How OG Fortnite’s Combat Showed That Less Is More

©Epic Games

Fortnite is a game described as a mainstay within the battle royale genre; one which’s combat has recently literally turned back the clock with great success. But is this recent drastic change in combat a smart idea after recent successes in the OG season?

It is no secret that combat battle royales have a cookie-cutter frame for how combat works, player lands, picks up the gun and tries to eliminate other players. And for Fortnite’s early seasons combat and map (as shown in the OG season) are largely a relatively sparse, map with occasional towns and cities dotted around.

However, with the newest seasons this has changed Season 5 Chapter 1 has returned to the format of a large map bundled with activities including the returning bank heists, and mercenary-filled locations as well as in-game time trials.

This a tried and tested format in recent seasons could be a drastic move Fortnite might come to regret as apart from the pure nostalgia, the “OG Fortnite” offered refreshing gameplay. Instead of trying to strike a balance between mini-games, fauna, and bank heists the OG Season tapped into the combat mechanics that made the game so popular.

Sound was a lot less polluted and instead of most sounds being attributed to AI fauna or mercs it meant that when movement was heard it gave the player a sense of anxiety. It also simplified sound as distinguishing between mercs’ footsteps and regular players’ footsteps was no longer a needed skill.

The sometimes emptiness of the map meant other players could be spotted a distance away, making snipers/long-range weapons even more useful. This extended to cover as it became greatly emphasised, as instead of ample buildings across the map to hide in, the sight of an abandoned car/truck in a gunfight was a lifeline if used correctly. 

Moreover, shields and their use were also changed with mini shields and regular shields being made scarce at the start of the season. This decision had a massive impact on both build and no build as it meant gunfights had to be picked carefully. This also contrasted with the map well as the lack of permanent cover paired with the lack of a supply of shields and meant calculated plays during the match.

These changes that the “OG” season implemented to combat were also massive hits with current/returning players, as Fortnite announced on social media that it broke its own record surpassing 44 million for 102 million hours of play during November.

Overall, the success of Fortnite’s “OG” season apart from the obvious nostalgia play was telling and could show Epic Games that a content-stuffed map/a more complicated combat system isn’t the only way to increase popularity.

Fortnite is available to play now on console, PC and mobile.

Words by Joshua Lopez

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