No doubt, if you’re a gamer, you’ve heard of either or both of these titles.
Ever since the release of Fortnite BR Mode, there has been a lot of criticism around the similarities between Fortnite BR and the popular Battle Royale title PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Today I’m going to be discussing both games in search of which one is better.
First off – both titles share many similarities. Both games are built on the robust and popular ‘Unreal Engine 4’ game engine. Both games are a Battle Royale style game from Solo to a 4-Man squad, with 100 players slowly being enclosed by a circle of death, until only 1 player/squad remains. Both games you start off in a holding area, before being pushed out of a plane (or in Fortnites case, a flying bus!) to SkyDive into certain danger. From there players must quickly gather loot, to gain an advantage over their competition in the fight for victory.
But that is where the similarities end.
In this review, we will be breaking down both games by key game aspects to try and determine which one is better! Keep in mind, that Fortnite has a fully developed PvE mode called ‘Save the World’ which will be a separate review!
One of the largest differentiation between the 2 battle royale games, is the graphics.
Bluehole (the developers of PUBG) have stuck with more photo-realistic graphics, from the texturing of the terrain to the old buildings reminiscent of the old soviet republic, to the modeling of real-world guns.
Epic (the developers of Fortnite) on the other hand have gone a completely different route, in a cartoonish style that is likened to that of Team Fortress 2 or Overwatch.
What they both do, they both do well, so this very much comes down to a matter of taste for each individual player – but with the ease of which Fortnite BR runs on a potato, we like that PUBG has stayed away from vectoring, and gone for a more immersive experience with beautiful detailing and shadowing if you have the graphics hardware.
Movement & Gameplay
When it comes to movement PUBG has the upper hand. Not only can you run, jump and crouch – but you also have the ability to peak corners, prone and look behind your shoulder – movement which is not available in Fortnite.
Because of the more realistic graphics in PUBG, there are far more options when it comes to Gameplay as well. Clothing options that can more easily blend you with your surroundings. The ability to prone in shadows and ditches, and to crouch in bushes. This gives you many more tactical options, quietly traversing rocky formations, swamps, and other diverse terrain.
Footsteps in PUBG are variable depending on the surface, and footwear, while in Fortnite everyone sounds like Frankenstein’s monster, making players much easier to hear from a distance. Fortnite’s simple vector graphics also make it far easier to see the enemy, evening the odds in a 1v1 confrontation.
PUBG offers randomly spawned in-game vehicles for players to utilise in getting around the map, while Fortnite does not. What it does bring to the game though is its building mechanics from ‘Save the World’ which enables you to build limitless structures for defense, protection and for traversing the map quickly from the air by building upwards. What this does mean – is that in the world of Fortnite, everything is breakable as well. So you cannot just simply hide behind that rock, or tree, or wall, like with PUBG.
This adds up to a recipe where Fortnites mechanics make it far more inviting for the casual player, while PUBG is a test for tactical skills and warfare.
As of December PUBG now has 2 maps – Erangal (an old Soviet island) and Miramar (a mexicanesque peninsula)
Both maps are a very large 8km x 8km in size. This allows for a much slower start to the game, to gather gear and other supplies before engaging enemies.
The Fortnite BR map (unnamed) is considerably smaller. It also contains much fewer townships which promotes action from the very moment you land.
The winner very much depends on your personal game style. If you prefer the fast action from out of the gate, then you will much prefer Fortnite – with its frantic rush to pick up a gun before anyone else. The advantage also is that Fortnite games are considerably much shorter – around 10-15 minutes for a Fortnite game, vs 30 minutes or more for PUBG.
Weapons & Warfare
One of the largest differences between the 2 games ultimately is the weapons and the way in which they fire.
PUBG has gone for the traditional real-life tactical warfare weapons (AKM, M4, M16, Pistol, SKS, K98, etc…) and very much has a Counter-Strike feel to aiming the weapons. You can also pick up various attachments to modify almost every weapon in the game – reducing recoil, increasing reload speed, various scopes, etc…It also includes realistic recoil and bullet drop, and there are armor drops in the form of vests and helmets which are consumable as they’re destroyed by other players you engage in firefights with.
Fortnite, on the other hand, has incorporated a vast range of fantasy weapons from its full game, including rocket launchers and other destructive gadgets. These are also graded by color from Grey to Orange based on its power level, similar to its PvE game. While Fortnite also implements bullet travel time and bullet drop, it is far less refined and aiming in the game is very arcade-like. Rather than implementing an armor system, Fortnite has taken the approach of a shield which can be replenished with potions.
Fortnite also recently implemented its new 50v50 mode. While you’re still in a squad, you can see all other 49 teammates marked on the map – and work together with them in all-out warfare.
Looting & Interface
One of the biggest skills for both games in determining your survival is your ability to loot quickly.
Fortnite’s looting system is much more simple in a couple of ways. In Fortnite, most loot can be found in a glowing chest which is identified by a tinkering/glistening sound, which can be heard from several meters away. When the chests are opened (or players eliminated) the loot is scattered, and easily identifiable by its colorful glow. Once picked up, they fit into one of your 5 quick load slots.
PUBG, on the other hand, is far more nuanced. Loot is found scattered across the ground, on tables, benches, crates, etc..and is much more subtle to identify. Once opening your Inventory screen, you will also be greeted by a much more complex loading system for holding all of your loot. Loot can be collected by either pressing the “Use” key or by drag/dropping in the inventory screen. In here you can also see everything else you’re carrying in your backpack, as well as the damage to your armor.
Value for money
While the Fortnite game is US$59.99 for the standard pre-release of its Save the World mode (said to be free sometime in 2018), the Battle Royale game is in fact FREE. Straight away this is an attractive option for many, especially those who enjoyed Team Fortress 2, or DOTA. It also shares the similar style of graphics and will run on similar hardware, meaning no upgrade required.
Fortnite does already have a built-in Lootcrate (Loot Llama) system for cosmetic items in its main game mode, however, Battle Royale mode uses a digital currency called V-Bucks. These can be earnt in game, however, if bought they are quite expensive – starting with 1,000 V-Bucks for $9.99. You can then directly buy unlocked items in BR Mode using these V-Bucks.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently US$29.99 – however from some countries such as the Thailand Steam store, can be as low as $10-15.
PUBG also has a built-in Lootcrate system for cosmetic items, which uses a digital currency called Battle Points (BP’s) which are earnt with every game. The amount of BP depends on how well you do in the match. Loot crates can be purchased with this BP for the chance to win an item. As PUBG uses the Steam Marketplace, you can also buy items directly from the Steam Store, rather than rely on Loot crates
While both of these games are Battle Royale in nature, they’re vastly different, and I can see them appealing to 2 different types of players.
Fortnite is a much more fast-paced, but casual game which will really resonate with Team Fortress 2 Players. It is much more simplified, and there is less of a skill gap between players. It is much more of an arcade experience overall.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is more of an eSport style game, that resonates with players more aligned with competitive Counter-Strike gaming. There is a much larger skill gap involved and relies much more heavily on stealth, circle rotation and positioning.
For the price, there’s no reason not to try Fortnite, and PUBG is still very affordable given the hours of enjoyment most of us here at GetRekt have already had!