Video Preview: Epic’s Fortnite Is… Interesting, Early

By Nathan Grayson on July 8th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

For the past many years, Epic was known as the One True King of console grimdark. Gears of War was about colossal mountain men with veins running rivulets through their stone hewn necks and stubble-dappled chins, their rage matched only by their apocalyptic sorrow and love of running in slow motion to popular songs that described their situation eerily well. But now we have, well, pretty much the opposite. Fortnite is bright, silly, and PC-only. It’s also basically Gears of War’s ever-popular horde mode plus Minecraft, Left 4 Dead, and a bunch of its own ingredients. It’s certainly unique, but I don’t think it’s great. Yet. Watch below to hear my impressions after a full day of playing a pre-alpha build.

As ever, apologies for tech issues (rampant mic popping this time) and humor that, in retrospect, doesn’t translate as well from text into voice as I thought it would. Still learning this stuff. Baby steps, etc.

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33 Comments »

  1. Gothnak says:

    Thanks for the update on Fortnite, i’m more interested in the co-op than the vs tbh, too many ‘kill each other’ simulators these days… Hopefully they can get the combat right as the building looked pretty interesting.

    However, as far as your presentation goes, i wouldn’t read from a script, but instead put the bullets of the things you want to talk about down and just ad-lib, it’ll flow a lot better. I’ve done a few speeches and presentations over the last couple of years and find, the more you actually write down, the more stilted the delivery is.

  2. tobias says:

    That was interesting, and I approve of this kind of thing (that is, RPS doing video features). Shame they didn’t let you use your own footage. If you’re concerned about the humour and text translation etc, perhaps try less reading from a script and more of an informal improvised sort of affair? Good times anyway…

    EDIT: Looks like someone had the same thought ;)

  3. ZIGS says:

    This looks dangerously close to Orcs Must Die

    • Syra says:

      Orcs must die + base building.

      That’s exactly what it is.

      Me like.

    • derbefrier says:

      Yeah not what I was expecting but could still be fun. My hype level for this has dropped to basically zero though since that style of game isn’t one of my favorites

    • Frank says:

      It also reminded me of Source Forts

      Edit: Just checked up on that mod. Amazingly, it looks like it never got onto steam, and it had a sequel on which production died almost immediately. Oh well

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      That, too. The first games that came to mind for me were TF2 and Sanctum.

  4. Kollega says:

    Damn… the graphic style in this looks exactly like what I want from games. But it’s free-to-grind, and it doesn’t seem particularly inspired gameplay-wise, so I’ll probably end up not playing it. Which is a real shame. Sigh… if only Epic made it a normal pay-once game.

    • Bull0 says:

      Not going to wait to see the specifics of how they’re implementing f2p? Just going to assume it’s grindy and complain? Granted, that’s often a safe assumption, but even so you know what they say about assumptions

      • subedii says:

        Granted, that’s often a safe assumption, but even so you know what they say about assumptions

        I don’t. Yet you’re confidently asserting that I do.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          His assumption that people know what “they” say about assumptions proves that it’s often not a good thing to make assumptions.

        • Bull0 says:

          …Hoisted by my own petard. Bravo!

      • Niko says:

        Can’t spell them without “ass”?

        • Bull0 says:

          I believe it’s that “you can’t assume something without making an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’”

      • BooleanBob says:

        From this:

        “While Fortnite is a free-to-play game, Sugg is adamant that it won’t be pay to win. “My overall view in this space is making it so people with time can compete with people with money,” he tells me. “That seems to be the bargain basement in terms of fairness in that space. So if you don’t have any money and want to earn the stuff by playing, you can do that. If you don’t have a lot of time but have some money, there’s ways to acquire things in that way.”

        Apparently ‘adamant’ means something completely different over at EG.

        • Bull0 says:

          That’s hilarious. “We’re adamant that killing puppies won’t be part of the game. Now I’m a firm believer that people who want puppies can have them, and people that don’t need their puppies should have a means to get rid of them, so each puppy will come with a detonation collar”

  5. kwyjibo says:

    I don’t think Epic has ever been known as the “One True King of console grimdark”.

    They’ve just been known as that engine company. Like Unity.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Gears of War?

    • Distec says:

      This comment makes me scratch my head too. I don’t know anybody who thinks of Epic as particularly “grimdark” or a “console king”. Having one Gears of War franchise doesn’t wipe out an established pedigree of bright colors, sci-fi weaponry, and headshot announcements.

      Even if you only go by recent output, they’re still pretty much “Those engine dudes”.

  6. Solidstate89 says:

    That honestly has to stand as one of the best videogame commercials of all time. I don’t know what your opinions are on the game, but that Ad is utterly fantastic.

    • Muzman says:

      Meh. If games had adverts ten years earlier it would have been Everybody Hurts sung by a choir or something equally lame.
      That Mad World version was all over the place back then. It even made people think Donny Darko was a good movie. Add to that the fact it has nothing to do with the game in meaning or in tone and its cornball marketing at its finest.

      • Bull0 says:

        Ah, you see, it was all the good attributes of the movie that made me think it was a good movie, not the song. Maybe we want different things out of movies. Currently sits at 85% fresh on rotten tomatoes.

        • Muzman says:

          It was ok. The director’s cut does establish fairly firmly that the director had no idea what was going on and it being what it was can probably be put down to the editor saving it.
          It was however a lot of people’s first ‘arty’ existentialist sort of film, it would seem. That and 80s nostalgia add up to a tendency to overrate, I feel.

          • Bull0 says:

            I just enjoyed how intriguing, atmospheric and original it all was, even if it didn’t really make a lot of sense.

  7. Martel says:

    So outdoor Orcs Must Die?

  8. Blackcompany says:

    I thought was going to be a sandbox survival game with co-op and some quirks, plus a unique visual style. So much for that, I guess. Another game I can scratch forever off my dwindling wish list.

  9. Tei says:

    I feel the same as other guys.

    This looks incredible similar to Orcs Must Die. Wall-traps. The wall-traps don’t kill the mobs, only work as crown control so the players kill them,….

    But this looks with way more ambition than OMD,… freeflow design can be interesting, with friends or maybe guilds or any other social structure. I could see how people would want to build “the perfect base” offline, then invite or allow random people to inhabit it, maybe upgrade it. Theres is gold somewhere in this idea, but is hard to find.

    Other than that, I did not like OMD and It seems I am not to like Fortnite for simila reasons: mobs are HP damage sponges and the one trick pony joke of the game is to send you many at the same time that are hard to deal it, as oposed interesting.

    See? Dungeon Defenders ( the nemesis of OMD ) had a different balance, where traps are deadly, but the game spawn so big a number of mobs, that the defenses ultimatelly crumble. Players are also powerfull, but are more “money collectors” and “loot collectors” than the base of the defense.

    Balance Group A:
    - OMD
    - Fortnite
    - Natural Selection

    Balance Group B:
    - Tremulous
    - Dungeon Defenders

    I am more a group B guy.

    edit:
    The basebuilding looks interesting if is well done. Like architecture-porn good.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Traps in the original Orcs Must Die were fully capable of massacring the enemy without player help after a few rounds. In the right three squares you could construct a swinging mace, wall blades, and tar trap combo that would absolutely destroy all but the largest enemies. If you had long enough distances to play with, grinders were even worse.

      Sure the frost amulet and tar traps were ridiculous together, but it wasn’t the only way. The second one’s design does lean a little heavier toward FPS.

  10. GHudston says:

    This looks like one of those games that has a real chance to be very good but it sounds like it has a way to go before it gets there. I hope they pull it off, I really like the aesthetic and the idea of competitive game with cooperative gathering and base building sounds like it’s right up my street.

  11. SkittleDiddler says:

    I kinda liked Orcs Must Die, but that doesn’t mean I want to play it again. Especially if it’s OMD with frickin’ zombies.

  12. Frank says:

    Nice video update; you should do this more!

  13. SomeDuder says:

    Woah, what happened here? Wasnt Fortnite going to be a survival game in a zombie-apocalypse? Also remember it being a bit more grim-looking than this.

    I loved Orcs Must Die, it and its sequel, but that graphics-style works because it’s about goofy orcs vs an even goofier player-character, in a silly medieval world.

    For the zombie-apocalypse, these enemies sure look more alien than human. And the traps don’t really don’t finish them off, only serve to stall them till the player finishes them off. I guess the idea is that it keeps the player involved, but I’d really enjoy a game where I can explore the world, pick a building and completely modify it to withstand the undead horde without having to bother with fighting them off myself.