KMC Crusade

Free, fun survival game attracts well-deserved excitement

On+this+map%2C+Fortnite+is+played+by+millions+daily.+The+island+is+filled+with+weapons%2C+shields+and+more.
On this map, Fortnite is played by millions daily. The island is filled with weapons, shields and more.

On this map, Fortnite is played by millions daily. The island is filled with weapons, shields and more.

Kaegan Cowan

Kaegan Cowan

On this map, Fortnite is played by millions daily. The island is filled with weapons, shields and more.

Kaegan Cowan, Sports Editor

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“#1 Victory Royale!” reads the TV screen on a Snapchat picture. Over and over, these pictures appear on more and more of your friends’ accounts. What are all of your friends so proud of?

The game is “Fortnite,” with a free early-access release in 2017, expected to be followed with a paid, full release sometime in 2018. “Fortnite” is, at face value, a survival game, but it has much more to offer. The game has two modes: PvE (player vs. environment) “Save the World,” which must be purchased for $39.99, and PvP (player vs. player) Battle Royale, which is free.

Battle Royale is by far the most popular mode. There are three primary Battle Royale modes: Squad, Duo and Solo. In Squad, a player fights alongside three other players; in Duo, alongside one other player; and, in Solo, by themselves. In Squad and Duo, a player has the ability to play with friends or with randomly matched teammates.

Each Battle Royale game begins the same way. Once 100 players join a game, a Battle Bus (which looks like a school bus outfitted with jet engines) begins flying over the main island. Players then must jump out of the bus, and eventually land on the island where you begin playing.

The bus flies in a different path every round, but it always goes over the middle of the map. This means the majority of players jump in the same general area (which also tends to have the best rewards). The biggest hotspot for activity is Tilted Towers, a downtown area made up of skyscrapers filled with weapons, ammunition and traps.

Most of the rewards that can be obtained in Battle Royale mode come from glowing, golden chests hidden all over the map. If you are near a chest, you can hear a high-pitched musical note. Often, you must break down a wall with your pickax and/or build stairs to get to a chest. Chests give players a weapon, some ammunition, and a third item which can be a trap, a shield, a medical item or a 30x quantity of a building material.

An important aspect of Battle Royale is the storm. Shortly after a player drops into the map, there is a notification that the storm will begin shrinking in a given amount of time (usually 2-3 minutes). A white “safe” circle appears on the map, and the player must make it to this circle before the storm overtakes them. Each time the storm diminishes, the circle gets smaller, forcing players to be closer to each other, making them choose between fighting or dying in the storm (a rather dishonorable way to die).

The final important part of Battle Royale is the ability to build structures. There are three materials to stockpile: wood, brick and metal. Those materials can be found as standalone, able-to-be-picked-up items, or they can be obtained from trees, rocks and vehicles using the pickax, sort of like in “Minecraft.” Players have four structure-building options: walls, floors, stairs, and a pyramid/roof for topping structures.

Structures are better at protecting players than shields and they are an important way to stay alive at the end of games. Structures can be edited to have windows, doors and more. A popular strategy is to shoot opposing players through windows with sniper rifles.

The most important objective of gameplay, of course, is to get a Victory Royale, finishing as the final living player (or players if you are in a group).

Battle Royale is an absolute blast to play. There are a variety of strategies for players to use. Aggressive players may like to run around the map searching for loot and shooting anybody in their way; some players may get as much loot from a certain area as possible before building a massive base; still, others may find a single weapon and hide in bushes throughout the map until they are confronted by another player.

Some negatives include shotguns in the game, which have had a problem with being drastically overpowered at close range and many players would have no chance in a point-blank battle. However, this was adjusted. One complaint I currently have about the game is the length of time it takes to build structures out of metal. If a player is in danger of being shot by a sniper and is trying to build defenses, metal structures take much longer to cover a player entirely and therefore give a sniper a much cleaner shot.

A suggestion I would like to make for this game is that the game adds a close-range melee weapon. Currently, the only weapon a player can use that does not shoot projectiles is the pickax, and bludgeoning an opposing player to death takes 10 hits. There’s not much of a chance for a stealth attack with a pickax. And, speaking of stealth attacks, I think the game should add an item (maybe a special pair of shoes) to silence a player’s footsteps. Footsteps are very audible in “Fortnite”, and they are a dead giveaway to opposing players.

But, once again, these are only suggestions to an otherwise well-made, enjoyable game. “Fortnite” is available for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC.

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Free, fun survival game attracts well-deserved excitement