Fortnite, The Game of a Generation

I played a bunch of Fortnite during its 5th Season of the battle pass. I never got a solo win, but like a generous lover I often came second. I only ever got there by sneaking around and hiding, getting the odd kill here and there, and my only wins came in squads with a group of people, normally containing one player who had mastered the building mechanics. 

I managed to get okay at the building but when you see some of the stuff people are doing on there now, I am just scared off ever trying to play it again. The last time I had a go was a few months ago. I snuck up behind an enemy and unleashed a barrage of bullets into them, only for them to deploy a skyscraper in about 5 seconds and then murdered me from above. It was demoralising and I went straight back to Apex Legends, which has been my Battle Royale of choice ever since, although I have barely touched it lately.

Even with my retirement from Fortnite, I have never understood the hate it gets from platforms like reddit and twitter. It’s full of kids, yeah, but so was Call of Duty lobbies back in the day. In fact, the new Call of Duty has so much hype surrounding it because people my age were in their teens when they played the original Modern Warfare games, therefore hitting everyone right in the nostalgia. Fortnite is the new Call of Duty. It’s the game everyone has played, and it’s the biggest game on the planet. If you need proof, look at the last 24 hours of the game.

It has not been playable since an in-game event a couple of days ago. That event was a giant black hole sucking up the entire map, all the menu’s and everything else, and then just staying there as a black hole on screen. People then sat for hours, probably some streams are still sitting there waiting for whatever is next. This is where Fortnite is setting its trend. Call of Duty became a phenomenon and brought the First-Person Shooter genre to the forefront of gaming.

Call of Duty was not the first game of its kind. Before CoD, there was Halo, before Halo, there was Goldeneye, and the real origin of the genre is Doom. Fortnite came at a similar time. It might be a surprise to those of you who aren’t gamers, but Fortnite was not the original Battle Royale. In fact, it was original a survival game with no battle royale mode at all. It was released in response to the enormous success being enjoyed by PUBG. Since then, PUBG has struggled to keep up the fight and I have not seen much news about that game in a long while. Meanwhile Fortnite, like CoD, has become the biggest game around.

“I am fed up of being murdered by 12 year olds” is a common phrase I say when referring to Fortnite, but I remember being told by adults to fuck off when I was in my teens, because I was battering them on Call of Duty. Every generation has had a game that has defined it, and the youth of today have Fortnite. The current event has brought it back to the front of people’s minds, but it’s never stopped being a success and a game played all around the world.

I was thirteen when I started playing games online, Rainbow Six Vegas was the one, surprising because it’s not Call of Duty 4 or Halo like most people. CoD World at War was when I began playing CoD as a regular hobby and I was very good at one point. I have never got back to be that good, but I am excited to try and get there with the next CoD. I don’t have the hours to spend playing anymore but the competitive streak in me means anything but being the top player on my team is an enormous frustration to me.

That explains why I fell out of playing Fortnite, and why I have never enjoyed Mario Party or Smash Bros. Mario Party’s random nature drives someone with a serious competitive edge crazy. The lack of reason just drives me up the wall. With Smash bros, I am simply shite at the game through lack of playing it. Weirdly I won my first ever multiplayer game of it at a mate’s house using the only move set I know, the good old Suck and Blow with Kirby.

Back to my point with Fortnite, I think this is part of the generational cycle with video games. My generation are the first where Gaming has carried on from our childhood, through our teens and into adult life. We grew up with the consoles becoming more mature, and now there is a new generation discovering gaming in a different way to what we did. My parents’ generation played games when they were kids, but by the time they got to adulthood gaming simply had not progressed to the point where the games were telling interesting stories like they were for me with Metal Gear Solid or Heavy Rain.

I know that there are stories in games that my parents or even my grandparents would enjoy, but they will never see them. They are the “Games are for kids” generation. My generation seems to be becoming the “Games are for adults” generation and both of those views is a flawed way to see it. Games are for everyone, and next time you’re fed up of being murdered by 12-year olds in skyscrapers, remember when you were that kid.

I sat down today to write about Martin Scorsese’s ongoing comments about Marvel. Really not sure how I got here, but glad I did.

‘Til tomorrow!

ChAzJS

 

 

 

 

 

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This Week in Gaming – 01.03.2019

This week I go over what games I’ve been playing in the last 7 days, discuss the Pokemon 8th generation announcement, take a quick look at the anthem release and the big story this week for me is Xbox Game Pass potentially showing us a glimpse of the future of Microsoft’s gaming platform. 

What I’ve been playing

This week started with Anthem. It’s a fun enough game, and as my review last monday mentioned, I think it is a good basis for what could become a good, possibly great game. I have to say though, it has not kept me on the hook and wanting more. The last few times I have logged in, I have played Anthem because it’s what i feel i should do, rather than what I necessarily want to play. For me personally, that is a very bad sign.

I did eventually find myself dusting off my PS4 controller, and jumping back onto Fifa 19 for the first time in months. Perhaps it’s my beloved Arsenal’s recent form, but I had a scratch only Pro Clubs could scratch. For those who don’t know, Pro Clubs is the game mode on fifa where you control one player on the pitch, and have to play your position. Ultimate Team is where the money lies, and the career mode is where a lot of hours are clocked up, but for me Pro Clubs is where the best football minds on fifa go to show their skills.

I am not an excellent gamer, I don’t claim to be the best at COD or Fortnite or Apex, I am decent, and can have a great game now and then, but I know my limits. When it comes to Pro Clubs on fifa, I am confident in being one of the best players I know of, and in my position (Box to Box Central midfielder) I am the best I know of. Humble brag. Anyway, that’s what I did this week, played five games with some of my old fifa team mates online, and we won all five. Now enough of my bragging, onto this weeks news.

Pokey Mans

Detective Pikachu’s trailers have made me excited for a Pokemon film, more than I would have ever imagined. The first games Pokemon games I have played a few times through, and I have some great memories with them. Since Gen 1, i have fallen out of the franchise completely, and I could not name more than 3 of the Pokemon from Gen 2 onwards.

This week, Nintendo called a Pokemon Direct, where they unveiled the newest additions to the Pokemon franchise, Pokemon Sword and Shield. In what is apparently a UK inspired setting, we see a more detailed, 3D world, and some new features that I am sure excited the hardcore Pokemon fans. For me though, Pokemon needed to do something drastically different. By now, everyone knows what Pokemon games are, every kid has their pokemon game. Mine was years ago, and when I look at this new game, it seems like things have not changed beyond the graphics. The idea is still seemingly to take one of your 3 starter pokemon, slowly gather more, and then eventually beat the evil corporation and become the best trainer in the region.

I sincerely hope that these games are exactly what their audience want, but to get someone like me to be interested, I needed something closer to Breath of the Wild. I didn’t get into that game because Zelda’s world doesn’t appeal to me, the Pokemon world does. A full RPG game, with the Pokemon creatures out in the wild to be engaged with in a new way would have made me severely regret departing with my Switch. As it is, I am comfortable that I made the right decision for me.

Anthem out of tune?

I have written a lot about Anthem in the last week, and by now I am sure you are sick of reading it, if you are one of the few who reads this regularly. Thanks for the support if so! Anthem’s launch has been rough, and apparently the sales figures haven’t exactly blown anyones minds either. The headlines read particularly gloomy, with a fraction of Mass Effect Andromeda’s sales figures being touted as the number. In reality I think the number is a bit higher, but there is no doubt it has not caught the imagination quite like EA wanted, and perhaps expected it to.

Apex Legends launched just a week before Anthem, and seems to have done exactly what Anthem was expected to do. Apex has become a phenomenon, with people I wouldn’t expect asking me about that new game they’ve seen people on twitter or Facebook talking about. Anthem by comparison, has been a barely visible ripple in the pop culture pool. As I’ve stated a few times, I quite like the game, but something is missing when it comes to that buzz you normally get from a big  game launch. BioWare need to keep the support up, and deliver regular updates straight away to keep people coming back to the game. Something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Game Pass, present and future? 

My apologies for the terrible pun sub-title.

This week it was found that Microsoft has begun to push elements of its Xbox infrastructure onto the Windows platform PC users are familiar with. I won’t pretend to understand the details, but there is a tonne of detail in the story linked here in a story on Thurrott.com by Brad Sams. Long story short, Microsoft seem to be getting rid of the differences between how xbox and PC games are run, and bringing them together so that Xbox games could potentially be run on a PC. What does all this potentially mean?

Earlier this month, we saw an announcement about xbox live coming to Nintendo Switch. This led to stories that Microsoft could bring Game Pass, the best deal in the games industry, onto the Nintendo platform. This would mean that Nintendo players could play Xbox games, possibly including exclusive titles like Halo, on their Switch. Now of course we know the Switch doesn’t have the power under the hood to run games requiring the power that a Xbox One can provide, let alone a Xbox One X.

How would they get around this lack of processing power? Potentially with their own games streaming service. I speculated last week that Google may be dipping into the market and being the first games streaming available for the public. Microsoft have already announced they are working on a similar project, and that more will be unveiled in the coming months. Could the Project Scarlett we have been told about be a completely new type of console. Is it possible Xbox will become a service? So on top of being a console you can buy, there is also a dongle you can plug into anything, and an app on your TV or devices, and even an app on Microsoft’s rivals consoles.

PlayStation is so far out in front of Xbox that Microsoft are having to make calls that are risky, perhaps not cost efficient, and they seem to be approaching it with the consumers desires at the forefront of their minds. Is their plan is to make their games, their brand, available anywhere. Imagine if Microsoft announce that they are making the vast library of Xbox games available to everyone, regardless of the console they can afford. All you need is a subscription to Xbox Live, or whatever name they give the service, and you are free to browse the library of games and buy what you want.

It is no secret that the console making companies lose money on their Hardware sales. They make their profits through the cut of the money they take from the sales of every game on the platform. With this kind of service, they will still need to build the hardware, but can save a lot on packaging all the complex components in a nice, living room friendly shell, and shipping them around the world. Instead they can install the centres they mentioned in their last E3 conference around the world, allow anyone to connect to it via the internet with a relatively low-cost subscription, and voila, everyone is buying and playing games on their platform. Cloud processing has been a reality for a while, and google proved with their Assassins Creed test last year that it works. Microsoft have something Google doesn’t the Xbox brand. A well-known name in the world, one that immediately makes anyone think of video games.

Could Xbox be ready to change gaming, and bring it to the entire world? I could be completely wrong, but who knows, maybe Game Pass on switch is just the beginning.

For more speculation, ramblings and opinions on games, movies and TV, follow Screenbunka on Instagram, Facebook and twitter. Thanks for reading!