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Fortnite's Infinity Blade homage has hacked off the fun

Five feet of razor-shape, gleaming anti-fun

After pulling the plug on their Infinity Blade series of mobile action-RPGs this week, Epic added the eponymous sword to Fortnite Battle Royale - and now Fortnite players are upset about Infinity Blade too. Only one supersword is available on the whole map but whoever pulls it from the stone atop an icy mountain will go on to wreck faces. Cleaving bone and brick alike with superhuman strength and leaping with superhuman speed, sworders have a good shot at winning the whole round, even at top levels of competitive play, or whoever kills the carrier and claims it will. The homage has backfired.

Epic announced on Monday that they'd stopped supporting the three Infinity Blade games and were pulling them from sale, then on Tuesday the Infinity Blade itself popped up in Fortnite Battle Royale. Only one Infinity Blade is on the entire map, always stuck in a stone in a ruined castle atop Polar Peak. It takes several seconds to pull out, during which you are defenceless. But once you've got the sword, it's murdertime.

The Infinity Blade doubles its carrier's maximum shields and health to 200/200, lets them leap vast distances with a slashslam attack, deals huge damage to players, and cuts through walls like butter. It is: powerful. Fighting against it is a chuffing nuisance because if the slasher get close, you're dead, but they can leap so even if you do see them coming, you often only have a few seconds to take them down.

Oh sure, a dozen or two people will kill each other fighting around it at the start, and sometimes the sword will change violently hands a few times, but it's very often the sword striking the final blow of the round. Even when it doesn't win, the Infinity Blade changes the round massively, causing a big fight over it at the start, tearing through the middle of the match, and causing people to play differently all the way to the end. This one single sword reshapes the game in ways that are frustrating.

Embarrassingly, the Infinity Blade arrived in time for Epic's $1 million 'Winter Royale' tournament, where it hugely shaped matches. The sword earned a lot of victories in the heats and had a big presence in the finals too, only winning one of the six matches but getting a lot of people near the top and causing a lot of chaos. This coupled with last week's addition of warplanes created a meta where many people fly up high or hide for ages then the Infinity Blade comes hacking through the smaller circles.

Here are highlights from one of the semi-finals, won with a blow from the Infinity Blade:

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Still trying to get to grips with Fortnite? Check out our Fortnite guide hub for more tips and tricks for the game. You can also find the latest challenges in our Fortnite week 6 challenges guide.

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