Fortnite publisher and developer Epic Games has done a pretty good job so far of offering a casual battle royale game which, admittedly, is more fun than some of the other big hitters out there. They’ve also managed to leverage some of Fortnite‘s mechanics to create a pretty stand-out experience.
Now, Fornite has something totally unique, and that’s a 50 versus 50 mode in Fortnite Battle Royale. And while the concept sounds pretty insane, in action it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.
This weekend I put plenty of time into this new mode, a mode which I was over the moon to dive into. 50 versus 50 sounded absolutely insane, like a real hoot when bundles of players are pushed into an area not suitable for bundles of players. However what I was met with was a game mode where players still only think about themselves.
Let’s be honest, this isn’t really a huge revelation when it comes to “co-op with strangers”. Chances are whenever you’ve jumped into a co-op mode where you’re relying on strangers on the Internet to support you and your team, nine times out of ten, that just doesn’t happen. So you can imagine what 50 players all on the same team must be like.
Before I start bitterly describing my experience with other players, let’s talk about the mode itself. 50 versus 50 is certainly an interesting idea, and in practice it actually shakes up the Fortnite Battle Royale “meta” quite a bit. No longer are building materials a second thought, in 50 versus 50 building materials become just as valuable, if not more valuable than the loot itself.
Loot still is a huge part of the game, but this is the only time I’ve seen players actively tear down entire houses, buildings, and trees, in order to harvest resources for building forts. This is also the only time I’ve seen players really working together to build structures to fend off oncoming groups of enemies. If Epic Games wanted players to make use of the building mechanic in Battle Royale, they’ve certainly done so with this mode.
Now, let’s get onto my experience with other players. In 50 versus 50 you can choose to jump in as a group of four, or solo. You’ve got your best chance of survival in a group, but solo is also viable. Once you land, you’ll begin to spot little green markers highlighting friendly players and this is usually when players begin to group up. At the same time however opposing players will also fall in similar locations which means big firefights can almost immediately kick off.
For the most part the beginning of the game starts the same. Land, find loot, get in the starting circle. Now there’s the added benefit of finding other players too, but there’s a high chance you wont… why? Because everyone else wants all the best loot they can find with minimal effort. Multiple times I found that I’d make the effort to hunt and build up to a chest, only to find a “friendly” player swooping in and steal the lot once the chest had popped open.
This happened multiple times throughout my time playing Fortnite‘s 50 versus 50 mode. Whenever I’d take down an enemy from a distance I’d find gaggles of “friendly” players appear from nowhere to take the fallen players’ loot just like the sewer rats they are.
I even had one friendly player actively destroy a fort I was working on so that it all collapsed in on itself and I plummeted to my death. Rather than reviving me, they stood over my body, dancing, as well as trying to trap me in a box, as my heath bar slowly deteriorated and I died. Why did they do this? Because they saw an opportunity to steal my loot, and took it.
And they said comradery had died… Joke was on him though, as this particular game I spent plenty of time collecting resources, not weapons. Heh.
While it’s difficult to pick at a game that’s still technically an alpha/beta, Fortnite Battle Royale‘s 50 versus 50 mode does have some pretty glaring flaws. One example is a complete lack of an icon or indication letting you know friendly players have been downed and need reviving. Another, of course, is loot snatching. Yes, I’m bitter and somewhat bratty, but I found that chest and I killed that player… go take your own shit, you scumbag.
I hope that Epic Games addresses this issue, but I feel that it’s unlikely as 50 versus 50 is a “limited” mode.