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I was introduced to Fortnite like many of the early players. I saw it in the store and noticed it was a free-to-play battle royale. Naturally, I downloaded it immediately. After booting the game up for the first time I noticed that the "Save The World" Section was blocked by a paywall. Of course, I did what any rational person would with a sense of overwhelming curiosity would. I bought the "Deluxe Founder" bundle and began playing.
The first time I played I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had zero concept of how the building mechanics worked, let alone the editing capabilities. Seeing as I just spent a good chunk of change on this, I was a little let down. Needless to say, that all changed within the first few hours.
As I progressed through the story bit by bit, everything became much easier. It didn't take very long before I had accumulated a few decent weapons, crafting materials, and survivors. After about 5 or so hours of playing, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to put this down for a long time. I continued to grind my material count up as high as possible, earning XP along the way. I continued this grind for a little while and decided to look deeper into what this game had to offer.
In the main menus, I always skipped over all of the sections that had nothing to do with the available quests or the map. All I was interested in was killing as many zombies as possible. After about 16 hours of straight gaming, I delved into the inner workings of the other menus. At first, it was a lot to take in all at once. There were so many things you could do, combining heroes together into a squad, boosting HP, shield, along with adding bonuses for having a support squad (example: improved headshots), then adding Mission Defenders to boost those stats even more. Upgrading your heroes and survivors was also very helpful for boosting max HP and shield, along with all other stats. Alongside hero squads, there are survivor squads. Survivor squads boost your F.O.R.T Stats (Fortitude, Offense, Resistance, and Tech). If you place compatible survivor leaders with the survivors in the same group, you will get a bonus to your stats. (Example: +5% Health) Overall, there are 8 different survivor squads you will be allowed to utilize once unlocked. I can spend hours talking about all of the different mechanics surrounding the Hero/Survivor bonuses. But I'll save you all the headache and continue onto the next points.
One of my personal favourite things to do in this game is the Storm Shield Defence missions. The best way to get by in these in my own opinion is going around in lower difficulty areas and farming steel (by yourself if you don't plan on sticking around to help out with the mission). Once you farm up max steel, you should go back to your Storm shield and store the entire stack in the storage for later. Once I would get my materials fully stocked I would build a massive fort to protect the Storm shield. (Personally, I only build with a builder hero strictly to lower the build cost.)
The way they designed these missions to go is as you progress and get stronger, the storm will fight back with more force, spawning more and much stronger enemies for you to fend off during these sieges. Along with much stronger enemies knocking on your door during these missions they tend to go on for much longer, draining your ammo supply and deteriorating your weapons, usually to the point that they break. When this happens to one of your high-grade weapons, it's stressful. Thankfully it's simple enough to quickly go to the crafting screen and create a new one, providing that you have the materials to do so. Luckily the chances are that you have another gun in your inventory to replace the broken one quickly while the crafting timer goes down.
Another great aspect of this game is rewarding loyal players with in-game items and currency. Yes, you can earn Vbucks this way. You can earn via daily rewards or by completing difficult challenges. But being the micro-transaction addict I am, I spent the majority of Vbucks earned on Loot Lammas (getting quite a few legendary pulls in the process). Now, that being said, this game is certainly NOT pay to win. You can and will acquire these items through grinding just like every other game. But cocking back a pitchfork or katana and smashing a Lamma open is far too satisfying for me to resist the urge to do it.
Onto the skill trees. Oh my god, the first look upon these was an intimidating experience. There are hundreds of perks to choose from—yes I said hundreds. The first skill tree alone has 74 unlockable perks, which you can choose depending on what kind of playstyle you have. That number only rises as you continue on. I've put in countless hours into this game and have yet to unlock the 4th skill tree. On top of the skills you can acquire by leveling up and completing quests, there are research tiers. The research tiers are mainly focused on your F.O.R.T Stats. Research tree perks are unlocked with research points. Depending on how focused you are on getting them, your hourly rate will rise. Yes, I know I wasn't keen on the idea of waiting an hour to get a measly 200 points to unlock something that only grants me a small boost. But, I'm sure that Epic Games did this on purpose. If it were the same as the skill tree style of leveling, you could essentially make your character into a god within a week.
The armory is an interesting place. You can look over all of your weapon schematics, heroes, and survivors as well as transform unwanted or unused items into something new. Along with everything else in this section, you also have a collection book. Now, this isn't your usual collection book. You don't instantly get whatever you unlock put into it. You have to manually go into it, select what item you want to "retire," and put it into the book. As you're doing so, you will be rewarded with items and in-game currencies but you lose that item forever. It's an excellent way of getting rid of any doubles that you may have kicking around in your inventory.
Finally onto the missions. This is really where the game shines in my eyes. You can decide to go solo and do whatever you want or leave your party open to other players to join up. It's an excellent system to have in the case that you don't have anyone to play with. There are side missions in the mission itself.
- Saving Survivors
- Rebuilding radar dishes
- Taking out encampments
- Searching for chests
- Event Quests
And that's just naming a few. There is so much to this game. The first time I played it, I didn't put it down for 47 hours. Straight. The last time I played a game that long was when Fallout 4 released and I booked time off of work to play it. To summarize, this is a well-designed game, fit for all players, young and old. I highly recommend at least giving it a try.