It’s hard to talk about the current state of gaming without mentioning the absolute juggernaut that is “Fortnite.” No game in the past two years has grown more quickly, sustained such a large player base, and transformed the world of not just gaming, but pop culture as a whole, more than Epic Games’ titan.
A spin off of the original zombie-survival game, “Fortnite” implemented a battle royale mode in late 2017. The premise is like every game of its genre. 100 players, whether it be solos, duos, or teams of four, drop into a large map and loot for resources like guns, health/shields, and throwables like grenades.
What sets “Fortnite” apart from its competitors is its building system, in which players can build square walls, ramps, floors, and pyramid roofs, to avoid fire from enemies and traverse the map. Often times, build battles with players worming their way around one another, waiting for the perfect shot, are more entertaining than regular gunfights.
However, as the game went on and more seasons came about, the game started to become stale. Season X, or 10, was extremely controversial in its additions of certain items, and many began to get frustrated with the seeming lack of care from the developers to the players. So intense was the controversy, that Epic released several statements in order to quench the angry thirst of fans.
However, with the recently, and impressively, released “Fortnite: Chapter 2,” Epic Games has turned the tables and brought fans what they wanted: a new map, a simplified weapons array, and an update to the game’s graphics. That wasn’t enough for Epic, and the additional RPG-style level system, as well as fun new gameplay additions, have given the game a much-needed breath of life.
Credit must be given to Epic Games for the way they implemented the new chapter. In a game-wide event for the end of Season X, a large black hole sucked up the map and every player, leaving players with a plain black hole in the center of their screens for several days while they prepped the update. It is a genius move in marketing and built up an incredible level of hype for what was coming next.
The gameplay remains much the same, yet several fun new additions like fishing, drivable boats, and a level-based system that rewards you XP and cosmetic skins for your player has given players more content to sink their teeth into, and extend the goals of the game past winning, which is incredibly difficult to do after all. The game, as usual, is always more fun with a friend.
The variety of new skins, dances, and other items offered this time around are not as impressive as seasons past, but still manage to hold on to the charm the game set itself apart with to begin with.
My critique of “Fortnite: Chapter 2” is pretty similar to my critique of the game from months past. For a casual player like myself, it is difficult to enjoy the game when I spawn, and I die. Then I spawn, then I die. I know I’m not good at the game, but in the streaming-heavy world of Fortnite, to be killed by guys that build the Taj Mahal when you glance at them and have TTV (Twitch TV) or YT (YouTube) in their name three games in a row is...frustrating to say the least.
“Fortnite: Chapter 2” keeps what you love about Fortnite, simplifies it down by removing what you don’t, and adds enough new material to make each round feel fresh and exhilarating. While the new series of cosmetics aren’t terribly exciting, and the learning curve of the game has never been steeper for casual players, it’s hard to ignore how much Epic Games listened to the fans, and “Fortnite: Chapter 2” is a love letter to those fans.