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:
My eldest: can I download Fortnite?— Stacey Solomon (@StaceySolomon) May 1, 2018
My eldest: All my friends have it & play & im the ONLY one who can’t play.
Me: let me play it and see.
*zach goes to bed*
I’m now 2 hours in, dressed as some kind of Raven, on my way to Tilted Towers with 3 people I don’t know 🤷♀️😂
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.