After being dark for a day, Fortnite came back triumphant with a new map — effectively going from a black hole to a Big Bang as it introduces users to a new map and new gameplay.
Fortnite‘s not the first game to radically alter its map, though it might be the first one that did so under the pretense of a universe-ending event such as the black hole, which lingered for over a day. The game‘s youthful audience and their parents were apparently so confused they were ringing up Epic’s customer support line to ask why they couldn’t play the game (I hope Epic’s call center employees got combat pay for that).
But now the new “chapter” of the game is live, so everyone can relax. Epic’s added a (to use a technical term) crapton of new features and gameplay stuff. The map’s also been completely revamped, so the Twitch and Mixer streamers who’ve had the last year to memorize every inch of in-game real estate will have to start fresh.
Some of the new material brings to mind other games. The most obvious reference I noticed is the fact that you can now hide in haystacks, kind of like OG Assassin’s Creed. Fortnite also now has a crafting system, in which players can use resources gathered from around the map to upgrade their weapons — kinda similar to a smaller battle royale game called Realm Royale.
Other additions include the ability to carry wounded comrades to safety (which is a pleasant enough addition), a gun that shoots bandages (which somehow heals you, because game logic), and fishing (which I didn’t know I wanted but by golly, I want it now). There’s also a new progression system via the battle pass that involves earning medals to get more XP (if you’ve played Overwatch — kinda like that).
Fortnite adding new content isn’t exactly new: the game was practically unrecognizable from its original form even before it got sucked into a black hole. The fact that the update is comparatively large is probably the reason the game was offline for a good length of time.
Gotta hand it to Fortnite, though. That’s a heck of a way to disguise some map maintenance as something significant. I mean, really, all that happened was that Fortnite went offline to update and we had to find other ways of occupying ourselves for a bit. But because of all the sturm und drang, the eschatological drama that accompanied it, it really felt like something happened.
And now that I’m on a relatively even playing field with all the people who never stopped playing — who wants to help me get back into Fortnite?
People who know better, tell me this: Is this hard reset a good time to get back into Fortnite? I'm asking for a friend. Me, I'm the friend.
— Rachel Kaser (@rachelkaser) October 15, 2019