I am, I think, clinically allergic to any kind of Battle Royale game. They bring me out in a hot sweat, hives and vigorous bouts of sweating. As a result, I tend to stay away. PUBG? No thanks. And don’t even get me started on Fortnite. I sometimes sit and watch my son play with his friends, amazed at the speed that they all run around at, shooting each other and random strangers with gay abandon.
Well, now it appears that the Fortnite gods have taken pity on the older gamer, all via a new experience that seems to have much less of a PvP vibe. Considering it features LEGO, there’s next to no reason to not get involved. And so that’s what I did with LEGO Fortnite.
The news is very good in terms of presentation. Imagine if you would, an open world with LEGO characters and creatures in it, with us left to survive. Sounds good huh? Well, that’s what we have here in LEGO Fortnite, with the action presented from a third person perspective, us running about the place as a LEGO minifig.
The animation of our character is absolutely bang on. LEGO games always look great, and this one is no different. And the world that we are in is nothing short of massive, complete with a ton of things to see, most of which want to try and hurt you! Again, the enemies are all super cute, from tiny LEGO spiders and scorpions right up to LEGO tigers. It all comes together to mean that LEGO Fortnite looks great.
The sound is on par, from the plasticky noise as you try to knock a tree down with your plastic fists, to the roar of the tiger and the squeak of the spider – all is groovy here. The music is nice, the sound of the building as you cobble together structures is spot on and, frankly, everything just sounds and looks right.
But what about a story, I hear you ask. Well, no, there isn’t one really, is the short answer. We are sucked into a portal of some description, waking up as little LEGO figures in an empty world. And what does one do in an empty world? Why, try to survive of course! In order to do so, you are going to need shelter, food, fire. Of course, all these things come about via the collection of raw materials. If you think this all sounds a bit Minecraft, you’d be absolutely bang on – it is very much like LEGO Minecraft, and that is the long and the short of it.
Played from a third person perspective, the world is your oyster. And as you explore, there are various bits that you can just pick up, such as sticks that give you wood, and stones that provide granite. In the early stages, you are limited to only picking up small stones, as trying to punch a rock doesn’t do anything. You can however knock a tree down with your bare LEGO fists, so go figure!
Luckily, we have a guide in this LEGO world, and they are in place to helpfully teach us how to build and survive, and found a village. The cool part is that once your village is founded, you can then invite your friends to come and join you, build their own houses and then go on adventures together, exploring and fighting all the various life forms that come your way. And let’s face it, having a tiger attacking a few of you is a whole let better than one attacking you on your own!
The building and construction of LEGO Fortnite is pretty straightforward. As you talk to the guide you’ll discover various “recipes” that require a certain amount of stuff to build. From there, it’s a simple task to gather the stuff and build the things. And one of the first things you need is a crafting table. Getting deja vu yet? Once you have a crafting table, then you can build tools, including axes and swords, and from there you can pretty much make whatever you fancy.
Getting a gang together, all tooled up and heading out to find things is a lot of fun, and as a PvE exercise, it works really well. Having settings that can limit who can come and join your world is a good idea, as this way only people that you want to play with can join, ensuring trolling and rage are kept to a minimum. That isn’t to say that you can’t fight your mates, of course.
The gameplay loop is pretty simple, and I suppose if you like Minecraft, you’ll feel right at home here. I know many just don’t ‘get’ the draw of Minecraft, and it’ll be those folk who will likely not enjoy LEGO Fortnite. The gathering, building and exploring works for me, but the best part of is the price of admission – Fortnite is a free to play title, as is LEGO Fortnite. Sadly you do have to download the whole of Fortnite to play the LEGO portion, but luckily you don’t need to play the regular offering if you suffer from the same allergy I do.
All in all, as a survival game that is free to download and play, LEGO Fortnite is a great proposition. There is a lot to take in, be it exploring, fighting, collecting resources or generally surviving. Perhaps it won’t convert the haters, and it doesn’t have the same hook as the masterpiece that is Minecraft, but there is still a lot of fun to be had here.