It took a few years but I finally played Fortnite

The key art for the Rift Tour featuring Ariana Grande

I think there are probably only one or two well-known games/franchises that I haven’t played. Ten years later, I still have never played Skyrim or a Dark Souls game. I could easily play them but I just haven’t had any interest. To be fair, I have played Oblivion, the previous game in The Elder Scrolls series. As for Dark Souls, the difficulty of that series scares me. I have wanted to get into that genre, but have only ever played a bit of Bloodborne.

Victory Royale from the start

Me getting the Victory Royale notification while playing Solo Fortnite Battle Royale

The other franchise that I never touched was Fortnite. I saw the hype but I never saw the appeal. I’ve dabbled with other Battle Royale games like Apex Legends and PUBG. With Fortnite, its almost goofy-animation style put me off. 

However, that quickly changed this past weekend (Aug 8, specifically) when I caught wind of the Fortnite Rift Tour featuring Ariana Grande Rift. While I enjoy her music, I wouldn’t say I’m a hardcore fan. But, the stories I heard about how Epic incorporated the concert into the game made me interested in at least logging in and watching it.

I downloaded the Epic Store version and jumped into a Battle Royale match. I don’t know if it was beginner’s luck, but I earned Victory Royale in my first playthrough. I didn’t even have time to really grasp the mechanics but I got in a few eliminations and took out the last foe to win the match.

I was kind of expecting a bigger response in-game for my victory. It kind of just happens and there is no celebration. Maybe Victory Royale celebrations were bigger when the game first came out. Now, it’s just standard stuff for most people.

Front Row Access to the Rift Tour

After winning my first match. I waited for the concert to happen. While we waited, I fooled around a bit and tried to learn more of the controls. To be fair, the game isn’t that difficult. I can see the ease of entry as being a massive reason for the game’s popularity. I still don’t really grasp the fortifying aspect of the game. I’ve never really felt the need to build fortifications to protect myself. I think it actually puts you at a disadvantage if an enemy is nearby as they can easily get the leg up on you.

Going back to the original reason I tried the game. The Ariana Grande concert was actually a lot of fun. It only lasts about 10-15 minutes but you get to do a few things, including watching a giant virtual Ariana perform snippets of her popular songs. You also earn some XP, so it was a welcomed treat for me who was very low-level.

After the concert, I jumped into another game and yup, earned another Victory Royale. At this point, I was convinced that beginner’s luck was on my side and the game was doing its part to suck me in. My third match saw me finish 19th. I didn’t pay attention to the storm and got caught in it and my weak state allowed another character to take me out. I’d follow it up with yet another Victory Royale. So, that was now three wins in four solo matches.

Definitely Beginner’s Luck

My random character riding an X-Wing before playing a match of Fortnite

On Monday, I downloaded the Xbox One and PlayStation 5 versions of the game. I wanted to link my accounts there because I thought/hoped the console versions had some exclusive perks. As a subscriber to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass, I was certain there was some free stuff I could use in the game. I wanted to avoid using the generic character types the game defaults until you buy a skin.

While Game Pass didn’t have anything free (at least not now), PlayStation Plus did. I redeemed it and now have a character that doesn’t look generic. I still went back and played Fortnite via the PC version, but I would eventually try the game out on Xbox One X.

My first game with the new skin resulted in another Victory Royale, giving me four wins and completely hooking me into the game. Yes, I am still calling this “beginner’s luck” but I don’t really care.

When I jumped on to my Xbox One X, I played a few games. While I fared pretty well, I didn’t do any better than 11th place. Maybe on Sunday there weren’t that many people playing and now on Monday afternoon there are more, so the competition is better. I have used this opportunity to learn more about the game, including the many hidden stuff that you can only find by luck or knowing where to go.

Spending V-Bucks

The first page of rewards if you buy the Chapter 2 Season 7 Battle Pass for Fortnite

When I read user reviews and responses to Fortnite, the consensus is clear: everyone loves the game but they hate the microtransactions. When I jumped in for the first time, I thought I would have a generic character but that I would at least be able to customize them a bit. But that isn’t the case. If you don’t have a character skin or any cosmetic available, then you’re out of luck. The game will just randomly give you a character and that’s what you have for that match.

Most of the available rewards are unavailable so you can only earn them if you buy the Battle Pass. Sure, there are some that don’t require the Battle Pass, but none of them are stuff I’d actually want to get. To be fair, the Battle Pass doesn’t seem that expensive (about $10 CDN), but that only unlocks the option to get these rewards. You still need to play the game and earn the necessary stars to get the rewards.

I did end up getting about $50 worth of V-Bucks. I bought the Ariana Grande content bundle. Although I doubt I’ll play as her avatar, the other perks looked cool enough to get. I still have just over 2,000 V-Bucks, so I could spend it on the Battle Pass. Otherwise, I could wait until the next season in September or if something else of interest comes to the game (I do like the Street Fighter content that is also currently available).

How much more will I play?

The Fortnite Battle Bus before the start of a Battle Royale

Will I still love Fortnite after this week? I don’t know. After spending so much time with FIFA 21 over the last month, this was a welcomed change. I also just started The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles on my Switch and while it’s been interesting, it moves very slowly. Having some action content to play around with is nice. At the very least, I can always just jump back into Fortnite every once in a while when something new gets added.