'Fortnite' trailer shows off the lighter side of zombie slaying

After the best part of a decade in development, the early access release of co-op sandbox survival game Fortnite is just a matter of days away. Now, Epic Games has unleashed a brand-new cinematic trailer at RTX Austin 2017, in the hope of whetting players’ appetites ahead of its launch later this month.

The clip opens with four characters representing the game’s character classes — ninja, outlander, soldier, and constructor — bantering among themselves as they explore a ruined burger joint. If you’ve been keeping up with Fortnite, this lighthearted presentation will come as no surprise, as it is in keeping with the game’s cheery tone and stylized, toonish visuals.

The group finds a mother and child taking refuge in the restaurant, and pretty soon zombies are flooding through the entrance, calling the quartet into action. Things then really get hectic as an enormous monster referred to as a “smasher” enters the fray. While this is a cinematic clip rather than in-game footage, it gives a good idea of what players can expect from the gameplay in Fortnite.

This is a game that was built from the ground up as a co-op experience, so it’s all about establishing a good dynamic among your group. That means making the most of how different classes complement one another, and making sure that you’re always looking out for the other members of your squad.

Originally announced all the way back in 2011, Fortnite fell off the radar over the past couple of years, leading some to believe that it might have slipped into development hell. However, Epic Games surprised many in June 2017 when it confirmed plans for an early access release in July.

Of course, gamers are often reticent to put down their hard-earned cash on a game that’s explicitly stated to be in an unfinished state. Fortnite is a particularly controversial example of the early access business model, as Epic Games has made the unusual decision to offer a physical version of the as-yet-incomplete title.

Fortnite is scheduled to release as an early access title on July 25, with pre-orders granting players a four-day head start beginning on July 21. You can buy the game right now via the Epic Games online store.

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