And Fortnite: Chapter 2 is a go. It’s been of the most sensational service events we’ve yet seen. On Sunday evening, Fortnite’s world imploded, leaving fans with nothing but a black hole to stare out for days on end. It called to mind the end of the world of Final Fantasy XIV, before Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, only this time you had half a million people on Twitch at all times, staring at a black hole and trying to decipher some sort of meaning.
This morning though, Fortnite Chapter 2 burst into life. It’s about as close as you can get to a Fortnite sequel without actually calling it then, dropping players into an all-new water-focused world with 13 new locations to explore.
I had a quick drop just to see what it’s all about and it’s definitely Fortnite alright. Epic know a thing or two about hype-inducing intros these days, and cutting from the Fortnite Chapter 2 intro cinematic straight to a solos drop is a nice move. Down on the ground, I’d actually say the visuals may have been downgraded slightly. Everything looks a little flatter but it’s still vibrant and pops in that Fortnite way. Perhaps the new water physics may have caused Epic to make some downgrades elsewhere in order to keep performance high, as Fortnite is a game which it wants playable on as wide a range of systems as humanly possible.
In terms of new bits, there was some sort of new bazooka gun but I couldn’t figure out how to make the explosives… explode, so that was a bit useless to me. There are fishing rods everywhere though, and I used to fish out some guns and ammo from a random river. I also found a speedboat with a rocket launcher on top, although it’s ludicrously hard to land any hits during a watery shoot-out.
Elsewhere, Epic has promised a streamline weapons arsenal which takes combat back to basics, a less grind-y Season 1 Battle Pass, and Hideouts and Explosives. Hideouts are like haystacks and dumpsters and you can creep in, Ezio style, while gas tanks and explosive barrels can be blown up for blast damage. There are also these strange news vans or something dotted about but I needed to keycard to use them so no idea what’s going on there.
And, I somehow won my first drop which seems remarkably unlikely when I’d forgotten how to even build but I’ll take it. The shadow drop at the start is really quite fantastic though, and there’s a certain buzz that comes from exploring an entirely new map for once. Anyway, be right back, I'm going to sit on my throne made of 100% pure hubris. I was probably playing against bots but no one can take this moment away from me.
Fortnite: Chapter 2 is free out and it’s out now on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Mac, iOS, and Android.