Battle Royale


Side by side in game art of the two popular battle royale games.

Joystick based, top down, first person shooters, sandbox games… the list of trends in gaming goes on forever, but the latest trend is games that fall under the category “battle royale.” Battle Royale games are a winner-take-all survival shooter from first or third person and involve components of a shrinking map and a flyover/drop in. Lately the two leading games from the genre are Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite.

Battle Royale games start on a map with clearly defined borders that shrink intermittently down to nearly nothing in order to force players to fight. Weapons that deal different amounts of damage based on tier are available in houses and cities for one to equip in preparation for a fight. As the map shrinks, there are supply drops more frequently that have higher chances of dropping high tier weapons. There are multiple modes including solos where 100 players are dropped to skydive in and fight individually down to the last 1 in order to win as well as duos where 50 pairs drop in and even up to squads where 25 groups of 4 drop in and duke it out. Reviving teammates is possible, and friendly fire varies by game.

PUBG and Fortnite are very similar in a lot of regards, however they feature different intended audiences and have differing strong and weak points. PUBG has more of a realistic feel, looking a lot like other first person shooters such as Call of Duty or Battlefield 1. PUBG also allows players to choose either first or third person view before the game. The last feature that PUBG has over Fortnite is the ability to drive vehicles. Junior Jeremy Harley weighed in saying “I’m a big fan of PUBG because of the realistic look and the fact that you can use cars.”

Fortnite has a very cartoon-like look to it with bright colors and giant mountains covered in one-shade-too-green grass. Fortnite notably allows players to break down about 90% of their surroundings to collect wood, metal, and bricks that can be used for fort building later in the game. Fortnite also has chests that give plentiful loot and even stacks of tires that bounce players high into the air. In addition to the building, there are campfires that can be placed down to replenish health, jump pads that launch a player up to a height where they can use their glider, and lastly damage traps that hurt players that walk nearby. Opposite Harley (’19), senior Rodney Roberts has the opinion that “with the concept of building there is no way that anyone can say that Fortnite isn’t better [than PUBG].”

This fight between the best pair of games to come out in years has raged on several months but hopefully the communities come to respect each other over time.