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Fortnite - Battle Royale and Horde Bash Impressions

One's free, one's not, and both are new to Epic Games' action-builder.


So Fortnite is here in early access, albeit some of it paid and some free. Two modes that have recently hit the game are Horde Bash, released this week and falling under the 'paid' category, and the Battle Royale mode, that's been out a little while longer and is free to anyone who wants to join the fun. We've been playing both to see what they offer, and at the same time see how Epic Games' action/crafting/shooter is coming along.

Battle Royale

Now Battle Royale has caught the headlines recently because of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds devs, who were none too pleased about the mode, but regardless, it's actually been dong very well and it's easy to see why - it takes what makes PUBG popular, and pretty much reproduces the essentials but within its own game.

So like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, the game comprises of 100 players being dropped into an island via a flying bus (okay, it differs a bit there), and then this number is whittled down to one winner as the 'storm' slowly decreases the size of the play area. As you move around the map, the tension rises as more of your fellow islanders are murdered, and the best course of action is to stay out of the open and find as many resources as you can - all stuff that should come as second nature to PUBG players.

But what's different here is the insertion of Fortnite's own crafting and building mechanics. You can use the same placement of structures and traps as you can elsewhere in the game, making the acquisition of building materials almost as essential as weapons, and although it's not always the most useful, when you find a nice house to hole up in for an extended period of time, you'll be grateful you can build some extra fortifications around it.

You would have thought the crafting extends to weapons and ammunition too, but Epic Games has stripped back the inventory so that it's just a backpack. It's now all about what you find rather than what you've already got, especially since nothing from the base game carries over, which makes each game feel even from the get-go.

In terms of the weapons on offer, these are the same as in the base game and include expected offerings like sniper rifles, pistols, and assault rifles, and although some on the Internet would claim the sniper rifle is overpowered, we didn't find any weapon to be particularly annoying to go up against. In fact, the combat was tense, fun, and fair for the most part; you need to time your shots wisely and you'll be rewarded for doing so.

There isn't much to say about Battle Royale other than that it's effectively PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds but with a more cartoony Fortnite visual style and the addition of crafting. PUBG is successful for a reason, though, and Fortnite's own version is very fun in the same way. If you like Fortnite or PUBG, then, you'll probably like what's on offer here, either alone or with some friends.

(As an aside, we constantly got up and down on the d-pad confused, up being for the map, and down for a dance, and we noticed, as did this Reddit user, that the dance is inspired by the character Turk from Scrubs, which we very much appreciated.)