Fortnite All-Nite

“Fornite: Battle Royal” is the biggest gaming trend so far this year


By Michael Phung, Staff Writer

One map, one goal, one survivor.

From “World of Warcraft” to “Overwatch,” players have managed to transform hit video games into pop cultural phenomenon.

Developed by Epic Games, the company known for its works on the “Infinity Blade” iOS gaming trilogy, “Fortnite” is an online co-op sandbox survival video game that students of VNHS are crazing about.

Available on Windows PC, Mac, Xbox One and Playstation 4, the standard edition of the video game was released on July 25, 2017. Players explore a large, destructible world while also building huge forts, crafting exotic weapons and finding loot to defeat computer-generated enemies. Their objective is to fend off hordes of monsters in the midst of an apocalypse.

However, students are drawn to “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” mainly because it’s free to play.

Released in 2017, the game is a 100-player PvP mode that introduces building skills and destructible environments while experiencing intense online multiplayer combat. Although there are no monsters, players battle each other until the last one standing wins the match.

Players are dropped via a flying Battle Bus on a giant map, starting with a pickaxe to break the destructible environments and scouring the landscape for items such as weapons and tools. The game includes the ability for players to rig traps to kill opponents for loot or to hole up in fortified bases.

The “Battle Royale” concept is being heavily praised in the gaming community as a last man standing game, previously seen in “ARMA 3” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”

“Fortnite: Battle Royale” stands out because of the matches that reach up to 100 players and the use of eccentric strategies to eliminate opponents.

The cross-play system is what also sustains the game’s popularity. Players across different platforms, including Windows PC, Mac, Mobile, Xbox One and PS4 can use their Epic Games accounts to interact with one another. However, Xbox One and PS4 users cannot play with each other due to console incompatibility.

Epic Games has taken it a step further by introducing a mobile version of the game. When it was announced early March, the company conducted an invite process that required players to sign up on the Epic Games website to be invited into a beta version of the game.

Invite codes were sent to selected players on March 12. Anyone else interested in playing needs an invite from someone who has the code.

In the midst of all the attention the video game has received, “Fortnite: Battle Royale” managed to attract multiple celebrities, including Drake, Chance the Rapper and Travis Scott.

Just like “Overwatch,” a 2016 multiplayer first-person shooter game developed by Blizzard Entertainment, “Fortnite: Battle Royale” has become a significant social trend on school campus, specifically because it’s free and easily accessible.

“It’s really fun because it’s easier to connect with your friends since you don’t have to go on your console of PC every time you want to play.”

As the students of VNHS continue to battle each other from their homes and campus, the hit video game manages to fortify social interactions and relationships.

This trend is not without a downside. Because of its rising popularity, students are devoting more of their time to the game rather than to academics.

“It impacts grades for the most part, but it’s also a good way for people to get to know each other.”