- +short game sessions
- +minimal blood / gore
- promotes spending real world money on in-game items.
- subscription required for online play (battle pass)
- never just play one game
- live online opponents
- highly competitive gameplay
A cartoonish, but not childish, online battle arena. Players fight with a variety of weapons to be the last one standing.
Fortnite Battle Royale is based on fast-paced, highly competitive online combat against live opponents. Game sessions include up to 100 combatants and are short, but games are meant to be played in bunches not one at a time. The game heavily promotes using real world money to purchase in game items and clothes. Fortnite also requires subscription for each new “season”, which lasts 10 weeks. Players can pay for this Battle Pass, or earn it by playing online which takes 75-150 hours.
The game designer, Epic Games, promote in-game purchases with videos like this promo for the Season 8 Battle Pass.
Game Grade: 5.5/10. Questionable to play.
Characters: 8/10. There is no storyline to Fortnite and therefore no known characters or motivations. While that means there aren’t any negative plot arcs, there also isn’t any “positive” explanation for why players are battling to the death in this arena. Feel free to add in your own “they’re here against their will” twist if it makes you feel better.
Violence: 6/10. The cartoon violence is rapid and varied. You can use everything from melee weapons to rocket launchers to eliminate opponents. There is no blood, and no executions on weak opponents, but there are cries of pain when targets are injured. It seems to have more in common with “tag”, much like a giant game of nerf combat or an old-school bb gun battle, than any sort of realistic combat simulator. The lower grade is because violence is the main goal and only solution.
Language: 5/10. Fortnite is only played online against real people. It’s a highly competitive game and the internet tends to be a place where people openly voice their frustration – frequently with colorful language.
Themes: 7/10. The battle arena format is intense. You have to choose your best, and that of your team, over those of others. If it’s tag, then it’s not that terrible. If it’s gladiatorial battle to the death, it’s pretty intense. Also, apparently only beautiful people make it into this combat arena. Conversations about why physically attractive avatars are a mainstay in gaming, and what that says about us, will be valuable.
Play Time: 1/10. This game boasts play times as low as 15 minutes. Yet the game itself says the Battle Pass, that it encourages you to purchase with real world cash, takes 75-150 hours to earn every 10 weeks. This game requires practice, which requires time, which makes it a potential distraction to our other possibilities in life.
Game Experience: 4/10. Fortnite builds itself on the kind of eye-numbing flashiness of a great action / shooter game. It is highly stimulating and real life will struggle to keep up with the pace and intensity of the game.
Talk to your child about:
1. This game has a lot of fighting in it. Solomon, known for his wisdom, said that there is a time for everything under the sun, including a time to kill and a time to heal (Ecclesiastes 3:3). When is the right time to fight? What is something worth fighting for?
2. Jesus was very clear that violence was not what he came to establish. In fact, he warns Peter that “all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52) when Peter tries to attack the guards who came to arrest Jesus. Yet he points out that he could call twelve legions of angels to protect him (something like 60,000 of them). So it’s not that heaven doesn’t have armed troops, it’s just that this was not the time to use them. This was a mercy mission. Talk to your child about how we prayerfully know our mission and walk, like Jesus, in only what God tells us to do (Ephesians 2:10, John 5:19, 8:28, 12:49).
3. Why might Fortnite (and it’s developer Epic Games) make in-game purchases such a big part of their business plan? What are the benefits of purchasing new skins and clothes for characters? What potential downfalls might there be for players?