark world of Gears of War, with no release date announced they have said this isn’t a big-time holiday game but I can’t wait to get my hands on it!