Good enough for Zelda, but not LEGO Fortnite
When The Legend of Zelda jumped from 2D to 3D with Ocarina of Time, Nintendo knew players would have a tough time making the transition. That’s why they added a number of features to ease the pain of moving and fighting in 3D space, with the most important being Z-Targeting. This feature let players lock onto an enemy to more easily land strikes, and it became a staple of the series going forward.
Plenty of games have used some form of targeting or lock-on following Ocarina of Time’s Z-Targeting, but LEGO Fortnite isn’t one of them. LEGO Fortnite actually has a fair bit of combat in it, and with some rather fearsome enemies at that. Even lower-level baddies can take you out with one hit if your not leveled properly with gear, making running and dodging incredibly important.
Unfortunately for LEGO Fortnite players, all of this combat has to be done with a free-moving camera. The game doesn’t include anything like Z-Targeting, but apparently it was at least considered during development. This fact was shared by Cristina Ramos, former Senior Technical Designer at Epic. We have a translation of her comment below, thanks to the gang at Nintenduo.
“It makes me laugh to see people celebrating souls combat, and it makes me sad that they wouldn’t let me put in things like target lock because they considered it “too hardcore” when literally z-targeting was invented by Nintendo for people who had never played a 3d game before.”
For whatever reason, Epic was totally okay with combat mechanics that are certainly akin to what you’d find in a Soulslike, but locking onto enemies was a step too far. That’s not to say this can’t be changed going forward, but it’s clear the higher-ups at Epic had a very particular experience they were going for.