Epic battle royale, worldwide phenomenon
Fortnite is the free battle royale game from Epic Games that took the world by storm and became a cultural marvel. Chapter 2 of Fortnite: Battle Royale adds much-needed freshness to the multiplayer experience, jam-packed with extra game modes, updated graphics, added combat features, and a completely new map. Put your old skills to the test while new angles and locations add entirely new obstacles and dimensions for seasoned players.
Shoot, loot, and build to victory
Fortnite: Battle Royale is a fast-paced, colorful 3rd-person action shooter that places you alongside up to 99 other players in an ever-shrinking map. While this second chapter does not reinvent the wheel, it does realign it: Epic Games has set a new foundation and reset the formula in ways that both keeps its fans happy with the familiar, but also encourages them to explore new ground.
The new features, modes, maps and medal system of Chapter 2
Making a dynamic, interactive world remains Epic's chief focus with Fortnite, from its shrinking map to its random loot drops. In the same vein, players can now also hide in haystacks and dumpsters like in Assassin's Creed, jumping out for sneak attacks or quick evasion. Upgrade benches now allow players to enhance their weapons; a different approach to the weapon modification of competitor Apex Legends .
There are two additional multiplayer modes besides the acclaimed battle royale. These are Fortnite: Save the World and Fortnite Creative. Save the World is a player-versus-environment game where four players compete in various missions. Instead of rival players you'll be working together against husks (yep, they're zombies). Fortnite Creative is a sandbox experience where players can build arenas, platformer challenges, or race courses.
Besides a small increase to its size, the new map also features waterways, rivers, and lakes. Prepare for aquatic combat! Players can swim or pilot boats for fast traversal. You won't be the only one with this mentality, however; other players will be thinking the same thing. Still, it's a speedy way to escape the storm or set up an underwater ambush.
One of the more subjective changes to Chapter two is the way Epic addresses Fortnite's medal system, which now co-exists alongside its challenges. There are now only a set amount of challenges available at the beginning, and the unlock system is linear; you cannot complete them out of order. Since these challenges are more specific, it can impede progress for less skilled players.
One such challenge is to uncover all the map landmarks. On the first drop from the Battle Bus you'll notice these names are now hidden. If you haven't discovered a location before, you won't know its name (unless you just look online). Uncovering all 13 landmarks is a smart, albeit frustrating, way for Epic to encourage its players to explore.
Objectively one of the best improvements is the game's visuals. You wouldn't think that adding water was a revolutionary idea, but all the gurgling streams and shimmering ponds are hard not to admire - until you get sniped in the head. Grass textures and colors have also improved, and more graphic detail has been added to mundane tasks like farming for materials.
Fortnite vs Apex Legends
If enhanced graphics are part of the equation, then Apex Legends needs to be addressed. Despite being the new kid on the block, Apex Legends - another free, multiplayer battle royale shooter - had better visuals right out of the gate. Apex Legends pushes for a more realistic, less arcade experience. Fortnite also plays in 3rd-person, while Apex Legends is the more classic 1st-person shooter.
Is Fortnite good for kids?
In terms of violence or profanity Fortnite is only as safe as the players you're with online. The game itself looks like a cartoon, so parents won't be biting their fingernails over traumatic moments or grisly, gory deaths. For some, however, the multiplayer Fortnite is as much a game as it is a social gathering, and as such it can distract from more important responsibilities.
Building has not fundamentally changed
Players making the switch from Apex Legends back to Fortnite will immediately notice the latter's emphasis on building. Fortnite's most unique element to the battle royale formula can also be its most intimidating, and even alienating. Chapter two has done nothing to close the gap, much to pro player's joy and novice players' dismay. Luckily there are abundant videos and guides available to help new players get acclimated.
Chapter two still feels like Fortnite
While there's an array of gameplay tweaks, map improvements, and UI changes, the core experience will still feel like Fortnite. Despite the thrill of new locations, without a doubt returning veterans will quickly take the changes in stride and fall back into the familiar rhythm of the game's popular first chapter. This isn't necessarily a sign of the game getting stale, though.
Is Fortnite dying?
At the time of writing this review, the crowd of 250 million would respond with a resounding 'no.' There are other battle royale games in the market, such as PUBG (which never fully recovered from Fortnite's initial splash) or Apex Legends, but Fortnite is still a huge cultural monument with an unshakable name. That's not something a competitor can easily unseat.
New mechanics, familiar game
Despite its continued, resounding success, Epic Games has not lost sight of its roots. Mixing up the formula but keeping the original kernel that people love about your game is a tricky balance, but it's one that Epic has proven able to strike. A past riddled with weekly updates have provided the company with much to sift through and learn from, and with luck it will prevent them from making the same errors twice.
Fortnite's chapter two is a polished evolution of what Fortnite was always intended to be, and fine-tunes the formula to address both the needs of the fans and the growing competition in the free battle royale game market. Two years of intense trial and error have been a roller coaster of a journey for fans, and hundreds of hours later game mechanics either get improved or get stale. So far Epic is proving that they can hold the fan base's attention.