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Review: Fortnite – The Series

It was only a matter of time before the Fortnite video game craze led to a cinematic experience. What is so surprising is how many liberties were taken with the franchise, complete with the hilariously awful translation of the game’s namesake in Korean.

Fortnite focuses on John “The Reaper” Wick, a man with a gambling addict who finds himself brought into a mysterious Battle Royale thanks to the underpinnings of the IO company. He finds himself competed with hundreds of other contestants, with the goal of gaining the Victory Royale and with that the prize of 45 billion won (approximately 38 million V-bucks.)

The series takes a lot of liberties on locations and player skins. Some of this is to be expected, given the fact this is a live action series, but it’s like the multiple realities that pull in through the Zero Point. I barely recognized some of my favorite skins, such as Agent Jonesy, Maya, and Midas. Personally I would have loved to see some Fish Stick of Peely, but again I get it, this is a live action series and I’m sure they didn’t have the budget for quality CGI.

Netflix’s take on Midas is certainly unique and refreshing

Not going to lie, I found the series’ lack of focus on the original play mechanics a little disconcerting, and would have preferred an experience more true to what is already in the game. The glass panel game is reminiscent of several player made maps and made for a good watch, but as many of you are aware there is no “Marble Game” in Fortnite, and “Red Light Green Light” is technically playable but there’s no game mechanics to keep players from shooting during the “green light” stage. I imagine that some of these may see themselves in the game in the future; it could be interesting to see how the final Squid Game mode plays out with more players.
John “The Reaper” Wick will stop at nothing to get the Chicken Dinner.

One thing I didn’t expect was the cross over with the story line of the popular Among Us franchise, reimagining the alien-like imposter as a police officer. It did a lot to break up the monotony and drama of the many players that weren’t worth getting invested in because it was obvious they were just going to die, but at times it did seem like too much focus was being placed on it. Perhaps we’ll see an Among Us/Fortnite crossover event in the future?

Overall, the series seemed a lot darker than I would have expected. Why this fun pre-teen competitive shooter needed to be re-envisioned for a more adult audience is beyond me. I would have liked to see more of the emotes from the actual game in the movie; the fact there were so many character deaths and no one doing the Default Dance seems so surreal. I’m still also confused why there are so many translation errors, or why this series takes its name from the final game play mode when that mode hasn’t even been incorporated into the game yet.

Fortnite: The Series is currently streaming on Netflix.

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