Fortnite Battle Royale‘s map has been re-drawn once more, this time by a volcanic eruption during a live event on Saturday. While the damage was widespread, the urban Tilted Towers & Retail Row areas caught the brunt of it, the former little more than a smoking crater now. The event also took players to an otherworldly vault filled with crystals containing weapons removed from the game. Players had to choose one to return to life, and voted on the wildly overpowered retro gangster standby, the Drum Gun. You can see the whole event below, captured by Polygon’s Simone De Rochefort.
People have been looking forward to Tilted Towers getting pulverised by giant flaming rocks since before season 4. It was theorised that the earlier meteor strike would flatten the city, but instead it transformed Dusty Depot into a Dusty Divot. I admit that the eruption is pretty spectacular to behold, especially the way the massive city-bound rock splinters in mid-air as if to say ‘screw you in particular’. There’s very little left of the high-rise zone, formerly a warren of loot-filled rooms, and the number of structures in Retail Row has been pared down by the impact as well.
Epic are already teasing the mega-popular shooter’s next event, although the teaser image below is about as vague as it gets. Something about the future, with a picture of a cyberpunk samurai? I guess it would make sense to build a mini Neo-Tokyo on top of an existing urban crater for maximum Akira reference, but that might just be me showing my age. Plus, it opens up the door for the city to E.X.P.L.O.D.E again at the end of the season, restoring the status quo. As a very brief aside, if you’ve only seen Akira as a movie, check out the manga. It’s a brill and much longer story.
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Accompanying all this volcanic nonsense is a similarly themed The Floor Is Lava time-limited mode. Lava is slowly rising up from the lowest points on the map, forcing players to climb or build upwards to avoid getting cooked. A fun, alternative take on the regular Battle Royale structure, and one that rewards good construction skills as well as straight shooting. It’s just a pity that the Drum Gun chews through wooden walls like they’re not even there.
Still, it’s hard to look at events like this and enjoy them as much as I’d like to after reports that Epic demands long, stressful hours of work to keep up with updates. The game’s constant stream of cosmetic gubbins, reworks to its single enormous map and the occasional single-use setpiece comes at a real human price. Hopefully less blood, sweat and tears had to be poured into this most recent event. As reported by PC Gamer (RPS’s biggest fans) technical problems prevented some players from entering the unvaulting event. Those who missed out have been gifted a free glider skin.