Buried beneath an Everest sized pile of TikTok dance emotes, Marvel skins and lavish live concerts for Ariana Grande lies the actual reason Fortnite has kept me playing for the best part of half a decade: Fortnite is one of the finest multiplayer shooters on PC, and no, I’m not joking. It rules.
Battle Royale may have been built upon the game’s original survival mode with the same slapdash energy as cooking a garlic bread as a side for a roast dinner, but without this base the game would never have found overnight success. For all its flaws, Fortnite’s Save The World campaign was a solid survival shooter that boasted interesting building mechanics and weighty shooting. Battle Royale may have been a last minute addition, but Save The World was in development for the best part of seven years, providing Fortnite with a foundation that was leaps and bounds ahead of any of its competitors at the time.
I mean come on, can you be surprised that Fortnite features gunplay that is some of the best in the genre? This is still Epic we’re talking about here, the creators of Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. Did you think there was no shared DNA between these projects? That nothing was learned from the crack of the flak cannon or the heft of the lancer assault rifle? And this is without even considering the game’s weekly update schedule, where weapons are tweaked with the same careful precision as a professional watchmaker tinkering with a grandfather clock.
I get why you might not like Fortnite. It’s brash. Abrasive. Visual sandpaper for anyone over the age of 30. But the core of this thing, the bones that lie beneath the gooey neon-coloured sinew, are pure and clean. Go on, give it a download. Before you know it you’ll have bought the Robocop skin and will be saying phrases like “let’s land at the reality tree” without a single hint of irony. Fortnite absolutely rules.