‘Fortnite’ update unites gamers, adds features

October 14, 2018

“Fortnite,” the free to play battle royale game that has more than 120 million players online at any given time, recently made an update to its game that will change how multiplayer video games are played forever.
Epic Games, the development company behind the most popular game in the world (“Fortnite”), has found a way to put its product in the hands of players, no matter the console, by introducing cross-platform play.
There is no stopping the momentum of a game like “Fortnite,” and as of Sept. 26, Epic solidified it as the only video game that can be played across all major consoles, PC and mobile phones simultaneously.
On Sept. 26, Sony, makers of the PlayStation 4, announced in a blog post that cross-compatible features would be coming to the PS4 and effective immediately.
Sony, the console maker with the largest share of the market, was the only company to be against the idea of allowing its console to be used with other consoles.
With the success of “Fortnite,” one would think offering cross-platform compatibilities in a video game would be a no brainer for the industry. However, this wasn’t the case.
Upon release, players realized they were not able to transfer their Epic Games account information from the Playstation platform to the Switch.
After backlash from gamers, including several online petitions, the demand for cross-platform compatibility had reached its boiling point.
Sony finally caved and addressed the issue by way of a Sony President and CEO John Kodera blog post on the official Sony website Sept. 26.
“Following a comprehensive evaluation process, Sony has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content,” Kodera wrote. “We recognize that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update. The first step will be an open beta beginning today for “Fortnite” that will allow for cross-platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Mac operating systems.”
The allowance of cross-platform gaming between Xbox and Playstation is something gamers have been asking for since the beginning of online gaming.
Now that it is here, many gamers are returning to “Fortnite” to play with friends they previously couldn’t join.
“Fortnite” players have been given something gamers have wished for since the inception of online console games.
Allowing gamers the freedom to play their favorite titles on their console of choice without having to sacrifice the ability to play with their friends or families is a concept bigger than the game itself.
“Fortnite” is a third person action adventure game most known for its free to play multiplayer mode known as Battle Royale.
Battle Royale is a game mode where 99 players start each match, and when only one player is left that player is declared the winner.
During the match, players choose a place on the map to drop in and must collect items and material all while trying to survive.
There is a timer that counts down and makes the map shrink smaller and smaller.
Players are forced to stay within the boundaries of the shrinking map or they will lose energy.
The shrinking boundaries is a mechanic that ends up putting players closer and closer to each other, making combat inevitable.
What sets “Fortnite” apart from other Battle Royale games are the building mechanics that are unique to it.
In “Fortnite,” players collect different types of materials ranging from wood to bricks or metal. Players then use these materials to build walls, floors, ramps or full combat forts, hence the name, “Fortnite.”
The building mechanic adds a new wrinkle to a genre that has quickly become a modern classic.
Season 6 of “Fortnite” has arrived and with it comes a whole array of new items, a new battle pass, new weapons and changes to the maps.
As always, with a new season comes a new battle pass that can be purchased for $9.99. The battle pass gives players access to 100 new levels that contain unlockables ranging from cosmetic upgrades to new loading screens and emotes.
One of the newest features for “Fortnite” Season 6 is the addition of companions that are essentially pets. Pets can be unlocked or purchased and take the place of backpacks.
These critters are exactly what they sound like — animals that hang out in your backpack and react to what’s going on around you. On top of that they’re super adorable.
The companion pets range from dogs to goldfish to dragons. Players can also unlock different colors for their furry companions as they level up.
Very few additions were made to the weapon and item list this season, but a new item called “shadow stones” are a welcomed addition to “Fortnite.”
The shadow stone is an item that is consumable like many other extras in the game.
When consumed, the shadow stone will apply a shadow form to the player for 45 seconds turning the character into a ghost-like figure.
While in shadow form, players will be unable to use their weapons and will be more visible to enemies. Players who have consumed the stone, leave behind a shadow trail when they move. Characters also gain increased speed, elevated jumping height and fall damage immunity.
If the fire button is pressed while in shadow mode the character will pass through objects and launch into their current direction.
Players can end the ability early by pressing down on the aim button.
“Fortnite” aficionados may notice some of their favorite weapons from Season 5 are missing following the recent update. A significant number of weapons and items have been removed for Season 6.
Epic Games says these weapons are in what they call “the vault,” meaning these weapons can still be used in the Playgrounds game mode but are no longer available in Battle Royale.
The items removed are Vaulted Impulse Grenade, Suppressed Submachine Gun, Light Machine Gun, Bouncer and Remote Explosives.
Although some players may be turned off by that idea it brings a new level of strategy forcing players who relied on the weapons in the vault to use new weapons they aren’t so familiar with.

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