In 2017, months before Ninja streamed Fortnite with Drake (opens in a new tab) and making national news, he was trying out his new Battle Royale mode. The game was extremely simple then compared to anything you can do now, but the basics were solid: shooting felt pretty good, building was useful, and destruction was like nothing else on its scale.
After a while, behavior began to emerge that would eventually define how Fortnite is played. Construction became less about getting from place to place, and more about quickly building elaborate towers of brick and metal to confuse enemies and block incoming fire. The shootouts no longer resembled two people shooting guns and more like duels of carpenter wizards competing to make the tallest pile of trash.
I basically left Fortnite when it started looking like this.
Font: galaxy clips (opens in a new tab) in Youtube
This week, Epic removed the building (opens in a new tab) from the casual mode of Fortnite, so I took it back. Shit: Do I think Fortnite is finally really good?
Playing Fortnite without building immediately feels different in a few key ways. The most obvious change is that when I shoot someone, their first reaction is not to cower into a tower of sticks and bricks. They actually have to turn around and shoot back! Sometimes I take more shots, sometimes they take more shots, it’s great. I’ve only been playing for a few nights and have already had fun, drawn out fights with what I’m pretty sure are real players (there’s been a lot of bots too).
No building has made the infighting a bit more exciting, at least for a less experienced player like me. You can still destroy anything with your harvesting tool, but now the damage is permanent. I’ve gotten into the habit of knocking down the walls of buildings trying to push out the enemies inside like I was Sledge in Rainbow Six Siege. I also appreciate that without three different building materials to worry about, the loot mess on corpses is much more manageable.
And I haven’t even mentioned the best part. To complement this no-build trial, Epic has also added new mobility features and a health boost. Players now run faster by default and can run in short bursts. I love sprinting in Fortnite, partly because the animation has so much character and detail, but also because it cuts down on the time I spend running across grassy fields considerably. Ditto for new swipe and cloak abilities pulled straight from an FPS – navigating Fortnite’s colorful cities and rolling hills is now easy and fun.
The new moveset, which I think Epic plans to keep even after this temporary no-compile event is over, raises interesting questions about the future of the game. It used to be necessary to build to move around the map, but Epic has essentially designed your way around now. I don’t need stairs to get to a second story ceiling when I can hold space to reach a ledge and get up. For more extreme maneuvers, tools like grappling hooks, ziplines, launch pads, and Spider-man’s webs provide more than enough opportunity to get high.
Frankly, there’s so much going on on the Fortnite map already that I’m amazed anyone can focus enough to build an intricate tower. In the last few nights of matches alone, I’ve fought AI soldiers in a blimp, jumped from a cannon, drove a car that I later upgraded with huge tires, blew up a tank, and chased a dozen missions that have nothing to do with the game. real battle royale mode.
As far as Battle Royale is concerned, I think the build can safely continue, and Epic seems to agree. Fortnite data miners recently uncovered evidence suggesting that Epic actually plans to keep no-build as a permanent mode.
At the same time, I’m really glad that Fortnite as a whole has build, because it’s responsible for all the awesome custom game modes that are outside of the main playlist. Last night, I took a break from BR and ended up in an open world snowboarding game. After that, I checked out the surprisingly good rendition of the Fortnite accessory hunt.
I’m also glad that those who still want to play Fortnite with all their building chaos can still do so. It’s such an integral mechanic to the game that removing it entirely would immediately alienate players who have now spent a significant portion of their childhood mastering the art of building eight walls, editing a corner window, and shooting someone. Respect. While you do that, I’ll be here playing. me Fortnite version.