Fortnite is a game so popular that it took over the world at one point. All anyone could talk about was the revolutionary battle royale that took the best parts of the genre and combined them together, with the additional building capability.
Although the game is as popular as ever, Epic Games recently brought back the original (called OG, for “old guard”) Fortnite map, and this has convinced many older players to return to the game. However, it doesn’t quite feel the same, and in this article, we’ll look at a few of the reasons why Fortnite has changed from the world-renowned game it once was.
The old days of building won’t come back
The golden age of Fortnite had a lot going for it, but one of the things players took for granted was the relatively low experience level everyone had in the game when it came to building. Keep in mind, this was well before the ‘Creative’ game mode got released to the player base, so the only way for you to practice building was to play an actual game. Since building was such a new concept that hadn’t been done to the scale of Fortnite in any other game, it took people a lot to catch on.
But catch on, they have. One of the most common complaints you’ll hear nowadays from players is that the game is overrun with “sweats,” or people who tryhard their matches in an effort to rack up as many wins and eliminations as possible. There are also those who have found exploits in the game’s mechanics which enable them to build to a high level faster — and high ground is very important in Fortnite. Concepts like “legless ’90s,” “box fighting,” and many others are omnipresent now amongst the community, to the frustration of OG players.
Nowadays, there’s a stark difference between gamers who have been playing for years and those who haven’t. And at first, you may think that, sure, the years of practice they have ought to give them some sort of advantage. The problem with this common misconception is that due to the way Fortnite’s building works, it can be extremely frustrating for new players to come out victorious when they battle seasoned veterans. This problem also applies to OG players who have come back for the old map that Epic Games reintroduced, and who are now facing the same reality. Building in Fortnite just isn’t what it once was. You’ll push an enemy player and, voila, they’ve built a 5-star hotel with a spa and pool in five seconds.
A more confusing interface and main menu
A change that’s only taken place within the last month or so (at the time of writing) was a complete overhaul of Fortnite’s main menu. This is the space where you select the game mode you would like to play, as well as where you party up with your friends, read the Fortnite news regarding the latest patch notes, and other important things. It was the first time that Epic Games fully revamped the main menu since the game’s initial launch all those years ago, and it has been met with mixed emotions.
Many fans have compared it to the menu of Roblox, which isn’t to say that Roblox has a poor menu but merely that Fortnite’s is unsuitable for the style of game it is. Epic Games is clearly attempting to boost interest in their Creative mode, since a number of the games being advertised in the lobby menu are created by players and shared with the community at large.
Furthermore, another common criticism of this new lobby is that it is extremely cluttered and consistently confusing. Now, obviously, that’s not what you want when you’re essentially designing a menu for gamers to pick their game mode of choice from. Since there isn’t much in the way of separation between the lists of games other than a couple of titles — and as far as I can tell, there also isn’t a search feature — it can take a while to find the game you want. You are able to enter a so-called ‘Custom Key’ to find the game you’re looking for, but the game says that it’s only supposed to be used for private matches, tournaments, or other custom games, rendering it relatively useless for finding the games you want to play.
New mechanics have taken away from the game’s past restrictions
Lots of stuff has remained the same in Fortnite since its inception, like the amount of health you start off with. However, there have been a number of mechanical changes to the game that have had a huge impact on how you play. The first of these major changes is the sprint feature, which enables you to run at a faster pace for a short period of time. This lets you chase down (or escape) other players while your stamina (the white bar) is still filled. It takes away from some fights since it enables users an easy way to dodge or escape from battle if need be.
Sprinting was first introduced with the revolutionary ‘Zero Build’ mode that I’m finding more enjoyable day by day, and it’s stuck around ever since then. A common complaint players have with this feature is that it was introduced for Zero Build since you can’t quickly build cover from enemy fire and thus need to escape if your health drops to a low amount. But in Fortnite’s primary mode, with builds enabled, this is not a problem at all. However, as controversial as the sprint mechanic is, it’s nowhere near as game-changing as the next one we’ll go over.
Oh boy, good ol’ mantling. While it may look like I’m cheating in the screenshot above, or practicing for a track-and-field hurdles event, I can assure you I’m simply mantling over a full-sized wall. That’s right! No longer do you need to worry about being blocked by enemies who place down stairs or a wall to impede you. Now you can simply hold your space bar and hop over them like they aren’t even there. It honestly doesn’t take any effort at all, and at times, the game will even prompt you to mantle — in case you needed a reminder of this tool’s existence.
This mechanic also has a huge impact on build fights, since you can quickly climb to your opponent on the higher ground if need be. Let’s say they’re only one wall’s height above you. Now, you can mantle up to get the jump on them and even take them out, despite them having outbuilt you to take the high ground. Sure, this may sound a little nerdy and very nitpicky, but it gives an advantage to players who haven’t quite earned it — offering them more maneuverability to make up for a lack of building skill. It can act as a crutch in these fights for sure, and it’s one of the things players were hoping would not be brought back to Fortnite OG the most.
Overall, Fortnite OG has been a smashing success. Epic Games has seen millions of players come back to the game as it has exploded once again all over social media. And all of this is for good reason, as it’s been a while since the game’s original map was available for players to explore without entering into a custom game mode. However, as players have come back to the game after years-long hiatuses, they’ve been met with a few rather unfortunate changes that have slightly dampened the experience. Sure, change isn’t always bad, and in the case of Fortnite, there have certainly been many changes that have improved the game’s quality of life tenfold.
But in the case of mechanics such as the ones above, poor decision-making when it comes to UI changes, and the advent of “sweats” who have been practicing on the game since its inception, Fortnite OG doesn’t feel like the Fortnite many of us first tried out back in 2017 or 2018. And, sure, nostalgia is a main driver for players to return to the battle royale now, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the only reason for veteran gamers to continue playing Fortnite. After all, they once loved it for more than just memories of the past. Hopefully, Epic Games will see this and implement changes in the future to reflect the desires of its OG players. Sadly, Fortnite OG will be disappearing again at the start of December, so there’s only a limited amount of time left before the original map is gone once more. Every week until then will unveil one of the old seasons from Chapter 1, beginning with Season 5 and leading all the way up to Season X. Good luck out there, and make sure to play to your heart’s content!