Which is more difficult Fortnite or PUBG
"Fortnite: Battle Royale" in the test: For many better than "Playerunknown's Battlegrounds"
Even unfortunate PR and a subsequent bombardment with bad ratings on Steam cannot stop the phenomenon "Playerunknown's Battlegrounds" ("PUBG," Battlegrounds "). Around 1.5 million players are online at the same time in Central European afternoons and fight with and against each other.
No wonder that the game principle behind it, "Battle Royale", is attracting interest from other game manufacturers. Epic Games recently made such a mode available to everyone free of charge in its survival action game "Fortnite" and promptly caused controversy. There were allegations of plagiarism from some quarters. The "PUBG" producers of Bluehole Games were again angry about the comparison to their own game used in the application and were concerned about the collaboration with Epic, whose Unreal Engine they used.
But how much "battlegrounds" is in "Fortnite"? The GameStandard has risen on board the flying battle bus and got to the bottom of this question in a playful way.
Excursus: What is "Battle Royale"?
Before we get down to business, a brief description of "Battle Royale". The principle, inspired by a Japanese film, was implemented by Brandon Greene, known as "Playerunknown", in the form of modifications for the "Arma" game series and later also licensed for the game "H1Z1: King of the Kill". It stipulates that many players - usually 100 - spread out on an island, look for weapons and equipment there, and fight against each other until only one participant or team remains.
This is made more difficult by a circular zone defined by the game, into which you have to move in good time. Whenever this zone is redefined within the last radius, it shrinks. The smaller it gets, the more damage you take when you are outside. This not only forces the players to adopt a tactical approach, but sooner or later they have to confront others.
Same basic concept, completely different graphic style
This also works with "Fortnite: Battle Royale", where you can compete alone or in teams of up to four fighters. After a short stay on a launch island, which can be used to try out weapons, it goes through the air in a bus mounted on a giant hot-air balloon, accompanied by loud "Uz-Uz". It flies over the map on a random route. Players jump out at their own pace and land with a paraglider. There is no difference here to "PUBG".
However, the different graphic access is very visible. Where "Battlegrounds" relies on a realistically staged world, which is obviously based on Eastern Europe in the currently only map "Erangel", the island in "Fortnite" looks like a fairy tale land. Green hills and valleys nestle around special locations such as "Loot Lake", the "Wailing Woods" or the "Flush Factory", which sometimes create atmospheric variety through different lighting conditions. Small buildings, old cars and rocks are scattered in between.
In Epics Game, things get down to business much faster than in its source of inspiration. The reason for this is the smaller card, which is necessary, among other things, due to the lack of usable vehicles. All players are on foot, but the developers are thinking about introducing usable vehicles.
Since the probability of finding buildings that have not yet been cleared later in the game is low, it is important to equip yourself very quickly and, if necessary, to quickly eliminate players in the area in order to access their equipment. There are also treasure chests, some of which are hidden in inaccessible top floors of buildings, and which draw attention to themselves acoustically.
This is where the crafting feature imported from the "Fortnite" main game comes into play. In principle, every object and structure in the game can be destroyed. If you smash trees, house walls or containers, you get wood, stone and metal as building materials. This allows simple shapes - ceilings, walls, stairs, roofs - to be erected and thus points on the map to which there is no regular route can be reached. The construction function is implemented quite intuitively in terms of its handling.
Business (almost) as usual
Once equipped, it is important to move into the current circle and look for an advantageous position. A challenge that, depending on the distance to be covered and the landscape, can be harder and easier. In principle, you have a very good overview of the surroundings. "Fortnite" is played in a third person perspective, you can see your own character from behind. In contrast to "PUBG", however, the camera is fixed and cannot be rotated freely by pressing a button.
This has important playful implications. Because it limits the advantage you have if you lurk around a corner or a building for an opponent. Something that some players criticize the third-person mode of "Battlegrounds", where there is now a first-person mode as an alternative that "Fortnite" does not have.
Also different: there is no tall grass here and the fighters cannot lie down, they can only crouch. So cover is provided by the edges of the landscape, rocks, trees, buildings and bushes. Well-known end situations from "PUBG" - ten players are lying in a grain field, who gets up first, dies first - are thus avoided. Nevertheless, there is also something like a "typical endgame" in this game, but more on that later.
Get into the circle!
Before the finale, the course is quite similar to the big hypegame. You work your way forward, decide to ignore or attack opponents for tactical reasons and always keep an eye on the circle. The beginning of the impending "storm" is clearly announced acoustically, so it is not easy to be surprised by the approaching "death zone". Crafting only plays a minor role in this section.
In keeping with the colorful world, which has some picturesque locations, the weapons are also held. These are mostly comic versions of real shooting bats, each of which can be found in several quality grades with different damage effects. Explosive weapons such as bazookas are not spared.
Traps can also be found into which opponents can be lured. There are no boxes that are randomly dropped into the play area and contain special equipment. But they should be implemented soon.
The handling of the armament is much easier because it is more unrealistic than in "PUBG". Even here the weapons warp depending on the distance and cartridges from sniper rifles also fly a very slight curve, but basically everyone with some shooter experience should be quickly trained. Also practical: when hit, it shows how much damage has been caused. In addition, flying ammunition is shown very clearly. While you can die in "Battlegrounds" without knowing exactly where you were shot from, it is easier to pinpoint the source of the evil here.
The weapons cannot be upgraded, there are no modifiers such as scopes or silencers, unless they are part of the shooting device itself. Protective equipment was replaced with drinking troughs. However, first aid kits and bandages are available.
Building high seats in the endgame
If the game is nearing the end, the number of participants still alive goes in the direction of single-mindedness and the game zone fits well into your own field of vision, the game often changes. Instead of rather dynamic fights, long-distance duels with sniper rifles take place. Occasionally, players set up high crates in seemingly favorable positions in order to treat their surroundings from there. Impatient opponents can of course shoot them to pieces.
Of course, the circle still plays a decisive role here too. Because the most beautiful do-it-yourself castle is of little use if it is no longer in the play area. The winner usually still deserved the victory - subjectively - and a few kills in his or her account. This can also be judged because you can continue to observe in solo play. "Fortnite" automatically switches to the view of the opponent who has taken you out of the game. If he is shot again, you can watch his assassin and watch the game through to the end.
Technically and playfully, the game is well implemented, but there is also room for criticism and improvements. This applies to weapon balancing, for example. A high level sniper weapon is difficult to counter, even at medium range, because one or two hits are enough. Furthermore, the handling of the paraglider just doesn't feel good when landing at the start of the game. And the inventory system is simply impractical, but should be revised "in the long term". The size and placement of some menu items can still be fine-tuned - the not exactly small mini map in the top right corner is not in good hands, as it potentially obstructs the view of mountain plateaus that snipers like to shoot down from.
It would also be nice to be able to deactivate certain acoustic effects - for example the loud ticking of the clock as a "countdown" to the next zone reduction, as they make it difficult to hear noises from enemies in the vicinity. Otherwise, the game deserves praise for its acoustics. It is always possible to assign where a noise is coming from and how far the source is, for example - something that still proves to be a problem in "PUBG" in some situations, such as house-to-house warfare.
Extensions since the test
Epic Games expanded the scope of its Battle Royale game shortly after the test was completed. In addition to solo play and teams of four, you can now compete against each other in duos. For this purpose, boxes are now regularly thrown in the Spielara - analogous to the supply drops in "Battlegrounds". There is still no information on a possible expansion of the card repertoire.
Conclusion: "PUBG" siblings for casual gamers
In conclusion, it remains to answer the initial question: Is "Fortnite: Battle Royale" just a colorful clone of "Battlegrounds"? The answer is no. Epic has clearly copied some things from the hypegame, but built a game for a different target group that certainly works better for them.
The game is much more beginner-friendly - "arcade", if you will - than its role model and it also runs faster. Where in a "PUBG" game it can take 40 minutes until the "Chicken Dinner", the fights here are usually over after 20 minutes. With the abandonment of weapon mods and some other measures, the concept was purified in the appropriate places. Destructible objects and crafting, in turn, add their own interesting elements. There is also another significant advantage: In contrast to the industry leader, "Fortnite: Battle Royale" can already be played on the PS4 and Xbox One consoles and is therefore enjoying rapid distribution itself. The main game "Fortnite" and the free "Battle Royale" already have more than seven million players. With better accessibility and a more beginner-friendly concept, "Fortnite: Battle Royale" should therefore be more than just a good alternative for many players.
The term "clone" would be wrong, but it could be seen as a free "casual" variant with extra features. The free aspect naturally raises questions to be answered about the future of "Fortnite: Battle Royal". The development is currently in the "Early Access" phase and Epic seems to understand the new game mode as a kind of promotional tool to increase interest in the main paid game. The fact that you can take part in the island fight without investing money should be essential for its current popularity.
It is of course unclear whether the island fight will cost money in the long term or whether Epic will switch to a free-2-play model. There would be potential. At the moment, your own character is created randomly, it is quite conceivable that the appearance of your own alter ego can (also) be changed with the help of micropayments in the future, as is already done in "PUBG". (Georg Pichler, October 8th, 2017)
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