Epic's Minecraft-inspired Fortnite a PC exclusive

PC exclusives are rare in the gaming industry, but Epic is cooking up one based on the next-generation Unreal Engine 4. In recent years, the studio has been perhaps best known for its Gears of War franchise. Fortnite looks very different from those gritty, cover-based shooters. A batch of screenshots posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun show off Fortnite's stylized graphics, which have a whimsical vibe and appear to use more colors than all the Gears games put together.

Billed as a co-op sandbox survival game, Fortnite has hints of Minecraft mixed in with its fancy graphics. Indeed, Epic designer Lee Perry has credited the delightfully low-fi sandbox building game for inspiring Fortnite, at least in part. Here's what Epic has to say about the gameplay:

In Fortnite, players will explore, forage, collaborate and build by day in their own dynamic and expanding world. At night, they’ll work together to defend their prized fortress from the forces of darkness.

Rather than building anything, as one can do in Minecraft, Fortnite will focus on structures—forts, if you will. Folks attending the Fortnite panel at Comic-Con in San Diego got a preview of the game's building system, which seems to be fairly advanced based on this account over at Polygon. Weapons and structures can both be modified. Also, Design Director Cliff Bleszinski said that Rube Goldberg-style traps are a "kind of no-brainer" for future versions of the game. Epic appears intent on updating Fortnite after the initial release.

Fortnite sounds like it could be a lot of fun, and I'm digging the cartoonish aesthetic. The game is due to be released some time next year. You can check out all the screenshots in the gallery below.

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