Fortnite Craze Dominating Novato High Gaming Scene
By Jason Carpenter
It isn’t just a game, it’s a lifestyle. Homework is not being finished, students are staying up late, and anger is starting to rise, all because of a multiplayer video game named Fortnite Battle Royale. The game, which can be downloaded free (a rarity), is an epic survival game that was released last September, a follow-up to Fortnite. Many students are falling victim to this new, insanely fun and addictive game, especially since it is available on Xbox, Playstation, and PC. USA TODAY reported that since this past January Fortnite Battle Royale has had 40 million downloads.
Fortnite is like a mixture of PubG (Playerunknown's Battlegrounds), Hunger Games, Call Of Duty, and Minecraft. The survival-theme game starts with your avatar skydiving from an airborne school bus onto an island, along with 99 other online gamers. You decide when to parachute and where to land. Among the sites are Shifty Shafts, Snobby Shores, Greasy Grove, Pleasant Park, Tilted Towers, Retail Row, etc. Most players advise against selecting the centrally located Tilted Towers, a favored destination, especially amongst the top players.
After landing, a priority is to find a defensible location (preferably a house) or to construct a campsite or fortress, then search for weapons, medical supplies and protective gear. You are provided with an axe, a necessity for collecting valuable building materials, such as wood, metal, and bricks. You need to make decisions quickly in order to avoid “Storm Eye”, which can kill you or hurt your health. Players are forced to remain in a slowly-shrinking circle because of the approaching storm. There are different tiers of guns, denoting value: grey, which are common; green, which are less common; the rare blue; epic purple; and legendary orange. This is important because the higher the tier of the gun, the more damage it creates on opponents.
Sophomore Ale Lopez discussed his experience with Fortnite.
“I love the social aspect of it,” said Lopez. “It’s a lot of fun to be able to play with your real friends online. It's also dope to be able to play a game besides 2K with the boys.”
Fortnite features three different game modes: solo, duo, and squads. You can play individually, pair up with a friend, or join with a maximum of three friends, collectively known as a squad.
What makes this game unique is the diversity of strategic and tactical maneuvers you can utilize for locating the other players, which is why the game is so infuriatingly difficult to win.
You can either choose a passive strategy and await your opponents, or travel the countryside searching for them. The goal is for you, or you and your squad, to eliminate all the other players and squads. It comes down to the last player/squad standing.
Freshman Devin Walters is another Fortnite gamer.
“Fortnite is different from other games because you don’t usually see the building aspect and the weapons are different and the team modes like duo and solid gold are fun to play with friends,” said Walters.
In Fortnite, you build your own structures, adding such protective elements as floors, roofs, stairs, or walls. A common strategy is to build stairs, called “stairway to heaven,” because this enables you to gain an advantage by being above an invading opponent.
Crazy things happen in Fortnite daily as proven by Jack Griffin, a sophomore at Novato High.
“My first even win was sort of by accident,” said Griffin with a laugh. “It was the final two guys and I went to shotgun him and he shot me with an rpg, which should have killed me, but it killed him first because we were such close range so I won.”
Another beneficial strategy is to turn up the audio volume, allowing you to better hear sounds, such as footsteps or gunshots, so you can figure out where to find people. It gets very intense when you are in the second story of a house and you hear someone open a door then walk up the stairs.
“My favorite thing about Fortnite is being able to play with friends and having to find your own weapons and building,” said Walters.
Despite the fun and addictive aspects, Fortnite can crush your heart and rip it out your soul. Making it all the way to the end, only to have your quest ended by a grenade launcher is heartbreaking.
Lopez summed it up perfectly.
“Fortnite allows friends to get a chance to win something that has no meaning, but somehow everyone goes crazy when they win,” said Lopez.
Overall, Fortnite is an exciting new video game that has gained a huge national following in the gaming community. Fortnite introduced crossplay, enabling gamers to play with people from other gaming systems or devices. Unfortunately, the one combination that doesn’t work is Xbox One and PS4, which is a massive blow to students at Novato with friends on different platforms.
Fortnite has also recently been released on Mobile, enabling students to play on their phones as well. Due to an avoidance of crowded servers, they have not released the game to all yet, but many students on the NHS campus have received invites. With a huge fan base that shows no signs of slowing down, Fortnite makes several changes and updates monthly (too many to mention), allowing the madness to expand.