Friday, November 17, 2017

Something new

It has been mentioned on the podcast that I do not understand the allure of PUBG. Multiplayer only pseudo rogue like? That's just about everything I hate mixed together. But the mathematics of its popularity are astounding. It unseated League of Legends as the game with the most concurrent players and it is still in early access. The Xbox One version is floating around as well, also in early access but not free, and while my curiousity is piqued, and I do like to complain about things, there are better ways to spend my precious discretionary funds.

(Like of Wolfenstein II for $30. Fuck yeah.)

Fortnite, a game that I barely knew existed and that is also in beta, released a battle royale mode that is free. Smart move: capitalize on a popular new genre to get people excited and then charge them for in game currency when the game comes out for real. Regardless of their motivation, I can try this one out for free. So I took a break from Forza 7 last night and set one whole hour aside to step into something I had never done before.

I don't think I liked it but at least now I understand what is going on. Fornite Battle Royale is PUBG plus crafting. And you start the game fully clothed with a pick axe instead of a frying pan. 100 players are dumped onto an island where they scramble for weapons and kill one another as the they are forced closer and closer together by an approaching storm. Add to that some very basic base building (which I ignored) and a surprisingly stable online environment, getting into a game took seconds, and I almost had fun.

My first few matches did not go well. I was shot in the back while exploring a house. The next time I lost a heads up battle when my shotgun required reloading after two (misplaced) shots and the other guys pistol did not. Then I found a rifle, learned to check corners and listen, and lived a little longer, even killed a few people. The tension is the draw, not knowing what is going to happen, what you are going to find, and if the door you are about to open will lead to health or a gut full of buckshot.

During my last match I heard someone sniping from a few hills away. It took a bit but I snuck up on him, killed him and helped myself to the shower of loot that poured from his corpse. That sniper rifle? It was purple. Purple. I assume that means it was super rare. Nice, now to do something with it. As the player count dwindles apprehension grows. Everyone has better weapons. Some people have built themselves bunkers to hide in. I saw one person build such a bunker and them hide a trap in it before leaving, that dirty fucker.

I made it to the final 20 players before dying, having never fired the precious purple sniper rifle. After backing out to the menu in a huff I took stock of the situation. What had I gained? Nothing. What had I lost? Also nothing. There was no progression or regression, just passed time. Being inoffensive is not good enough so I uninstalled it and went back to Forza 7 to grind credits for pretend cars. At least with that game I will have something new to show for it at the end of the day.

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