Fortnite’s 10th season went live yesterday after days of cryptic teasers and hype-inducing trailers. What we’ve got is the return of Dusty Depot, a strange new comet, and the return of Rifts wrapped up in a new battle pass theme that mashes up old and new. For the most part, it’s all been well received, but we need to talk about these BRUTE mechs.
The B.R.U.T.E (BRUTE – because my hands can’t quite hack typing it out like that in every instance throughout this post), is a hulking big mech that either two players can control together –one operating movement while the other operates the arsenal of weapons– or one person on their own jumping between the two seats.
It can leap into the air with a charged, rocket thruster-powered jump, stamp nearby enemies with its giant feet, and dash out of the way of incoming fire. Defensively, it’s also got 1000 health, so it can tank a full clip from a Legendary SCAR and still have some left in the tank for while you make your escape.
Then we get to its actual offensive arsenal, and things start going horribly wrong but also twistedly awesome.
It comes equipped with a fast-paced shotgun dealing 50 damage with every successful shot landed. It’s meaty, but it isn’t the BRUTE’s most powerful asset.
A 10-shot missile system allows it the BRUTE to reign down a hailstorm of terror on its enemies. Capable of dealing 50 damage to opponents and tearing through structures, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching each missile twirl and dance its way nonchalantly toward your opponent, who at this point, has assumed their impending doom is nigh.
Let’s take a look at some examples, shall we?
Complete and utter annihilation with absolutely no effort required. How about another? Metal walls this time… nice, no chance 10 missiles could obliterate you in that…
Oh. Well, this time, Fortnite World Cup Solo Champion, Bugha, comes up against the formidable power of the BRUTE mech. Let’s see how he copes with it.
Wait… he doesn’t.
This is seemingly the issue that Fortnite’s BRUTE mechs face. While its shotgun and pound attacks are easily combated by keeping your distance, there’s simply no way to combat the missile barrage once you’re engaged in battle.
Four missiles are all it takes to currently send a player from full health and shield to return to the lobby, and player-built structures have about as much resistance as butter to a hot knife.
Considering ‘building up’ was Fortnite’s greatest unique selling point in the early days of battle royale, the introduction of the BRUTE mech, at least in its current form, seems oddly counter-intuitive to encourage people to learn this incredibly important mechanic of the game.
If the World Champion can’t defend himself against the missile barrage, you know something’s not quite balanced.
All this being said, I’ve hopped into a few games and into the pilot seat of a few BRUTE mechs and there’s no denying its incredibly fun. The unstoppable firepower is pleasantly reminiscent of Titanfall’s Titans (most likely the inspiration for Fortnite’s mechs).
Coming through the side of a house in Salty Springs like some jacked-up Cool-Aid Man only to blast the inhabitants with several rounds of a shotgun to the face is hilarious, even if you know deep down you’re probably part of the problem.
Look, there’s no escaping the fact that the BRUTE mechs need nerfing. You know it. I know it. Epic probably knows it. But that doesn’t mean they have to be vaulted. We can find a happy medium, a suitably hefty nerf, but one that still feels like a viable, fair way of getting a Victory Royale, rather than a shortcut to one.
Clearly, the missile barrage is the most problematic element right now, so I’d expect at least a nerf to structure damage by next week, but how else Epic tries and manage this situation remains to be seen.
Right now, the BRUTE mechs reek of an X-4 Stormwing 2.0 kind of situation. They don’t fit into the meta, and despite the inevitable forthcoming tweaks throughout the duration of the season, fans will never be happy with them until they’re eventually vaulted at the beginning of Season 11. An exciting and awesome idea, but one that lacks the execution.
Redditor shlomobergstein put it best: “It’s basically planes all over again but this time they’ve got fucking rockets that will melt the fuck out of your builds and then your face.”
Before I go, let me leave you with some “relatable” content for those of you that have come up against one of these BRUTE mechs so far.
Just one more…