Epic Games today announced that their base-building zombie apocalypse looter-shooter Fortnite [official site] will enter paid early access on July 25th. It will eventually launch as free-to-play in 2018 but, if you want to team up with your chums to scavenge, build bases, and kill zombies now now now, you will be able to pay to start before the game is finished. If you don't want to, hey, no one will force you to buy it. (Will they? Are they? Are you safe? Double-space your comment if you need help.) Before that, check out this new trailer explaining what Fortnite is about:
So! There are zombies. You are not a zombie. The zombies want to eat you. You do not want to be eaten. So you gather resources, build bases, craft traps and weapons, and kill zombies. With your chums, if you'd like. It looks a bit like an arcade-y 7 Days to Die.
Our professional acquaintances at Eurogamer recently played a bit of Fortnite and came away less than impressed.
"Alongside turret defence it's also a third-person shooter, and a melee action game, and looter, and builder, and so on forever and ever. Play however you want is the well-intentioned philosophy, but it's sadly misguided. Games you can play however you want are completely open - imagine if Minecraft only gave you rigid, prefab walls and ramps for just one type of castle, instead of its flexible barebones blocks. Fortnite, by contrast, is a conglomeration of other games and their accompanying rules and systems, awkwardly stuck together. There seems to be a misplaced hope that adding more features, mechanics, and curated playstyles will also add more flexibility, but it does the opposite. I feel like in playing one way, I'm funneled into the other, because of a belief that all of these different games are fun - and so they should all be in this game together, at the same time."
If you want to pay to play early, packages with access and gobs of microtransaction doodads start at £35 and go up to £125. People who pre-order packages will get access from July 21st. Yes, early access to a game in early access does seem silly.
Epic first announced Fortnite way back in 2011. People Can Fly came onboard later after Epic bought the Bulletstorm studio. People Can Fly did keep working on it after regaining their independence but I'm not sure how involved they are these days. Oh! If you didn't hear the news, PCF are working on an unknown game with Square Enix.