Fortnite Battle Royale: What I've learned
You have probably heard of Fortnite Battle Royale.
It has become the latest online sensation and is taking the gaming world by storm. I am not an avid gamer, but even I have got hooked on this one.
It is so easy to take part. Sign up and you are given a character, you are then dropped, along with 99 others, onto an island where you have to find weapons, medi packs and building materiels and then kill your opponents to be the last player standing.
The release of films like Ready Player One, which focuses on an RPG world, will have helped its popularity. So many people in my office play it, from my boss to the recent graduate sat behind me. I am still waiting to see an old lady on the buss hiss through her teeth as someone beats her to a rocket launcher.
I dived into the world of Fortnite a few weeks ago and it has been a learning curve. So here is what I have picked up so far.
I would be rubbish in the Hunger Games
I know we all think Fortnite is a brilliant idea, and it is. But it is not a new one. It is a computer game version of the Hunger Games, which was a book and film version of every battle royale multi-person shooter ever.
But I'm rubbish at Fortnite, so I'm pretty sure I would have been rubbish at the Hunger Games. I like to think I am fairly intelligent and have basic survival instinct, but apparently that all goes out of the window once I start competing. For example, I've been killed twice by falling off high things and god only knows how many times I've been caught in the storm. Despite my lack of skills in a skirmish, I often seem to drop into a busy building and figure "this time I'll be ok." Naturally, five minutes later I am headed back to the lobby after I spun round wondering where the footsteps were coming from and some bouncing maniac clad in a biker helmet unloaded their shotgun in my face.
The cool skins will get you killed
I get it, we all want to look like John Wick. To be fair, the new skins on Fortnite Battle Royale are very cool. We all start out with the mercenary camo character and we all desperately want to get ourselves a cool outfit for our avatar.
Here is a tip: wait until you are good before you invest in the fancy looks for your character. There is a reason the default one is camouflaged, it helps you out. If you are new to the game and running about like a headless chicken, then you want to be in colours which help you blend in. The space suit might seem great, but white and grey stand out like a sore thumb. And that helmet won't help when someone shoots you in the head.
If in doubt: Batman Protocol
You would be amazed how few people look up when playing Fortnite. If, like me, you are still not quite at the elite level, I suggest finding a tall building and landing on the roof.
The map is the same each game, so you can find a few tall buildings and come in on top. Smash your way down to find weapons and keep going that way. There are so many advantages: you accumulate building materials, you collect weapons and it feels really cool to attack someone after you drop through a ceiling you've just destroyed.
If you're a bit rubbish just stay quiet
The other day I dropped into a barn, there were no guns and I found myself creeping around carrying my trusty pickaxe. Moments later I heard gunshots and the sound of running feet. I was pretty sure I was dead. I dropped into a crouch and ran to stand in the middle of some hay bales. Moments later the hay around me vanished and a black-clad warrior bounded into view. They smashed the hay bales and bounded off just as fast. I was just crouched there, inches away, but went entirely unnoticed. Minutes later they shot someone else which provided me with a gun and a medi pack. I used the former to shoot my effusive opponent in the back. All is fair in love and war.
Remember to look for cover
I'm a few weeks into my Fortnite adventure and I've just about mastered the aiming and shooting bit. But I seem to be unable to find cover before getting into a shootout. It turns out that if you stand out in the open, it doesn't matter how good your aim is, you are going to get killed. A lot.
You will be embarrassed by your PSN name
Like most people, I picked my Playstation gamer name a while ago. It looks a bit silly now. Here is a heads-up: no matter what name you sign up to Fortnite with, if you log into PSN you will be fighting under your Playstation name. The only way dying in an embarrassing way can get worse is if the other 80 odd players then get a message saying not only are you dead, but you picked a stupid name too.
For the love of god, learn to build
I am not a multiplayer battle royale connoisseur, but I am led to believe the building aspect of Fortnite is the unique thing about it. So, for goodness sake, learn to build.
You see the good players slinging up ramps and buildings all over the shop as the game goes on. You can have the best aim and gun in the world, but if someone has built a tower they have the advantage. Get to it.
Images courtesy of Fortnite on Instagram