Ah, Fortnite. The paramount game of the Battle Royale genre. Few games have polarized the gaming world so fiercely, and it sort of happened by mistake. With their original plans flailing, Epic desperately sought some saving grace. Thankfully for them, the former defining game of the genre, PUBG, provided just that in the popularisation of Battle Royale. Soon, they piled update upon update of a hastily constructed foundation (reminiscent of my own attempts at building in the game), found themselves at the top of the popular gaming world, and the rest is history. But a shaky foundation can only support so much.
With Chapter 2, Epic overhauled the graphics, improved performance, and created an entirely new, more evenly designed map
Enter Fortnite Chapter 2, or the eleventh season of the world-shattering Battle Royale game. With Chapter 2, Epic overhauled the graphics, improved performance, and created an entirely new, more evenly designed map that was long awaited and could handle the issues that came with an increasingly clever, and large player base their original map could not. Epic finally created the game that they could have from the beginning, and with that came a slew of changes.
Along with an entirely new map boasting a host of new locations, and a few recycled old favorites, the game added dynamic and interactable water that you can swim in, ride vehicles in, and even fish in. Because the map was already filled with bodies of water including rivers, lakes, oceans, and waterfalls, this is actually an incredible change, and probably one that Epic would have liked to include from the start. Swimming is especially useful in this map, as all of the mobility options you know and love have been removed, and running from the storm is harder than ever. But fishing also has a benefit that many players don’t really take advantage of: you can catch healing items that are actually quite effective, along with rare and powerful weapons. If you can find the time and safety to do it, a fishing pole can be far more effective than a stack of healing items of any type.
With rotations being less obvious, you’ll never quite know if you’re about to get sandwiched between fighting squads, or encounter some rogue duo
Finding time, though, is a little trickier in Fortnite Chapter 2. With a new map, and no centralized hotspots, veteran players that track typical player rotations are having a much more difficult time of it now. This makes encounters far more random and difficult to predict. With rotations being less obvious, you’ll never quite know if you’re about to get sandwiched between fighting squads, encounter some rogue duo, or even one of the lone bots that are a recent addition to the game, though new players and old alike will probably just find them adding ticks to their kill counter. Over time, this may settle and players may develop a rhythm, but we’re almost seven weeks in now, and there’s little sign of that yet!
The graphical and performance changes, and the new ways with which players can interact with the environment are all welcome changes, and make the game feel like a much more developed game than before. But what about other changes?
Epic decided to strip Fortnite items down to the basics with Chapter 2. That means many of the weapons we came to be familiar with are gone, and only a few have returned. Among those items lost we have the Heavy Sniper, Grenade Launcher, and Marksman Rifle. In many ways, the reduction of the weapon pool has been a welcome change. Our kits have largely returned to the way they were in the early stages of the game, minus the classic double pump strategy. Most players will carry an assault rifle, shotgun, sniper, and depending on how many healing items you want to carry, either an SMG, or rocket launcher. The kit decision was much more difficult in season 10 and before. With items like the grappling hook and shockwave grenade gone, there’s less to think about.
In addition to the smaller item selection, we also have far less mobility. The bouncer pad and launch pad have also been removed, so new players are going to want to pay a lot more attention to the movement of the storm, and their position on the map. Many veterans have already gotten the hang of the changes, but I don’t think there’s a player among us who’s not eagerly awaiting the reinstallment of mobility items. Aside from escaping the storm, they led to truly mind-boggling plays that now we’ll only see on Youtube or Twitch re-runs from Tfue and the like, and only dream of one day being able to execute again.
It almost feels like an entirely new game from your first jump off the Battle Bus
With all of these and some other changes, Fortnite has truly surprised us. Between the graphical change and performance upgrades, it almost feels like an entirely new game from your first jump off the Battle Bus, and while some of these changes surprised us very pleasantly, others did not. I personally welcome many of them. I’m really only clamoring for the return of mobility items, since it just doesn’t feel like Fortnite if I can’t shockwave-to-one-tap some sweat in a high tower (literally). Truthfully, I miss a quarter of my games not being ended by a slightly-overstayed looting job on the fringes of the map, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. So, while Epic has rolled out tons of exciting and fun changes, they have dropped the ball a few times this season. Either way, the one thing we’re definitely all grateful for: those dang mechs are gone.