Why Fortnite's cooperative mode shouldn't be left in the dust
Epic Games' Fortnite Battle Royale has grown into a juggernaut in the gaming scene, boasting millions of concurrent players. However, it seems that the title's cooperative mode has been left behind.
Ever since it's launch back in September, Fortnite's free Battle Royale mode has quickly risen in popularity and has now become one of the hottest titles in the gaming industry. It has even managed to surpass games such as PUBG, Rainbow Six: Siege, and in some rare cases, Counter Strike: Global Offensive on Twitch.
Unfortunately, in the wake of Fortnite's success, what the game was originally has been overshadowed — a cooperative player-versus-enemy (PvE) hybrid between a shooter and a tower defense game, dubbed Save The World. While admittedly rough around the edges, it still has massive potential. Here's why I think Epic Games should make sure it gets love moving forward.
What makes the cooperative mode special?
The shooter and tower defense genres are two types of games that couldn't be more different. One of them emphasizes battling enemies with firearms, while the other is centered around the strategic placement of bunkers, towers, turrets, and other structures to stop hordes of foes. Yet, Fortnite manages to blend them together with the Save The World mode.
In Save The World, teams of up to four players scavenge for wood, stone, and metal. Then, they build a base around an objective they need to protect, complete with traps, turrets, and layers of walls and other structures. Soon after the base is done, armies of zombies assault the base, and the team then has to defend their headquarters with rifles, rocket launchers, and everything between.
Unlike Fortnite Battle Royale, which bases its concept on the formula seen in games like PUBG or H1Z1: King of the Kill, Save The World is a unique idea that no other game has explored before. It was so cool to see these two genres merged into something that works as well as it does, and that's why it's sad that Battle Royale has stolen its spotlight.
Can Epic Games revive Save The World?
Though the Battle Royale mode has completely knocked the cooperative experience out of relevancy, I do believe there are some ways that Epic Games can turn it around and ultimately make it popular. One way they could do this is by making Save The World free-to-play, like Battle Royale is. This would allow more people access to the co-op experience, and they could even still make money by implementing cosmetic items for purchase.
Another thing they could attempt to do is add more content to Save The World and make it have more variety. The Battle Royale mode tried out ideas like sniper rifles only matches and epic 50 versus 50 battles; why not apply some of that creativity to the cooperative mode? Different ways to play a game usually keep the experience feeling fresh, and I don't believe that this is an exception.
Lastly, if the developers chose to market Save The World some more, it would likely see more players. For the most part, Fortnite didn't gain popularity until the Battle Royale mode came out as an alternative to PUBG, and so it's likely that the vast majority of Fortnite's audience doesn't even know much about Save The World. If Epic Games gave it some love in current ads or commercials, people would see what they're missing.
Of course, it's worth pointing out that to invest so much into the cooperative mode would be a risky move. If it works, then Fortnite's success will rise even higher, but if it fails, then that would be a lot of money and effort wasted. Epic Games may want to simply stick with what's working.
Do you think Fortnite Save The World is itself worth saving? Let me know what you think.
Fortnite Save The World is available for $39.99 on Xbox One and PC. Fortnite Battle Royale is free.
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Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.