Fortnite Battle Royale v4.0 has pleasingly silly secrets

A superhero headquarters, a villainous base, and green screen rooms ideal for making silly videos are among the surprises players have discovered in Fortnite Battle Royale after yesterday’s big version 4.0 update. Other than the whole ‘a comet strike wiped out a whole area and scattered anti-grav crystals’, of course. Though Fortbaro started as straightforward cartoony Plunkbut with building, it has developed its own identity by getting sillier across seven months of updates. Even as someone who doesn’t dig Fortnite, from the sidelines I’m enjoying how Epic run it as a live game with surprises and teases leaning into the bits players talk about.

Swing by Lonely Lodge and in the basement of the mansion you’ll find a superhero HQ, complete with a big fancy emblem, some sort of holotable or communicator, space for a jet to fly out the cliff round the back, and a costume workshop with a mask being worked on.

A villainous subterranean base with a honking great missile poking out its silo is over by Pleasant Park too. Epic’s marketing campaign for Season 4 evoked superheroes and its Battle Pass does include some superhero-lookin’ bodysuits but I wouldn’t be surprised if heroes and villains play larger roles across future updates. The comet started out as only a small dot in the sky, after all.

Speaking of, Epic recently added a dinosaur costume and now a house out by Snobby Shores has been crushed, leaving a massive three-toed footprint. It could be an in-joke but if so, ah, I enjoy that Epic are willing to be so playful with this.

A lot of Epic’s additions seem to be in response to, and for, things players are talking about. One new emote added in 4.0 is Orange Justice, based on a child’s energetic dance which came only 23rd in a contest to have your moves added to the game but won many fans. It’s a nice little nod. Epic have added other emotes and things based on player suggestions too. Sure, Plunkbat recently added player-made graffiti from a contest but it’s not as fun.

On the subject of larking about, players discovered several rooms in the map set up with green screens, which of course are being used for chroma keying tomfoolery:

Epic’s handling of Fortnite Battle Royale feels more like a dialogue with players, reacting to what people talk about and dropping hints for them to discuss – which may or may not lead to big future payoffs. It’s nice. I dig it. Reminds me of the glory days of Team Fortress 2, when updates were big exciting events.

That said, the Fortnite development I am most enjoying today is Loose Women’s Stacey Solomon getting sucked in:

Those are the Fortnite celebrities I care about. Keep your “Drake” and your “Ninja”; I want to see Nadia Sawalha advocating spicy drops, Linda Robson defending camping, and Janet Street-Porter scoffing that Fortnite is for babies and Plunkbat is where it’s at.

11 Comments

  1. int says:

    Have I Got Fortnite For You: Ian Hislop vs Paul Merton

  2. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    “Even as someone who doesn’t dig Fortnite, from the sidelines I’m enjoying how Epic run it as a live game with surprises and teases leaning into the bits players talk about.”

    I’m the same. Not really interested in playing but I am enjoying hearing about it. I think Epic have been handling the updates really well, the world sounds interesting enough that I’ve considered getting the Save the World version once or twice because Battle Royale is soooo not my cup of tea.

  3. Koozer says:

    Someone explain to an old man of 28 why Fortnite has exploded everywhere and, say, Starfox Assault didn’t.

    • Hillbert says:

      It’s fun, it’s free, it has lots of updates with a fair amount of free content, it’s across all platforms, it’s stable, runs on fairly low end PCs, has a lot of scope for shenanigans.

      Plus the Battle Royale part seems to be pretty free of arseholes.

      As a 38 year old I’ve been playing a lot of it, I’m absolutely terrible at it but I’ve had a lot of fun losing.

  4. hungrycookpot says:

    Janet Street-Porter is right, Fortbaro is a pale shade of Plunkbat.

    • Axyl says:

      Nah, she’s just salty that a Free-to-Play game’s “after-thought” secondary mode is out classing and out performing her “wasn’t this a mod for like twenty other games already” shooter of choice. ;)

      *EDIT* I’m just messing. I honestly thing both games are giant steaming piles of unoriginal poop. :)

  5. Syrion says:

    I’d really like to like it, I love the aesthetic, and it should scratch the itch that was left by the delightfully light-hearted Battlefield Heroes. But, despite having liked that and being into the idea of BR games, the combat itself seems so very simplistic, while the building, the only thing that really sets it apart, annoys me. Oh well.

    I guess Ring of Elysium, as shameless of a rip-off of PUBG as it is, will steal all the cheapskates like me that actually only want to play a cheaper/free, more optimized version of just that. Once it gets an actual western release, that is.

  6. racccoon says:

    Next fortnight update, Do we have time to mine? or fly through space. lol sorry spoilers

  7. PiiSmith says:

    I start to dislike it, because it’s taking over my sons live. there are so many other games he/we could play, but it is always Fortnite…

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