Is Fortnite slowly becoming Ready Player One’s Oasis?

Epic Games
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Over time the people at Fortnite took notice of the rise and fall of their in game population. While it was really cool that these events brought people together, they weren’t staying. There were many people like me who genuinely had no interest in multiplayer shooters that was ducking in and ducking back out without ever staying long enough to consider microtransactions. They had to find something that stuck.

But this year, 2023, oh my god did they figure it out. Their ability to create your own game was one of the most advanced game creators I’ve ever seen. Just last night I hopped on and played a ridiculously well designed recreation of the events from The Squid Games. And while the tug of war game was janky as heck, it was still a remarkably fun time. And not to flex but…totally won my second game (the code on the top will get you in there).

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They also added entirely new games with the help of third parties. For example, the folks over at Rocket League has already done stuff with Fortnite, but now they added Rocket Racing. Not only is Rocket Racing a full racing game that’s free, but it is one of the most fun racing games I’ve ever played. It’s progression and controls bring back STRONG Wipeout memories as I zoom around tracks and cling to walls and ceilings.

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Working with the folks at Harmonix who made the Guitar Hero games they introduced Music Festival. A game mode where your character gets to pick an instrument and take the stage with three other players and perform real songs, rhythm game style. I was drumming along with the White Stripes before, embarrassingly, realizing that someone else in my band was about to force me to play through All American Reject’s Dirty Little Secret.

The track list is a little light at the moment but the fact that they’re constantly adding new songs makes this a temporary hurdle in an exceptionally well done rhythm game. And again, free.

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Most impressively, though, was what they did with the Lego brand. Fortnite recently worked with Lego to release Lego Fortnite. The Lego Fortnite game is a surprisingly gorgeous survival game in which you and up to 15 other players can build a virtual world where you must gather resources and survive at night.

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The game features hundreds of things to build via template along with several ways to just build things on your own.

Not only is this a free update to the game, but it’s gorgeous. The lighting effects mixed with the entirely new creations of enemies, creatures, crafting systems and more are very well done, and, it even turns your character into a Lego equivalent. Obviously not every skin has been turned into a Lego version yet (they say they’re working on it) but if it doesn’t have an equivalent it tries to get as close as possible.

It’s insane that I can run this game, sit on my couch, and hang out with my friends going into a racing game, a music game, and then a survival game without switching to a different property. These are all top notch games that take place in multiple worlds and it is a free download.

I’m not saying Epic doesn’t want your money. They absolutely do. But even like in the Oasis, the money you spend equates to cosmetic items only. Nothing you buy changes your performance. And honestly, some of the bigger skins just make you a target. Like, if I’m playing a game and tracking some generic edgelord across the landscape when I see Peter Griffin running past, I’m sorry but new target acquired.

I’m really interested to see how Fortnite goes from here but it’s insane to think about the game that was once just a zombie game cluttering the clearance section of Gamestop stores has gone on to be this massive virtual universe where people can do whatever they want.