Fortnite Battle Royale: A Genuine Alternate to PUBG?

Battle Royales: a genre of games that has risen like a firework over the last couple of years, culminating spectacularly in the immensely popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

They’ve come in a lot of formats, but perhaps the biggest rival to the ground-breaking entry, so much so that it drew attempted legal action, is Fortnite. Developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly. However, Fortnite’s Battle Royal is far from a copycat game. With its own twist and style, perhaps it’s time to ask, can it be a big competitor to the PUBG juggernaut?

So far, based on popularity, the answer to that question is yes. The fact that Fortnite existed as a different genre game before releasing a Battle Royale mode has lent a big hand, as it has provided a player base ready and willing to jump in and experience their next effort. Whilst PUBG took inspirations from already existing open world gun-games, it was still, in essence, a new invention. Fortnite enters the race with an advantage of already being a popular base game, whilst also cashing in on the Battle Royale hype.

And of course, Fortnite’s mode does introduce some mechanics that PUBG doesn’t have, chiefly, the building system.

Originating from the wave-defence format that the base game used so well, the building system allows players to construct towers, defensive battlements, traps and obstacles to help in their assault or escape from other players. PUBG has nothing like this, instead, forcing players to rely upon their own skills and wits to outmanoeuvre opposition. And sure, Fortnite’s building system isn’t exactly revolutionary, but in the fast-paced nature of Battle Royales, that’s almost certainly a good thing – anything more and you might lose the tension of the game and replace it with a ‘who can exploit the mechanics the most’ competition.

Whilst the building mechanic is certainly a strength of Fortnite, PUBG does still have the advantage in a few crucial areas. First and foremost, it is still a much more in-depth survival situation. Players have access to a vastly bigger arsenal of weapons and gear, including attachments, clothing, and food, something Fortnite doesn’t even have.

For those that prefer a bit more diversity to their games, PUBG would probably be more to your taste. The range of equipment you can find, as well as the tendency for games to last longer, means planning, teamwork and strategy often play a bigger role than the reaction and often luck based Fortnite. Secondly, PUBG includes vehicles, a game changer on the level of Fortnite’s building system. Not only do vehicles allow bigger maps to traverse, they introduce wildly different ways of both killing and escaping your opponents and, once again, they can encourage further teamwork and strategy. Fortnite might have the complexity of a sandbox map, but PUBG still has a more detailed system of content.

The final major difference all comes down to style rather than substance. PUBG takes on the realist approach; all the weaponry, art styles, physics and audio cues are designed to place you in the game as if it were happening in real life. Fortnite, on the other hand, chooses a more unusual approach, with a design leaning more towards the cartoonish than the real. The more you grow into it, the less you’ll notice it, but at first, all you’ll be able to think of is how odd the world, weapons and audio cues are. It really is a matter of taste on this account – if you prefer something closer to a simulator, PUBG would be your go-to call, but if a more colourful, less lifelike approach is what you prefer, Fortnite will be your favour.

So, which should you play? If you’re on PS4, there’s only one option… literally. PUBG is currently only available on PC and Xbox One, so you’re restricted in that fashion. But if you do happen to own one of the latter options, I would recommend trying both out and looking for the differences yourself. It might be the case that the inclusion of vehicles is a deal-maker for you, or that the realistic graphical style isn’t as appealing. Personally, whilst Fortnite is a fun distraction, PUBG certainly appeals more to me, if only because it feels like a more complete package that has received more attention. The longer, more strategic games also appeal more to my gamer sense.

But remember: both are still in development, and are subject to a lot more changes and new content. Games like these never really stop going until their player base dies out, so for all we know, in a month’s time, they could be completely different.

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