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Fortnite's Halloween zombie invasion stumbles as it launches

Betrayal! Once thought benevolent for its shield-giving and bouncy properties, Fortnite Battle Royale‘s once-beloved purple cube (affectionately named Kevin by players) has turned heel for Halloween. Beginning the new Fortnitemares event, the formerly friendly block of rune-daubed jelly is summoning NPC undead hordes into the popular shooter. The zombies appear to have taken a bite out of the server infrastructure, and Epic have postponed the apocalypse for a little while, but the siege should resume once they’ve hammered out the kinks. Below, a spooky event trailer.

Update: Matchmaking issues are resolved, and the cuboid undead have returned to menace Fortnite Battle Royale.

It’s a pity that the event is off to such a rough start (though according to the server status tracker, the matchmaking issues have been solved), as having an NPC faction thrown into the mix is exactly the kind of spice I reckon any Battle Royale needs. Interestingly, these aren’t the same undead seen in Fortnite’s existing co-op half, Save The World – the Husks. Instead, these new glowing purple aggressors are called Cube Monsters (Keviiiiiiin!), and come in two varieties – Fiends and Brutes. Killing them is the key to completing the current set of event goals.

There’s a more direct advantage to shooting holes in zombies, too. Killing them gives you a little bit of extra shielding, a cruel reminder of Kevin’s gentler days. The undead aren’t spawning entirely at random, either. Chunks of the map have been corrupted and now have large cuboid obelisks summoning a steady stream of monsters. Not that you’re ever safe, as smaller ‘cube fragments’ can appear anywhere. Lucky players will find a new weapon in chests or vending machines – the Fiend Hunter Crossbow – which does quad damage against Fiends. Handy.

Because Fortnite believes that thematic consistency is for wimps, the event also introduces a new premium event outfit. The Deadfire costume is straight out of the Weird West, and the more you kill while wearing it (either players or cube critters), the more spooky green fire flickers across your body. There’s also a ghost train glider skin, because I guess we’re all just cowboys from hell now.

Now that they’ve worked out those matchmaking kinks, the Fortnitemares event should hopefully be returning soon. Check out the official event page here, and the detailed patch notes here.

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