Fortnite Battle Royale Trailer Is PUBG + Crafting
Fortnite hit Early Access a while ago, and the reception has been mixed. The general consensus is that the core gameplay loop has a solid foundation, but the whole thing is weighed down by several overlapping, confusing progression systems, and a whole lot of grinding. But hey, that’s why we have Early Access, right? To improve the game, and to try new things. And speaking of new things, Epic has just announced the upcoming Fortnite Battle Royale mode!
They make little effort to hide the new mode’s PUBG inspirations, but why should they? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with seeing a cool idea and trying to do your own spin on it. Fortnite Battle Royale rounds will begin in a very similar way to PUBG. 100 players will be flying over the island in the Battlebus, a giant flying airship. You bail out where you want, and you have nothing but a glider and a pickaxe. Where PUBG wants you to scavenge houses and buildings, however, Fortnite wants you to demolish and craft them. Players can land on the roof of a house then immediately start tearing it apart to gain crafting materials.
Fortnite’s crowning achievement is its building system. With the right materials, players can quickly and easily create complex fortresses. Walls, ceilings, doors, windows, towers, and most importantly: traps. In PUBG, if you’re camping – which is a totally viable strategy that I completely endorse – you still have blind spots. You always need to be aware of every angle possible, which is difficult. But in Fortnite, you could craft a high perch for yourself, then line the entrance with traps. You’ll know if anyone’s trying to sneak up behind you. Then again, they could just shoot out your entire foundation and watch you fall to the ground. But should they spend that much ammo on you?
You can already see how this mode might differ from PUBG. Depending on what kind of guns players find, and how much ammo they find, there’s a question of whether the best path is combat, destruction, creating fortresses or destroying them. One interesting wrinkle that the trailer doesn’t mention is that the mode seems to be adopting PUBG’s circles.
In the screenshot above, taken from the trailer, you can see both the white circle (Safe Zone), and the slowly shrinking blue circle (wall of death). It’s not surprising that this mechanic would be copied from PUBG; after all, you have to force players together. But Fortnite’s crafting systems would allow for so many strategies around this. For example, you could land somewhere on the map, start hording resources, and once the third of fourth circle spawns, run to the center and craft a giant fortress as quickly as possible. Or you could just craft tiny boxes to hide inside as you slowly move to across the map.
I think Fortnite’s crafting and loot systems will be different enough to make this a viable competitor to PUBG. There’s no universe in which Fortnite will sell 10 million copies, but at least its Battle Royale mode will be different enough that one can justify trying it out. The mode is currently on Fortnite’s Test Servers, and will roll out to all players later this month.