‘Fortnite Save the World’ provides fun, engaging combat

My turf: Every new season of “Fortnite” releases new skins, themes and even new items to use in game. Recently the game introduced the game changing Port a Fort grenade, which allows players to simply create a protective fort mere seconds after they toss the item. Many people have been using the item for more than just defense. Creative players can use the Port a Fort to trap opponents or to destroy their forts. Port a Fort is another great example of how “Fortnite” players can really twist the game’s boundaries in interesting ways.

Natalie Croze

If you play, or have heard of, Epic Games’ newest sandbox survival game, “Fortnite,” it’s likely you were attracted by its battle royale mode similar to “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”

Yet, “Fortnite” is making waves again since it introduced its new early-access player vs. environment mode, Save the World. This new mode pits players against zombie hordes and uses team-based challenges in a fun resource gathering environment. In Save the World mode, players complete quests alone, or with up to 3 friends while gathering materials, in-game currency, and hero cards to bring back and use to build up your base camp.

Although this is called the Save the World mode for “Fortnite,” the story does not have a real draw that will keep players invested in the game. The real appeal comes from the fast paced and fun combat along with the intuitive and easy base building.

Most quests focus on one central objective, whether escorting non-playable-characters to safety, protecting a van for several minutes, base defense or other familiar quests. To complete these quests, players must use a combination of base building and combat tactics.

What “Fortnite” focuses most on is resources. Everything costs something, whether you are leveling up your weapons, improving your base, building traps or leveling up your hero and your survivor cards, you won’t get very far without grinding through missions and taking the time during those missions to gather everything in sight. The game works a lot like “Minecraft” in this way, where the environment is almost completely destructible and everything that can be picked up can be used to help build and increase the character’s overall power. This makes the game very appealing to gamers who enjoy grinding and repeating quests to get better and better loot. The game makes this repetitiveness enjoyable with relative consistency by rewarding players often with high level loot.

One thing for players thinking about getting into the game to consider is that Epic Games is planning to take their massively multiplayer online game into the free-to-play model.

This means that “Fortnite” is not immune to a favorite trait of these games: loot boxes. The game is geared toward encouraging the purchase of loot boxes which can, of course, be purchased with real, or in-game, currency. While this does mean that players willing to spend their hard-earned money on these loot boxes will get ahead in the game faster than those who are not, “Fortnite” does a good job of providing enough loot and currency that the player does not feel pressured into purchasing them.

Despite its simplistic but fun gameplay, the game does have some complex mechanics to contend with. Players are not only responsible for their own hero character that they explore the game with, they also have to manage their home base so that they can craft better weapons, traps and buildings. Things like survivor cards, schematics and their collections are all aspects players will have to pay attention to if they want to get ahead in the game.

“Fortnite Save the World” is currently in early access and available for PC/Mac, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at the price of $39.99, although it will be going free-to-play sometime during this year. For players who enjoy games that are grind-heavy and offer combat that is both fun and engaging, but not too challenging, it might be worth it to go ahead and pick this up now.

For those unsure if the game fits their play style, there really is no harm in waiting until it has gone free-to-play, as there are more game mechanics rumored to be put in place before launch.

While the combat is fun, and the building is easy and intuitive, there is no real end-game content, beyond better gear, to keep players interested long-term. This could change closer to release, but for now the game provides too little entertainment for the steep price.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars