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Fortnite’s summer season adds ridable animals and Darth Vader

The dust has settled on a fresh Fortnite season, following this weekend’s explosive live event. After an awkwardly-timed season focused on all-out warfare, the next few months will bring relative calm to Epic’s battle royale island.

Chapter 3 Season 3, subtitled as “Vibin'”, offers a more relaxed aesthetic, with the Island’s survivors celebrating their hard-won victory with a party. Last season’s underground base is now a giant rave cavern, with a rollercoaster you can ride using the game’s returning Baller vehicles (think those spheres from Jurassic World).

A large chunk of the Island has also been transformed into a punk-fantasy jungle, with an enormous bioluminescent tree you can scamper around.

This season has echoes of Chapter 2 Season 3, when the previous map flooded, and last summer’s alien party events.

New gameplay elements this season include Reality Seeds you can plant to return to in future matches, and repeatedly harvest for better and better rewards. It’s a nice idea that allows you to pick a favourite landing spot and ensure you have decent loot there when you arrive.

In another new twist, the Island’s wolves and wild boars can now be ridden. Simply jump on top of the creature and it’ll become loyal to you, and act as a mighty steed. (And yes, you can shoot while mounted.)

Finally, spending an extended period of time in the game’s storm will now lead to accelerated damage, via a condition named Storm Sickness. For my money, this is likely due to the abundance of health items now available on the map – leading to players hiding out in the storm for longer and longer.

The Ballers now have a battery requirement, which is a shame.

This season’s battle pass includes a selection of original characters, including the ultra-customisable Snap – a kind of action figure you can bolt dozens of heads/torsos/arms/legs onto.

Also included is Darth Vader, fresh from his appearance in the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ show, and Indiana Jones because why not.

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