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DO NOT FIGHT IT
I started to hear about Fortnite a couple of months ago. A few instances here and there. Just the name. I did not know really what it was or what was the concept. I guess at one point I knew it was a game. And then I saw the icon of the mobile game. And I remember watching a video review of an iPad and the reviewer talked about Fortnite. I almost knew in advance that I might lose lots of useful hours of my life by installing it. But as the banned commercial from the original Xbox said, "life is short, play more."
So, I installed it on my 2017 iPad Pro 10.5-inch. The first feeling I had was to feel completely lost. In the beginning of the game, you've got the ability to kill everyone, without actually killing anyone. It felt so random I really did not understand what was happening. And as soon as I had got a grip of it, the game stopped and I was in... a flying bus going over a mysterious island. Well... okay, I guess. And suddenly, I was thrown out of the bus without any warning, jumping towards an island I knew nothing about.
LET'S PLAY A GAME!
And then, the really fun began! Oh, boy. I quickly understood that that was the real game. An island, 100 players, FIGHT! The goal? Become the very last man standing. The concept, while totally not new, felt really refreshing in its great and simple implementation. I became hooked in a couple of minutes.
MOBILE v PC v CONSOLE
After playing for a while on the iPad Pro only, I then was surprised to learn that there was a Playstation 4 version... and that version was free! I jumped on my PS4, removed all the dust out of it, and had no clue how to start it! I promise this is true. I checked the electricity, I really could not switch it on. I had to Google "how to start slim PS4" to learn where was the button. Yes, it had been a while I played with my console.
The game's design was just amazing. Maybe most games from today look that good, but at least, coming back from the mobile version, the console version was visually outstanding! The stars, the light, the all package. But, unfortunately, I hated that version. The reason? The controllers. Because Fortnite is an odd game. Nine times out of ten, when hit, you die instantly. This is not a game where you have to shoot and shoot and shoot at someone to kill him/her. It is not a game where you regenerate automatically by just waiting behind a tree. No, in Fortnite, you spend lots of time getting there, and then all ends very quickly. Better get ready for it. And better play with proper input device. The gamepad felt totally wrong to carefully hit someone extremely quickly. Because, as mentioned, when you've got to kill someone, you usually just have a second and that's it. You cannot afford to slowly aim at someone. You need ultimate precision. So, maybe there's a way to play with a mouse and keyboard on the PS4. Actually, let me Google that...
- Done! -
Wow, okay. So, let me explain. First, you can definitely hook a keyboard and mouse to your Playstation. Second, Fortnite will actually separate the players by input device. What that means is that if you play with a gamepad, like most of the population, you'll be playing versus people with gamepads. But if you play with a keyboard and mouse, then you'll be playing against the same type of population. Just by thinking of it, I would say that this seems like a fair solution. Why would you put people with a disadvantage against others with better material? Of course, I'm sure that some people reading these words will say that they can play as good as the others with a gamepad, but I'm not interested in debating minorities. For most people, playing with a gamepad is less precise and therefore more difficult. That's a fact and yes, the truth not only exists but matters.
Back to the explanation, you can then not change the input device while you are playing. The game would not allow it. You can only do this while being in the lobby. You'll see not only your region but your input device on the upper right corner of your screen. Maybe by the time you read this review, this icon will be someplace else, as we live in a world where nothing is permanent, except for this awesome Website that you are on. But I digress.
PREVIOUSLY... ON FORTNITE
One of the great element of Fortnite is that it utilizes all the latest techniques and feels truly modern. You can play sitting on your couch at home on your Playstation 4 against people using their smartphone in a train in Brazil or a tablet in Tokyo. Welcome to the wonderful world of technology, I guess. Not only that, but like with TV series, there are seasons in the game. I was really positively surprised when a 9-year old told me this while playing the game with the voice chat feature on. (More on that later). Indeed, every once in a while, a new season is released, meaning that the map is changing. Suddenly, I went from season 6 to 7 and there was snow, new elements, new tools, new vehicles. This provides an outstanding way to change the gameplay and making things more interesting and financially, keeping your audience interested of course. Remember the crazy period when Pokemon Go was released? For about three weeks, all the young kids in the world (at least in the rich countries) were outside, chasing Pokemons. I must admit I was one of them, even going outside in the middle of the evening just to get a rare Pokemon. Hell, I even started to randomly take the bus in an effort to get Pokemons... without any effort. I think I am revealing way too much about me in this review, time to be more formal.
Season 7 introduced, to me, one of the best features of all. Planes! Suddenly, you could jump into a small plane and the battle was not only taking place on earth, but also in the sky. This is so much fun that all I want right now is to stop this review and play a game. Yeah, I'm that excited about this game. There also the possibility to have team players joining you and standing on your wings while you fly it through the sky.
Did I mention the storm? Jee, I forgot about that. I guess I should have started with that. So, while the island is quite big and the number of players keep going down throughout a match, the size of the island where you can stand also keeps shrinking. The clever idea was to introduce a kind of electrical storm (I'm sure there is a backstory for that, which I'm not aware), which reduces your game area so much that at the end, you always end up with just a handful of players fighting each other in a very secluded area. Get ready for the end!
FROM A CAMPER...
Yes, I am a camper. I play such video games like I live, very securely and wanting to master my environment. I play video games like if I was living it. Let me ask you that question, and I apologize in advance if I shouldn't mix video games and real suffering, but hey, didn't I say that life was short at the beginning of this review? So, in real life, during war time, if you knew there would be 100 people outside, wanting to desperately kill you, would you run around the streets, ride motorcycles in empty fields and run towards the enemy? Well, not me. Let me tell you what I would do if suddenly 100 people were outside my window. I would first take as much ammunitions as I could get, and then I would hide myself. Anywhere. In the basement, in a hole in the ground, in the attic, anywhere. So, that's my technique. Or at least that was my technique before the release of the planes. I would just get my stuff and run in a house and hide there. The problem is of course that there's the storm shrinking (actually increasing), so you usually cannot stay hidden for very long.
...TO A FREQUENT FLYER
This is when I became a flyer. As soon as I saw the planes in season 7, I took off and stayed there for so long that I think the studio that created Fortnite should award me tons of miles and make me a frequent flyer. I probably shouldn't share my awesome technique, but anyway, let me share the brilliancy of my master plan. Time for a quote from The Dark Knight Rises first:
- Now what's the next step of your master plan?
- Crashing this plane...
Enters Hans Zimmer's music. Tam tam, tam tam tam tam.
Oops, too much quote for today.
As I was saying, my master plan is a three-steps plan:
1. Step One! You shall find some resources. That means finding a proper gun and more if you want. That usually serves no purpose, as the end is always very quick.
2. Step Two! A plane you must find! Jump into a plane. Preferably always the same. Why changing a great recipe for victory?
3. Step Three! Fly, you must. Just fly as much as possible, until the storm is so big that you can only leave it.
4. Step Four! Hide in a tree. Yes, that's my awesome secret technique. If you are lucky, there may be a big tree where you can hide in the final area. Just find one if you can and hide within the top side of it.
5. Step Five! Kill or be killed. This is the ultimate step. And you know what? Figure it out yourself! And pray you don't end up against yours truly! *
This game also has a very fun option, which I actually stopped using for a very obvious reason.
You have the ability to use voice chat in the team mode. I first thought this was great, but ended up 9 times out of 10 with... little kids. This was actually super cute and very fun. I made a 9-year old friend from France, Max, that actually taught me most of what I shared here. I use this opportunity to thank him, in case one day he ends up on this review. He told me about the seasons (I had no clue), a few expressions like "being top one!" (that means winning, obviously) and we started talking about various things. When I was waiting for him to come back from school to play, we would have discussions about school and when my girlfriend saw me doing that, I suddenly felt very out of place. I had another friend who used to call me "Brother", and I always wondered if he would imagine who I was. Actually, that's the beauty of video game. Like in sport, no one cares who you are, what color you are, where you come from, you are all equal and have fun together. And I find it very cool.
Still, I would recommend not using voice chat, as this is a step too much for me. I much prefer being calm and playing alone, as most team players are super bad anyway and die before I even touch on the ground.
Oh, that reminds me, I just forgot about another step! Let me call this one:
0. Step Zero! Stay in the air as much as possible at first. What I always do is this. I stay in the flying bus until it reaches the end of the island and throws you away (bollocks!, to say with an Irish accent). Then, I open my... umbrella (or any other option you have to fly) and stay in the air as long as possible.
Because this is a game of numbers. You are number 100 and you need to be number 1. So, do you think you have more chance against 100 people or against 50? Because if you stay in the air as much as possible, most of the time, when I touch the ground, there are only about 60 players remaining. That means that actually, I never play against 100 players, but against 60. I really don't understand why most of the people just jump into a fight and always die after a few seconds or minute. People are sheep. Learn to be different, young apprentice, and you may finish Top 1, as my friend Max would say.
An outstanding game. I give it 9 out of 10. Outstanding. And I say hi to Max!
* Actually, if you end up against me, your odds will be entirely in your favor. I usually die at the end.
No pictures in the gallery.