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Fortnite Faces a Red Dead Impasse

By Tim Eisen on December 05, 2018 | Columns | Comments

Fortnite Faces a Red Dead Impasse

If a game could be defined with a single image, the above might be the one. As Fortnite Season 6 is winding down I find myself at an impasse that is both metaphorical, as well as literal. What next? I paid for season 6 Season Pass for two reasons. One, I wanted to understand this phenom. Two, I felt the aesthetics of 6 fit both the game, placing emphasis on its positives, as well as the time of year. Fall has always been known for two things, hunting season and gaming season. As weather forces us inside our thirst for quality games to head back out into the unexplored deepens. Fortnite served its purpose by quenching my thirst.

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I went in expecting to hate a game I was no longer twitchy enough to enjoy. It was a pleasant surprise with Disco Mode, featuring multiple respawns, standing out as especially memorable. It offered me a place where I could find ways to log more reps and get a few kills as well as a playground that I believe maximizes what Fornite has to offer.

While I’ve tried other modes including the appropriately labeled Food Fight mode (which plays like a fast food version of said Disco Mode without the soul) no other modes have quite retained me. I’ve fallen into a pattern. When Disco Mode is live I find myself playing the game. When its out of the rotation I have little interest. I’d go as far as to say Food Fight is a perfect representation of the now in all of its instantly gratifying ways. Then again it suits their main audience, which I am surely not, well. Maybe this mode would be more palatable had I not been escaping to stop and smell the digital roses in Red Dead Redemption.

So what happens next, I still haven’t answered that question. The season 7 teaser appears to offer a “Winter is Coming” aesthetic. I’m still interested to see how far they push the game world and what other additions they plan but I can do that without paying for a season pass. Buying the pass added a nice layer of shine and XP leveling to tickle this MMORPGer but I have no intentions of buying this pass every few months. Given the rate is still more cost-effective than a MMORPG over that same timeframe, the depth of a MMORPG Fortnite does not have.

Going forward I plan to keep playing the game when I need a quick PVP fix. I don’t plan to buy another season pass unless they feature Star Wars (and not the new overly market tested soulless version) or donate all proceeds to cancer research or space exploration. Further distracting me is Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer and Legends of Aria.

That brings me to my newest love. I haven’t played Red Dead nearly as much as I wanted to since we last talked but that hasn’t stopped me from elevating it to the very top of my single player love list. The only thing that has kept it from dethroning my beloved Skyrim is the test of time. The more I play it the more I begin to think it isn’t fair. Other companies simply don’t have a chance. Having dabbled in Farcry 5 earlier this year I can say with confidence, it isn’t even close.

There are levels to this folks, and Red Dead is on a mountain that few games have been able to ascend. I see it standing firmly next to games such as Skyrim, Morrowind, Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Witcher 3; Wild Hunt. Just to be clear I did not click with GTA5 or Witcher, but my personal opinion does not get in the way of recognizing them for the elite artistic endeavors they are. I could write more about Red Dead but...well, frankly writing about it got me excited to play it so...well, I love you guys and this job...but priorities and such.

Before I leave I offer a parting gift, my Santa List for this year includes, in no particular order, Super Smash Ultimate, Pokemon Let's Go, reindeer backstraps and...I guess that’s it. Despite being raised by one I’m not a Nintendo fanboy. Not unlike the games I mentioned above my loyalty is based on facts, and the fact is Nintendo is on a hot streak producing quality we haven't seen since the N64 days...and at about the same pace, unfortunately. Nintendo's gonna Nintendo.

Tim Eisen / I roleplay a wordsmith that writes about the technological and social evolution within the game industry