For the first time in over ten years, Epic is launching a PC-exclusive game.
Although Epic Games first debuted its next game Fortnite last year at the Spike VGA Awards, there hasn't been much word on the fortress-building tower defense game since. Unfortunately for console fans anticipating the game, we now know that Fortnite is exclusive to PC. Speaking at Comic-Con today, design director Cliff Bleszinski stated that Fortnite is "a PC-designed game" and that "next-gen is here. It's a high-end PC."
Fortnite may not be PC-only forever, though. Bleszinski clarified in a later tweet that the game "is PC primary and first, but we wouldn't rule out the possibility of other platforms later." Besides the departure in terms of platforms - Epic's recent games have been available on consoles at the same time as the PC version - Fortnite also represents a distinct shift in tone. In stark contrast to the hyper-realistic graphics of the company's recent games like Bulletstorm and the Gears of War franchise, Epic is going with a simpler, cartoonish style reminiscent of Team Fortress 2. The game also downplays the shooting mechanic Epic is otherwise known for; producer Tanya Jessen stated at Comic-Con that "building is really the core of the game."
The building mechanic, in fact, is not incomparable to breakout indie hit Minecraft - demo gameplay footage shown at Comic-Con highlighted the ability to break down structures for materials, then build or edit existing structures. The game will have a more tower-defense lean to it, though, as players are given waves of monsters to fight off and upgradeable weapons.
The amount of detail and interaction between structures is unclear, but the ability to build particularly elaborate structures - like Home Alone-style traps - may be added to the game after release. Bleszinski said during a Q&A about the game, "I don't think we'll have any Rube-Goldberg-type stuff in the first version, but it's kind of a no-brainer later." Additional features and support after the game's release would be robust, according to Jessen, who said the studio is "just going to keep adding onto [Fortnite]."
The pricing and release details for Fortnite aren't available yet, but when it does come out it will look particularly shiny - the game is the first to run on Unreal Engine 4, Epic's brainchild and successor to the immensely popular Unreal Engine 3. Among other improvements, the new engine features dynamic lighting, which works with the bold colors of the new game quite nicely.