I didn’t think we’d be talking about Fortnite much in 2018. Its original setup—a combination horde mode, Minecraft-style builder, and survival game—was convoluted, spent years in development hell, and yet still somehow felt unfinished and uninteresting upon release last summer.
And then Epic added a battle royale mode—a battle royale mode that’s free-to-play, even though the base game isn’t. No surprise, those who wanted to play Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds but didn’t want to pay $30 flocked to Fortnite, and what started as a spin-off mode now touts 40 million players or some absurd number. It’s enough that development’s all but ceased on Epic’s other free-to-play game, the MOBA Paragon, as that team’s been rushed onto Fortnite too.
As for the game itself? It’s pretty decent, with a few twists that make it an interesting PUBG competitor. Fortnite’s crafting foundation remains intact, for instance, so there’s a base-building component that can make for unique strategies and gives players something to do besides loot and move on. Let’s be clear, though: The main draw is it’s PUBG, but free.