At this point in time, Epic Games’ Fortnite needs no introduction. Frequently demonised and lambasted in mainstream media, Fortnite‘s PvP Battle Royale mode has become a scapegoat for everything wrong with modern gaming. Tales of addicted children, provoked violence and money lost to microtransactions are rampant, and it paints a picture of an incredibly violent and dangerous game.
The disparagement and dismissal it faces as a game aimed at an all-ages audience is unfair, and often comes from a place of ignorance. As one who shared that ignorance, I felt it was time to experience what many of my peers had, and dive headfirst into the game. What I found was simply delightful.
In my first 50 rounds of Fortnite, I failed to survive exactly 50 times. I never reached that fabled #1 spot, but along the way I gained something far more valuable — I began an intimate and exclusive relationship with Death itself. What follows is a recount of all the ways I met my maker while traversing Fortnite’s savage map.
7. Parachuting into hostile territory
Players enter the Fortnite map by parachuting down from a high-flying battle bus, thanking the driver on their exit. Every round, I was raring to go, and the mistake I made most often was thinking I could follow my better-equipped peers and axe them to death as they landed. It never worked. As I attempted to bludgeon my foes, I was shot, beaten and clubbed to death on a variety of misguided occasions. Dropping down into highly populated territory meant that I lost my life more times than I’d care to admit, defeated by my own inflated sense of self worth.
6. Jumping enthusiastically off a cliff, only to die instantly
Having survived several medium-sized falls in Fortnite with no lasting damage, I was safe in the knowledge that I would take no fall damage at all while exploring the mountainous regions of Fortnite’s map. This reassurance led to a very enthusiastic and extremely misjudged leap from the top of a hill in Retail Row which ended in my sudden and impactful death. A sudden break and a clear splat, and my courageous campaign was at an end.
5. Gluing myself to a shopping trolley
When I first found a shopping trolley, I was only too happy to jump on. Riding it around, I felt freer than I ever had. It wasn’t until halfway down a hill that I realised I had no idea how to get off the trolley, and that I was heading directly into a sniper’s line of sight. As I fumbled with the controls, trying desperately to detach myself from my adopted trolley, I was rudely shot and killed by the sniper’s bullet. My hands were still hanging from the trolley.
4. Getting obliterated by my own curiosity
Fortnite’s map is surrounded by a strange purple storm that slowly closes in on players, reducing options for hiding places. Being caught in the storm is plainly not ideal, as it saps your health until you die. Again, not ideal. My own curiosity often got the better of me, as I found myself caught exploring the edges of the map as the storm closed in on multiple occasions. The storm does sap your health slowly, but it moves fast, meaning escape from the outer reaches of the map becomes nearly impossible. I racked up several kills before deciphering the safe zones on the map.
3. Forgetting where the ‘3’ was on the keyboard
Fortnite allows you to cycle through your weapons with a simple press of a button. I say simple, but when you’ve been ambushed by a gang and the panic sets in, all the keys start melding together and instead of swinging an axe, you’re attempting to build a set of stairs. The stairs did not protect me from a barrage of shotgun pellets.
2. Tending to a fallen comrade
Playing in squads can lead to one of two experiences. Getting a great team can lead to pure joy and extreme elation as they lead you to a heroic victory. Getting a poor team can mean watching your hopes and dreams fade away as your friends quickly fall in battle and require urgent assistance. On ones such occasion, I leapt to a nearby rescue, bandaging a friend in need. It was at this moment that I learned an extremely valuable lesson – never help your friends. As I was bandaging, I was set upon by an angry rebel and was destroyed almost instantly. Believe me. Just let your friends die.
1. Crawling to the bathroom
As I ran to snatch up a nearby shotgun, I was assaulted from behind by a wily enemy. This left me crippled and in dire need of medical assistance, so I began to crawl to safety nearby. This presented itself in the form of a toilet. As my only salvation became this shining beacon of a lavatory, my assailant returned to shoot me in the head. The toilet gurgled sadly at my demise.
My experiences in Fortnite were filled with needless, cartoonish violence and they were spectacular. Fortnite is a game that comes with mounds of baggage thanks to its unexpected yet enduring mainstream popularity, but beyond that, there’s a robust and extremely fun game to be found. Whether dying with your comrades or dying cold and alone, Fortnite is filled with so many dumb ways to die, each more enjoyable and satisfying than the last.
Fortnite Season 5 is available now on *takes deep breath* PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android.