It's Okay, I'm Not Playing Fortnite Either
So as you can tell from the title of this article, I am one of the 3 living people on planet Earth and the surrounding space stations not playing the smash hit Battle Royale, Fortnite.
Now let me start off by saying that I don't dislike Fortnite or that this will be an article bashing the game. I don't want my loyal readers to think that I am not playing it to make some sort of statement or to try to prove my sophisticated taste in entertainment. My absence from one of the biggest games in recent memory only comes from a lack of time and interest.
I, like every other high school age child played my fair share of online shooters. Halo 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare took up a good amount of free time in those days and even though I was never able to "Prestige" or go on epic kill streaks, I was having a good time.
Over the years both my free time and interest in being wrekd by children waned and I slowly gave up multiplayer shooters all together. Call of Duties of all shapes and sizes passed me by without so much as even a second glance as I was happy to play my single player games and the occasional sports franchise in peace, away from the kids who could not wait to tell me they stuck some body part in my poor sweet mother.
I even played games like Borderlands 1 and 2 and Diablo 3 completely in solo mode, both of which are passable single player experiences, but based on a co-operative experience. That is until I met a little lady by the name of Overwatch.
I will admit that at first I was on the Battleborn train, as previously stated a huge fan of Borderlands, so I put my faith in Gearbox and took a side. Shortly after I dumped that crap and made what was of course the right choice all along, always trust Blizzard kids.
Everything about Overwatch stuck to me right away, the style of play, the characters, the art style all of it was not only new to me but inherently pleasing. I am only a little ashamed to admit that I have probably spent more time watching youtube videos on how to improve at Overwatch than most of you have spent playing video games in the last year.
I thought if someone as completely disenfranchised with multiplayer games as I was could love Overwatch, everyone would. I thought this would be the most well known game in the world. I thought wrong.
This is not to say that Overwatch is not successful, they have literally created a professional Overwatch League with sponsors like HP and Razor, that is doing really well. But nothing is doing as well as Fortnite.
At first glance, Fortnite looked like a passing fad, a less hardcore PUBG that would certainly become nothing more than a free-to-play flash in the pan. To me, I was above Fortnite, the games I played were "story driven" and "adult themed" and "Overwatch", not some Minecraft with guns nonsense.
Fortnite has instead gone the opposite way and has become the biggest video game on the planet. It seems as though half of my PSN Friends list is playing Fortnite at any given time and with the support of a host of celebrities showing support for the game and crossovers like the Thanos event will make sure Fortnite continues to rise.
But I still have little interest, most of the people who play Fortnite have probably long checked out, but this is the portion where it may seem like I am bashing Fortnite a bit. For all of it's success comes at a price, and that price is identity.
When I sit down to play a video game, there are tow things that are key to winning my favor, an enjoyable gameplay loop and entertaining characters. A game like Super Mario Odyssey is a great example, tight and fun controls that make doing almost anything fun and a character that transcends the medium.
While Fortnite does look easy to control and even seems to have a pretty fun gameplay loop, the value lies in the competition and less on the mechanics. In the end one of the main reasons I stopped playing games like Call of Duty was because I stopped finding the competition fun, and the only reason I re-discovered my love for competition with Overwatch is because of the amazing variety of play styles and maps, something also missing from Fortnite.
The main reason Fortnite is so popular is a pretty simple one, it is literally for everyone. Kids, adults, grandparents, uncles, aunts, casual players and hardcore ones and even people who have never played games before are on Fortnite. You can even play it on your cell phone for goodness sake, there is almost no excuse for not at least trying this game out in some realm.
This is not by accident, Epic Games knows what they are doing but it also keeps Fortnite from becoming an artful representation and more of an activity. It's accessibility is hampering the game from really becoming the best version it can be, and instead is the best version to make as many people happy as possible.
Look, I would be lying if I said that I had not watched a few clips of Fortnite that I have enjoyed. The whole appeal interests me far more than a game like PUBG does and despite what may seem like contention I thank Fortnite is good for video games.
It brings a lot of attention to a medium that is rapidly growing and becoming something that is not just for children. Fortnite may not be the best poster child for gaming but it's better than Goat Simulator 2018.
Sometimes I can't fully understand why I like some video games, I have piled over 60 hours into Stardew Valley in the last few months and have no intention of stopping any time soon. But then there are these all time great games, the games that push the medium forward while giving experiences that few other things can.
Games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain, The Last of Us, Uncharted 4, Super Mario Odyssey,The Witcher 3, Doom, Skyrim, Ni No Kuni 2 the new Tomb Raider games and the recent God of War reboot are all immensely single player story driven experiences all released in the last few years.
In the end I do not think less of you if you have 35 solo wins in Fortnite and hope the game. gives you hours upon hours of unbridled joy. For me, it's stuff like the games I mentioned above and the occasional obsession with Overwatch that get me excited about the future of video games and less the hottest fad this year. Don't feel so bad Fortnite fans, at least your game is not Dota2, gosh how boring is that crap!