Fortnite: What's it like for a beginner to play it?
Unless you’ve been cut off from the rest of the world in recent months, you’ll have no doubt have heard people talk about Fortnite. It’s the latest video game phenomenon – a brightly coloured third-person shooter that’s packed full of cartoon violence and moreish action.
Fornite can count Drake, Spurs and England striker Harry Kane and Stranger Things star, Finn Wolfhard as fans. The top Twitch streamer, Ninja, is currently coining in an eye-watering $500,000 per month by playing the game in front of a growing viewership. It’s basically big business. So I decided to give it a whirl.
And even though I’ve got a long gaming career under my belt – from Horace Goes Skiing to Halo and Frogger to FIFA – diving into this as a beginner is a chastening affair. One that almost made me snap my DualShock 4 in half out of pure frustration. And here’s why…
It’s like learning a foreign language
I’m more than familiar with first and third person shooters, so assumed my carefully honed skills would serve me well on the battlefields. Wrong.
Sure there are shotguns, sniper rifles and more to help you out in 100 v. 100 Battle Royale mode, but you need to learn how to build, too.
Wooden, stone or metal structures can be crafted in an instant. But I found switching between shooting and building as frustratingly unnatural as patting my head and rubbing my belly. And if you can’t fix up some temporary cover, you’re basically a sitting duck. And this leads neatly on to…
Everyone is better than you
You'll spot a skilled builder a mile away. They’re the ones building an impenetrable fort that stretches into the clouds where they can rain hot lead down while you’re still trying to remember which button switches to build.
Not only that, they’ve also figured out the sweet spot distances for every weapon. So even if you do grab a minigun, you’ll have been blasted to bits before you even get chance to fire up the spin mechanism. Harsh.
It can be lonely out there
Well, it is if you haven’t got three other mates to form a squad with. As I wander around the landscape, scavenging for weapons and cowering behind trees whenever I see an enemy in the distance, I can see my buddies working together – probably having a good laugh over their headsets while they play.
I’m not the most social online gamer, so I won’t get on the mic unless I know the other people involved. And it’s a bit weird to just follow a team of folk around like some weird, mute stalker that always gets killed.
Anyway, you probably know someone who’s playing Fortnite, you just haven’t seen them for months, get them involved.
You’ll die lots
See above. It’s completely unforgiving.
But with all this said… I *think* I’m enjoying Fortnite.
I certainly can’t stop thinking about it when I’m not playing it anyway, which is always a good sign of a game. It’s just, as internet parlance dictates, I need to “git gud” before I can fully appreciate the beauty of it all. Once more unto the breach, my friends...