Before I got properly into it, I was going to say that Fortnite’s new superspy update is the closest we’ll likely get to a Shadow Complex sequel. You know: you infiltrate an HQ or two, taking out enemy agents. There are vents and ductwork and complex door locks. It sort of fits.
But then I got properly into it. Oh man. The thing that oriented me, I think, the thing that got me playing in the right direction, is the voices. The latest addition to Fortnite plonks a bunch of spy HQs down at various points on the map. They’re all beautiful bits of design, and they all have a vault packed with treasures that you can get into if you kill a boss and pinch their key card and manage to get it to the vault door without being taken out. There are disguises and mounted turrets and door scanners that you can bypass in various clever ways. It’s all very tense and vivid.
But the enemy agent voices! Oh man. Baddies all have the classic espionage punctuation over their heads to tell you whether you’ve been spotted or not, but they also talk to each other. And the way they talk: it’s just magical. It’s every movie heavy in cinema reduced to grunts and muttering and the kind of noises you might make when you’re moving a sofa. It’s really charming and funny, and that’s before I realised that one of them sounds like someone doing a Stallone impression, while another has a hint of Arnie to it.