Picture this: you’re going about a completely normal day in 2015. Suddenly, a time traveller appears and proceeds to update you on all of the things you’ve got to look forward to over the next five years.
For whatever reason, they skip over the tumultuous political landscape, the impending climate crisis and the deadly pandemic that plagues the world. They’re an eccentric one (it’s part of the time traveller criteria), and only have an interest in Fortnite.
They describe this perplexing game to you. Before now, you’ve only known Fortnite as the plucky up-and-comer from Epic Games, known back then as ‘Save the World’. But the game that the time traveller is describing to you is unrecognisable.
They tell of a multiplayer game in which God of War’s Kratos teams up with Halo’s Master Chief, a licensing nightmare if you’ve ever heard of one. Xenomorph’s take arms against Terminator’s in an alternate timeline where Alien Vs Predator happened slightly differently. What do you mean Batman and Superman also exist in the same playspace as Iron Man and Captain America? And why is Thanos such a big deal? Oh my sweet summer child, you have much to experience over the coming years – some better, some worse.
All in theory…
Weird time travel analogy aside, you get my point. On paper, Fortnite sounds utterly wicked – a completely bonkers toy box with a commercial franchise to everyone’s tastes. No matter which corner of pop culture you’re into, there’s something in Fortnite that will tickle your interest.
In fact, even if you’re not plugged into the internet, there’s something here for you. The Travis Scott and Marshmello concerts have advanced Fortnite beyond the realms of video game land and straight into the eyes of mainstream culture. Ironic, given how virtual concerts would take off in the coming COVID years.
Fortnite’s bewildering ability to push boundaries becomes all the more frustrating as each new season gets announced. Of course I want to complete quests alongside Lara Croft and fling vehicles about with a gravity gun as Rick Sanchez!
And yet, every Fortnite season sees the same cycle – new content gets announced, I load in expecting to get stuck in, and before I know it the Burj Khalifa has been erected before me and I’m one-banged from space. Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was built in three minutes by ludicrous Fortnite pros.
No matter how hard I try to learn the curve of Fortnite, I just can’t compete with those that have stuck with the game since its conception. It’s totally my own lack of skill, I’m not shying away from that painful reality. However, I find it increasingly frustrating that a game with such cool content drops and interesting ideas is diminished by a relatively stale multiplayer mode and high skill player base.
Is adding bots to fortnite the simple solution?
Upcoming releases, like Halo Infinite and Battlefield 2042, are beginning to include game modes that fill out matches with AI bots. These are intended to fill out empty lobbies or curate co-op or even single-player experiences for those who wish for a more laid back gameplay experience.
As time goes on, the more I realise that AI bots are a feature that Fortnite desperately needs. Fortnite already uses bots to ease new players into the experience, often enabling newcomers to grab a Victory Royale in their first few matches. However, once you’ve played past the first couple of matches, you’re forced into playing with the big leagues.
I’d absolutely love to be able to properly explore how Fortnite island has evolved between seasons. It would be amazing to explore some of those quest objectives and meet NPCs without the impending threat of a lurking enemy.
That said, a bot mode doesn’t seem like it’s a priority for Epic Games at the moment. For now, Fortnite remains the most interesting game I have no interest in playing. I’ll continue to watch on from a distance, quietly admiring how each update tops the previous.
Do you think that Fortnite should add a bots only mode? Let us know across our social channels.
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Featured Image Credit: Epic Games