For the past year or so, one game has ruled both the casual and competitive gaming worlds far above all others – Fortnite, the battle royale extravaganza from Epic Games. Despite being almost everywhere, I had managed to hold out as long as I could since I did not want to get utterly destroyed by a bunch of young kids who had spent every waking hour obsessed with it. However, with the Tuesday release of the education system’s greatest nightmare on Nintendo Switch and my recent online success with Rocket League, I decided to finally give it a go. Here are the chronicles from my first night consisting of 10 matches.
Individual Finish: 40th
Squad Finish: 7th
Skydiving into a remote farm and being immediately rewarded with a sniper rifle was a thrilling introduction to the world of Fortnite. Unfortunately, wandering around aimlessly for 10 minutes before I saw another player was not. My n00bishness was quickly discovered as I lasted all of five seconds in my first gun battle.
Individual Finish: 87th
Hey this time I landed at the exact same spot as two other people, so I didn’t have to worry about being bored! But also, I did have to worry about them quickly murdering me once they found guns while I was busy trying to hit them with my pickaxe.
Individual Finish: 78th
Again, I found myself at the farm. This time, however, I was abruptly taken out by a drone. The realization then dawned on me that maybe it’d be best to try another approach.
Individual Finish: 74th
It was time to summon my inner lack of courage and hide like the best coward out there. I found a great house to avoid the Hunger Games in upon landing. Much to my chagrin, someone else was already taking up residence there, and their pickaxe skills were far greater than mine leading to yet another early exit.
Individual Finish: 11th
This time, I decided to glide as far away from the center as I could and parachuted into the worst named area in the game – Moisty Mire. My hiding was now far more exotic including houses and a cave. Eventually, I got a little too antsy and was taken down easily once I encountered another soul.
Individual Finish: 11th
I just couldn’t seem to crack the top ten. This time I landed in the midst of an awesome hedge-maze that featured a mini-gun at its center. In the end, I lost a gunfight with said mini-gun to somebody impressively constructing some sort of fort. Just past the halfway point of my 10 matches, I finally started to see the appeal of the game.
Individual Finish: 3rd
By this point, my hiding abilities had reached an art form as I managed to find a shed to conceal myself in that became half consumed by one of the storm movements. I also enjoyed finding a chest by tearing down a wall, made me realize that while I didn’t understand construction I could maybe get a hold of this whole destruction thing. At this point the game was definitely sinking its teeth into me. Eventually, the map became so constricted that I found myself surrounded by nothing but high ground, and as we all know from Revenge of the Sith, once your opponent has gained the high ground, you might as well give up.
Individual Finish: 2nd!
This was it. This was my crowning achievement. After spending the first 5 or so minutes hiding in a toilet factory and setting an unnecessary floor trap to keep the hordes of 0 people nearby from getting to me, I found an awesome house to burrow in featuring remote controlled explosives. I then promptly blew the house up by accident, yet somehow remained undiscovered. I seemed on the path to victory as I snuck into an attic that managed to be luckily inside the final constriction zone, but once my opponent realized where I was and blew up my house, I was forced to run around wildly while they constructed a massive tower to assert their dominance. If only I had not wasted all those explosives earlier….
Individual Finish: 5th
Team Finish: 3rd
Since I really had nowhere to go but down given that I had still yet to kill a single other person in 8 matches, I decided it was time to return to squad mode and see how my sneakery worked there. Sadly, my comrades were not as adept at being ninja-like and were all quickly dismissed. Things culminated in a fun showdown on Loot Lake where I got to anxiously run through the lake without any cover for a solid two minutes until finally meeting my doom at a house.
Individual Finish: 3rd
Team Finish: 2nd
It was here that I learned the value of actually having squadmates who you were communicating with as my hide-and-not-go-seek approach worked incredibly well (especially when I hid inside a bathtub) until the two man team remaining decided to lay waste to all cover in the highly constricted zone until they rooted me out and sent me back to my maker.
That was actually a surprising amount of fun. Since I’m not really one for online shooters, I didn’t think I would find a lot to enjoy, but the suspense and thrills of discovering weird new places to hide proved to be enough for me. If only avoiding confrontation completely could somehow lead to winning, I think I’d have a future in the game.
I thoroughly enjoyed how cartoony everything was making the whole 100 people on an island murdering one another thing a little more lighthearted, and the controls were surprisingly intuitive aside from the construction part that continually got me confused and stuck with a diagram in front of me that I didn’t know how to dismiss. I definitely see why this game is so popular, and I think I’ll check in again from time to time. But I don’t foresee myself getting too serious into it unless I find a squad to do all the wet-work for me while I do what I do best and cower in a corner.