Playing “LEGO Fortnite”

“It’s too similar to the big number of games in the survival genre and lacks the charm of other LEGO games.” By David Reardon

The latest update to the online game “Fortnite” has brought some big changes to what once started out as a simple player versus environment (PvE) game. If you thought Epic Games, the developer, was done after pivoting their game into perhaps the biggest battle royale game in the world, you were wrong. Late last year, Epic introduced “LEGO Fortnite,” a new mode that, while it may seem to come from left field, is closer to the original version of “Fortnite” than the game most players are familiar with.

The new game mode feels like a simpler version of the ever-popular “Minecraft.” Players explore multiple biomes in unique worlds to find resources that are then crafted into items, weapons and structures. They also build and protect a village and villagers from evil forces, similar to “Fortnite’s” original PvE mode.

The game is polished, but somewhat shallow. While players have the ability to build any structure they like, they are limited to combining elements of other prefabricated structures. In “Minecraft,” everything is built from scratch, entirely dependent on the player’s skill and imagination. There is also less interaction with the environment than in other games. The only things that can be manipulated are plant life and rocks—the terrain itself cannot be changed. This is because the game world is an only slightly reskinned and rearranged version of the original “Fortnite” game. The only difference is the character models and structures are made from LEGO. 

The main draw for “LEGO Fortnite” seems to be seeing original “Fortnite” characters in LEGO form, like the popular playsets come to life, but the game doesn’t do anything special beyond that. It’s too similar to the big number of games in the survival genre and lacks the charm of other LEGO games. It’s playable and can distract one for a good amount of time, but still feels empty. This isn’t helped by the lack of background music while exploring the world—that makes sense in a battle royale, where you need to listen for other players, but it makes your exploration game too eerie. One of the most beloved aspects of “Minecraft” is the catalogue of original themes that become your soundtrack as you play. 

“LEGO Fortnite” is an interesting experiment, and it’s hard to complain about a free expansion to a free game, but it still feels like it’s less than what it could have been.


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