Fortnite is fun, for sure
My son is a huge Fortnite fan, and has been waiting for an opportunity to play the game since it launched. He started playing the game when it was released on Android, and really got into the game when we bought the Switch. I wasn’t that interested, initially, but started playing on the Switch.
If you’re not familiar with Fortnite, it’s a fun tactical shoot-em-up game where you can go play in a variety of game modes including 50 v 50 (where you are part of a group of 50 players going up another group of 50 players), a sniper shoot-out, you versus everyone else with the last player left alive winning the match, and even a playground mode where you can explore the space and hone your skills.
The game is more fun than I thought it would be. Sure, you spend your short time in the game shooting at other players, trying not to be killed by others, and escaping a lethal storm that creeps in from the edges of the island you on. On the other hand, it’s a very tactical game that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Games tend to be pretty short, and each game is a different opportunity to pick up new gear, improve your skills, and play with your friends. In that sense, it’s also a weird sort of game. My son could play for hours if we let him, and at the same time it’s also been a way for him to spend more time with his friends.
As for me, I’m still figuring this game out. Quite frankly, I’m terrible. I don’t build structures that tend to be highly recommended to protect you from other players, I can barely hit a moving target (which is problematic, obviously), and on the few occasions I’ve won the game, it’s been because I ran in the wrong direction.
Of course, I’ll improve when I play more. The thing is, I’ve become more of a Legend of Zelda fan so that’s where I spend more of my time.
Legend of Zelda is a varied adventure each time
Legend of Zelda is a quest game, basically. You start off having woken up from some sort of slumber, and slowly discover who you are, what’s been happening in this world in the century that you’ve been asleep, and what your ultimate goal is.
Unlike Fortnite, you play Legend of Zelda on your own. My kids and I each play the game. My son and I are quite a bit further along in the game than my daughter, and what amazes me is how much thought has gone into this game.
In Fortnite, you have pretty much the same landscape as your battlefield. Your task is collect better weapons, kill everyone else, and have fun in the short time you play each game.
Legend of Zelda feels like an open world that continuously surprises me. The initial quest seems pretty simple: collect a number of special objects, and then head off to fight the Big Bad. Except it isn’t.
Completing the initial quest is just the start of an expanded quest with increasing variations, surprises, twists, and turns. There seems to be something new to explore in the former kingdom of Hyrule each time I return to play.
This could be returning to a forest I ran through, only to discover hidden treasures all over the place. Or, perhaps, a whole new adventure sparked by a conversation with some random villager, or taking a different path to the last time.
Then there are mysterious shrines scattered across the land, each with a different test or puzzle to overcome. This game is pretty much what you make of it. There’s no straight line to the Big Bad, only degrees of complexity in your journey.
To add to that, the way you play will give you a very different experience of the game to another player. I’ve seen this when I watch my son play. He’s taken a very different direction in his game, and his experiences have been just as different.
What I don’t have, is the sense of watching my future game unfolding by watching him play. Sure, I gain some insight into other regions of the world that I haven’t explored yet, but my experiences will vary from his because I have different weapons, equipment, and a pretty different path.
Even though there are two expansion passes, I have a feeling that I’m going to be playing this game for quite some time before I need to add more complexity to my game.
Fortnite, on the other hand, is fun to play with friends, but lacks the intellectual challenge, and sheer diversity of options that Legend of Zelda delivers.
If I want to play something with my son, I’ll dive into Fortnite (he’s much better than I am, and enjoys taking me out with rocket launchers). When it comes to settling in for a couple hours to explore a world, kill monsters, and find cool weapons, I’ll head back to Hyrule.