The competitive shooter landscape has undergone a massive takeover by the battle royale genre in recent years. Of all the popular battle royale games, Fortnite continues to be one of the most beloved and successful, continually crossing over with some of entertainment's most popular franchises, including Star Wars, Resident Evil and God of War just to name a few. Like other games that exist in the realm of live service games, it has continued to evolve, constantly refreshing its core gameplay with several new gameplay mechanics and an overarching narrative structure that holds it all together.
The brilliance of Fortnite lies not just in its ability to market other franchises through in-game cosmetics but also in how it has managed to set itself up perfectly for a single-player spinoff. Throughout its history, the game has not only created the environment for a great single-player campaign but a whole heap of fans who would jump at the chance to play one.
One of the main reasons that Fortnite could work as a single-player game is that gameplay-wise it almost already is. In the current season, players can complete quests, talk to NPCs for purchasable items, complete milestone challenges by fulfilling certain tasks and explore the massive open-world map full of Easter Eggs and secrets. Players can spend most of a match not even engaging another player in combat but simply completing quests and engaging in other activities. The fact that there happen to be other players around that serve as a threat is almost an afterthought at this point.
Over the years, Epic Games has added all manner of additional gameplay mechanics to the game that has continually made it feel more like a single-player experience that happens to be also a battle royale game. Throughout many seasons players have gained the ability to craft weapons and items, drive a variety of vehicles, receive quests from NPCs and even go fishing, complete with a catalog of various types of fish to find. From season to season, the gameplay often changes dramatically, with new mechanics constantly being added and removed.
On top of this, the continued story arc of Fortnite has, for many fans, become an increasingly entertaining and engaging narrative as it continually surprises from season to season. Fortnite may seem like a colorful romp on the outside but the narrative structure includes evil supervillains, cosmic powers, and even a multiverse that not only explains the appearance of multiple characters from other franchises but utilizes them as vital parts of the storylines. Last season, Dwayne Johnson-voiced hero The Foundation appeared to literally flip the entire island map on its head, taking down the evil Cube Queen and providing an alternate dimension map that makes sense in the overarching narrative and provides a story reason for Chapter 3's brand new locales.
Epic could use the multiverse narrative as a starting point for placing players on the giant map island in a single-player experience. Players could become transported to an alternate dimension where the hero must fight against an overwhelming force of enemies. The multiplayer map could serve as an open-world setting, complete with drivable vehicles and recruitable NPCs who dole out quests to the player as they contend with various roving bands of enemies and giant boss monsters. The best part of this is that all of these mechanics have already been in the game in other seasons of the battle royale mode. Fortnite has a toolbox full of interesting mechanics and a single-player adventure would be the chance to bring them all back out again.
Players could scavenge for materials, break down buildings and forests to build unique strongholds on the fly, dodge powerful storms and take on bands of enemies that will assault the fortifications upon discovery. Fortnite's building mechanics and survival-lite resource management could translate beautifully into an open-world narrative-driven action-adventure, allowing those who may not be into competitive multiplayer a shot to enjoy the colorful world that Epic has created.
Still going strong after five years, Fortnite continues to reinvent and evolve itself from season to season. However, a genuinely single-player adventure would be a way for long-time fans to really enjoy the world and characters in a brand new perspective that could harness all that makes the battle royale mode still so fun to play.
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