Last month, when Fortnite Battle Royale dropped its fantastic new map, it was marred by one tall, grey blemish: The Tilted Towers. Yes, I am tilted over the Tilted Towers. Laugh it up.
Fortnite Battle Royale
A cluster of several-storey buildings now sits squarely in the centre of Fortnite Battle Royale's map, where once there was a lovely field. Scattered across those stories are guns, ammo, potions, materials and traps, all in the service of defending and protecting your body until you're the last player standing. A lot of players land there. Rooms are cramped. It's hard to tell where footsteps are coming from. It's hard to tell why you died when, inevitably, you do.
Yes, everybody loves the Tilted Towers. I don't. It's the gameplay equivalent of dropping a fistful of Mentos and shotguns in a litre of Diet Coke. It's chaos. The Tilted Towers are bullshit and I, an aggressively mediocre Fortnite Battle Royale player, can prove it. Over the course of six runs, in an embarrassingly short half hour, I tried to find the best strategy for my most-despised zone in the game. And I came to learn that surviving in the Tilted Towers sucks.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Jumping out of spawn, I dropped my map's destination pin on the Tilted Towers and, along with a dozen others, floated down toward them. Although the parachutes can be finicky, we all tried to land in strategically separate locations. For me and some other guy, that effort was unsuccessful. We landed on the same, tall roof with only a bundle of ammo and a trap to kill each other. I scooped up the trap and placed it right under my opponents' feet. It did not go off in time. And I didn't have any building materials to box him in. He escaped.
I descended down my tower's floors in search of a gun. They'd all been taken. Moments later, somebody shot and killed me from under a garage door.
There I was again, parachuting downwards with these 12 people. I did a 360 around the rooftop, checking everywhere for a gun. I couldn't find one. Leaping down from the roof toward a balcony, I saw a guy in a window with a sniper rifle. He had a few goes at my soon-to-be-dead body. I feebly hacked at him with my dumb axe. It was no use. Eleven seconds into the match, I died in 93rd place.
We're going down, down in an earlier round
And sugar, we're going down swinging
Fortnite Battle Royale
I made a beeline toward a balcony with an open window where, surely, I would find quickly safety. Instead of swiftly gliding into the building, like a flying squirrel, I slammed into the building's side and sadly fell downwards. So much for staying out of line-of-sight. I landed on the second storey of a tower, were, thankfully, I found smoke grenade and two guns. I went inside. Gunshots resounded all around me. I sought out their sources, looking for somebody to kill, arms outstretched with my pistol forward. That's when some guy named Haskins headshotted me with a shotgun, from out of nowhere - behind me? Through a window? I'll never know. Fuck, I yelled, not one minute after landing at the Tilted Towers. Fuckkkk.
Two guns shone from the roof of a tower, one green and one white. An opponent floated down toward them, but my parachuting was more direct, more determined this time. I deserved the stuff. It belonged to me. I'd been practising this. We both somehow landed within a millisecond of each other. She got the gun. I was empty-handed. I swung my axe at her, anticipating the sweet release of death. She shot at me. Then, actually, thinking better of wasting bullets on me, she switched back to her axe and lay it into me. I placed 90th.
By this point, I realised that, probably, there was an optimal strategy for the Tilted Towers. And that optimal strategy is hiding with weapons. On a rooftop, I collected a pistol, chugged a defence potion, and descended downwards. Gun pointed at the door, I waited. Then, a shot. Somebody, somewhere, shot me from behind. I have no idea how. Reviewing the killcam, I still have no idea how.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Fuck the Tilted Towers.
Someone on a rooftop shot at me. Fuck you. I landed on the ground, unharmed.
I collected a crappy shotgun and ammo. Fuck you. I climbed up some stairs and into a second storey.
Then, I found a trap. Fuck you. I laid the trap by the door. I pointed my shotgun at the door and waited.
The door opened. Someone walked in. My trap's spears lunged into their body. I shot them in the face. Fuck you. They died. I took their weapons and waited.
A minute later, the door opened again. I heard the ca-ching of my trap and shot them in the stomach. They had better weapons, which I took. Fuck you. I left a few of them out as bait and waited.
Three minutes later, no one had come by. I messed around in the building, stared out the window, checked Twitter, and texted a few friends back.
Three minutes after that, I was meandering around the building's bathroom, noticing that my gun had the game Snake on its barrel, when the door opened. Ca-ching. Another kill. Their weapons were even better. I grabbed what I could - a bolt-action sniper rifle, a pump shotgun - and left the rest out as better bait. Fuck you.
Three minutes after that, 16 players remained. I was getting bored of waiting in place. So bored. Eventually, someone opened the door. Yes! But they saw the trap and walked out. No! I fired a shot to lure them in again. Instead, they snuck around to the tower's bottom floor and tried to steal a kill from under me. I headshotted them from above. Fuck you.
As the playable area shrunk, I waited until the last moment to move from my hellden. I had to. Poking my head out, I found a safe, winding route to my next hovel, where I'd set up a trap and, again, lay in wait. Hey, it worked. On my way there, I found some stairs just recently constructed by another player. Climbing up them, they seemed endless. Finally, on the roof, I heard shots, but I didn't know from where. In brief seconds, my health depleted to nothing. I was eighth.
What did we learn from this foray into the Tilted Towers?
We learned a few things. It is I who suck, and not the Tilted Towers, and yet, I will continue blaming the towers because they bring out my poorly-considered, gung-ho approach to battle royale games. They're designed to make the average player hate themselves. Unless you're a Fortnite god, or you've found some divine gun, you're done for. The alternative: Nabbing a trap and waiting, forever, in place. Either you're a god, you hate yourself, or you're bored.
Tilted Towers, I will win Fortnite one day inside you. Until then, I will diligently avoid flinging myself into your, in parts, boring and too-crazy death vice.