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Forts Preview: Bombs Away

/ Sep 8th, 2016 No Comments


Creation and destruction are total opposites by definition. However, the physics-based strategy gameplay in Forts offers a dissenting view of this notion.

In Forts, players must construct massive towers, outfit them with weapons, and then destroy enemies’ towers. Think of it as creation for destruction.

At PAX West 2016, we got some hands-on time with Forts and were shown a bleak future where Earth’s resources are severely dwindled and fought over.

Learning to Fort

We were able to experience a few different scenarios with Forts during our time with the game. The first involved forts that were already built and heavily armed. With the fort already structurally stable, the point of the mission was to learn the game’s weapons system.

There are several types of weapons at your disposal in Forts. I was able to use everything from mortars to lasers during my time with the game. In addition, blast doors and reflective surfaces act as weapon counters, redirecting certain types of ammo back in the other direction.

Most of these weapons are easy enough to control. Many of them, including missiles, work in the same way. You must click quickly throughout the area to unleash a constant barrage of ammunition on your enemies. You simply aim and fire, then wait for your weapon to cool down once you’ve used it too much.

However, not all weapons were as simple to use. Snipers require pinpoint aim. Machine guns can have their directions changed based on what is happening in the environment while firing, and this allows players to target incoming missiles to shoot down.


I will counter your missiles with more missiles!

After getting an idea of how the controls work, we were set up with a second scenario. This time, we had a tiny fort armed with a single machine gun. Building up the tower requires resources.

To acquire resources, players must build underground mines to extract precious materials. As the miners toil away, decisions must be made on whether to use wood, metal or other various materials to build the tower.

As you might expect, each resource has its pros and cons. Thus, players must create a strategy that will work best for their play style.

Metal is costly and weighty, leading to a less stable structure. Wood is easily destroyed, but it is cheaper. You can purchase more weapons after building a cheaper wooden tower, but your fort will be more secure if it is made of metal. A combination of both works best.

The main objective of each match is to protect a power-core at the center of the tower which gives it energy for weapons. We found it best to surround the core with metal while building the majority of the tower out of wood.

Wood for Oil

This type of game typically doesn’t include a solo experience, but Forts has a solid plot that gives context to missions. The game is set in a not-so-distant future where most of the planet’s resources are used up. China, Russia and the U.S. are battling for the limited resources left.

The single-player campaign puts players in control of all three of these countries. Players start with easier missions as the U.S. As missions are completed, players unlock new theaters of war and their subsequent missions, as well as move into playing as Russia and China.


Together we stand, together we explode.

Each single-player mission includes bonus objectives that challenge players to use advanced strategies. One example of this was a level that featured a pre-built machine gun nest. Players who are quick enough can connect their main fort to this outpost, thus acquiring additional firepower. An extra challenge was to beat this level without obtaining the machine gun, thus sacrificing an early leg-up on the enemy.

While the solo missions serve as somewhat of tutorial and proving grounds for the game, Forts’ main game mode will be the online PVP mode.

Multiplayer features an eight-player free-for-all mode and four-on-four matches. We didn’t get to experience this during our time with the game, but the prospect of collaborating with a team to build powerful forts has us wishing we did.

Forts is expected to release for PC during the first quarter of 2017.


Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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