The latest brand to advertise to children through Fortnite Battle Royale is Nike, slamming and jamming in a new event mode that sends players sliding and grinding through a downhill obstacle course. Grab coins, basketballs, and sneakers to score points, do fancy tricks using Impulse Bombs, hurl Boogie Bombs to screw with rival ravers… it’s pretty fun, if pretty wonky for being smooshed into Fortnite. The mode also brings challenges to unlock decorative skateboards to wear on your back, the kewlest accessory of all.
The ‘Downtown Drop’ Limited Time Mode arrived in Fortnite yesterday in the Fortnite X Jumpman advertising thing. Looks like it’ll be available until Tuesday, June 4th.
Made by Fortnite Creative mode builders “NotNellaf” and “Tollmolia”, the level is a downhill stunt course for up to sixteen sk8r bois with loads of ramps, alternate paths, and hidden goodies for us to whizz down with our weird reduced friction. It can feel good when you build up speed and keep it but feels very odd and awkward when going slow or hitting obstacles. Jet Set Radio, it is not.
It reminds me a bit of Sonic Adventure 2’s San Francisco level, though this is supposedly set in in a mock-Brooklyn with the overhead tracks and all. The janky movement also reminds me of the Quake hoverboarding mod Slide. Which leads to a mode that yeah, is mostly notable as a novelty but that’s fun enough for a fleeting event mode. I’ll play enough to complete a few of the challenges, which reward skateboards and sprays.
Epic are also selling Clutch and Grind, a bundle of male and female skins with branded clothing and Nike shoes, with extra styles completed by unlocking challenges. They’re 1800 V-Bucks for the pair. While the gittishness of microtransaction stores means you can’t just buy 1800 virtuadollars, 2000 V-Bucks would be £16. Given the social pressure to buy fancy skins already felt by some young’uns in Fortnite, it’s kinda unfortunate to see the addition of a brand already involved in a lot of real-world peer pressure.
Fortnite Battle Royale remains free-to-play through the Epic Games Launcher.