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Review | LEGO Fortnite

Fortnite’s latest season, part of the 5th chapter of the game, is a transformative experience that turns the game into one of tech’s recent favourite buzzwords: a metaverse. In fact, inside of it, three different separate yet connected game-as-a-service products have been released last year, the first of which chronologically is the survival game, LEGO Fortnite. So, how’s the first “game within a game” that Fortnite offers us?

Fortnite? In 2023?

Let’s start from the very beginning. Fortnite used to be Epic Games’ attempt to blast into multiple popular genre trends of the mid-2010’s, combining basebuilding, tower defense, a co-op horde mode and all kinds of materials, lootboxes and whatnot to try and make their next big hit, as since the days of Gears of War they had a hard time imposing themselves via new IPs. This mode’s name is Save the World, and its early access did decent numbers to be fair, but Fortnite only skyrocketed in popularity when the developers hastily put together a working battle royale mode, beating the much viral PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG, for short) to the console sphere and slowly transforming into something much bigger and different too. Fast forward to 2023 and the game has had just about everything: live events with millions of players; crossovers with the likes of Marvel, Dragon Ball Z, Star Wars and even other videogames like Halo and God of War; even multiple engine upgrades that, by now, brought Fortnite to the beauty of Unreal Engine 5, with all the bells and whistles of the newer generation hardware like raytracing, a 120hz mode, HDR and so on. There’s even a creative mode where players can create their own game modes and experiences.

Every 3 months or so there’s a new season, and about once a year a new chapter that introduces far more transformative changes than just a new map, new weapons and whatnot. Indeed, Chapter 5 Season 1: Underground brought various changes, such as a new mantling system, various new items, an updated map with a moving train and so on. But even more importantly, it introduced three different games inside of the Fortnite launcher, all three that could easily be standalone free-to-play games within Epic Games’ own ecosystem – or metaverse, if you will. Released on the 7th, 8th and 9th of December respectively, players could test the survival game LEGO Fortnite, the racing game Rocket Racing (from Psyonix, the developers of Rocket League) and Fortnite Festival (from the folks at Harmonix, with the likes of Rock Band and Fuser in their portfolio). After this long history lesson, let’s look at what LEGO Fortnite does.

Where we brickin’?

It all begins with a very positive surprise for Fortnite regulars, who will find that most of their available skins and character models (with the exception of licensed ones like Marvel, Star Wars and so on) have received for free a LEGO minifig version, usable in this “game within a game” of the brand new Fortnite metaverse. Whether your favourite is Fishsticks, Sparkplug, or the old school classic Red Knight, chances are you’ll find what you need, with over 1200 skins transported for free into this new title. This naturally means that pretty much any future or past skins (again, aside from most of the licensed ones) will also unlock their LEGO counterpart, whether it’s bought from the in-game store via V-bucks, unlocked via the seasonal battle passes or via other events. As the player selects their LEGO minifigure and up to 3 buddies online if they so desire, everyone is transported into a brand new world of LEGO via a portal, opening up what is an experience that in many ways resembles Fortnite, yet it’s a completely different and much polished experience on its own, perfectly playable even by those who have no interest whatsoever in Epic Games’ standard third person shootouts.

The starting point is extremely similar to most survival games you may have already played – be it Minecraft, ARK: Survival Evolved, Conan Exiles or whatever is your jam. Players start in the middle of nowhere with nothing at hand, inside a procedurally generated 3D world. Has to be pointed out immediately that while a large chunk of Fortnite is about basebuilding and destroying stuff, LEGO Fortnite has what you could define a static world – as in, the terrain can not be destroyed, but only what’s on it like trees, rocks and so on. Visually, a decent comparison would be this year’s other big LEGO game, LEGO 2K Drive, with a slightly cartoony yet “standard” 3D world that isn’t fully made out of bricks, with only characters, buildings and such following the LEGO dogmas. Indeed, much of the survival aspect of the game barely even feels like LEGO, aside from our minifigure characters – trees, stones, bushes, plants that we need to harvest for our survival or for crafting and building are “generic” 3D elements, not toy-like at all. This might have been done to further separate what items have been built by us and which ones weren’t. Speaking of building, players can create their own village and level it up, which in turns unlocks more and more buildings, crafting tools and so on. While you can choose one from many available houses, sheds, towers and more, building piece by piece what the game tells ’em to, they can also freely and manually create anything they like by adding floor tiles, walls, all kinds of decorations, furniture, light sources and so on. Players can even build basic moving vehicles, not unlike in Tears of the Kingdom, via the use of balloons, jet engines and more.

Current objective: Survive

Other than that, expect the usual barrage of survival game tropes, as LEGO Fortnite as of now is a fairly safe if surprisingly well made trip into the genre. Caves to explore for rare materials, enemies spawning around especially at night, secrets such as hidden bandit camps, all the way down to more unique peculiarities such as mysterious (and inclusive) sightings under the rainbow. On top of being able to creatively construct your village and recruit villagers as if it were Animal Crossing, much of the progression also boils down to acquiring increasingly powerful tools, such as pickaxes, swords and bows of rarer and rarer quality, which in term determines their durability, damage numbers, but even which materials they can even tackle to begin with. Again, if you extensively played survival games, Minecraft in particular, you more or less know what to expect – the LEGO twist mainly materializes in the visual style of items and characters and, of course, being able to unite blocks and build your own LEGO house even if you’re not Ed Sheeran. On that note, it has to be pointed out that the game’s survival mode is very grindy, in that buildings require a lot of materials and so do upgrades, crafting things can take a long time, etc.. It’s quite a time commitment to build a stellar base – but those who don’t feel like doing that, can always either play in creative mode with unlimited building options and even flight enabled, or simply customize the rules of their server by enabling or disabling hunger, damage and more, making the experience a lot less demanding in the process.

As of this writing, of the 3 new modes in Fortnite’s new metaverse, LEGO Fortnite is by far the most popular, and it’s certainly not only thanks to the behemoth brand that is LEGO. This is a not excessively daring but surprisingly fun, polished and good-looking survival game – a genre often notable for quite ugly, poorly running and janky experiences. All the basics of a good survival experience are there and players have solid freedom in constructing their own LEGO creations or, alternatively, to follow the guidelines and build standard things as suggested by the game. With lots of customization and servers allowing up to 8 players to work together towards a common goal (or to troll each other, if they want to), LEGO Fortnite has the potential to become a mainstay for prior Fortnite fans, offering a new enough experience to perhaps convince newcomers to hop into this title as well. If future updates keep making the game more varied, deep and fresh, we could truly have a near unmissable gem on our hands.


LEGO Fortnite

Played on
Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5
LEGO Fortnite


  • Oozes LEGO charm
  • Highly polished from day one, unlike most survival games
  • A riot with friends


  • A bit safe for now
  • Gaining materials is grindy
8.0 out of 10
XboxEra Scoring Policy

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