Fortnite’s latest season has concluded with this year’s first big live event, as the battle royale Island’s heroes aimed to end the villainous Imagined Order faction for good.
Starting off the event, players found themselves in groups of up to four people inside Fortnite’s bear mech for the first time. Here, you could peer out from its bridge and onto an unfamiliar landscape – an icy moon which orbits the main Fortnite Island – and play around with gun turrets while listening to brief audio chatter between heroes Jones (Troy Baker), The Origin (Rahul Kohli) and The Foundation (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).
With a minute to go, a mission briefing finally re-introduced the mech’s pilot The Paradigm and laid out the stakes: the evil IO were set to detonate a superweapon capable of killing everyone, and it was up to you inside the mech to stop it. (Never mind that this is your goal in each battle royale match.) So off we went, blasting into space, through an asteroid field, and towards our best view of the Fortnite island floating through the multiverse yet.
Touching down on Fortnite’s Island, the mech came under heavy fire from IO tanks and Fortnite’s dreaded mechs, and a powerful blast from the IO’s mole drill HQ. The heroic bear mech responded, opening up a superweapon of its own from its chest. All seemed to be going well until the IO’s blimps turned up – and then it was the turn of fan-favourite Peely to drive by and save the day with a Popeye spinach can-like oil tanker full of healing Slurp to restore the mech and restart its charge.
Still, things weren’t simple. Just as the mech was about to slice the IO’s superweapon with a laser sword, ground mines sank it underground – and gameplay switched from first-person turret shooter to third-person action. In a sinkhole by the superweapon, IO boss Doctor Slone – who had been causing trouble for players for at least a year – sat between you and your goal. Aided by Jones and Foundation, you distracted Slone while the mech seemingly ended Slone for good (finally!) with an enjoyable punch.
But there’s always a bigger fish. Geno – first namechecked over a year ago, and seemingly the founder of the IO – is glimpsed via a silhouette in the multiverse-spanning Zero Point. (So was Star Wars’ Darth Vader, who looks extremely likely to be an unlockable skin next season.) The event concluded as Jones and Foundation head after Geno and share a nice fistbump, following their numerous adventures of the past year.
All of which lead into Fortnite’s current “To Be Continued…” screen, which rests on a shot of some alien-looking mushrooms while lo-fi music plays in the background.
Fortnite is expected to return online with Chapter 3 Season 3 at some point later today (Sunday 5th June). Already, Epic Games has beun teasing some of its “vibing” skins.
For my money, this was one of Fortnite’s best events for story, picking up the storylines of numerous main characters from the past year of the game. I’d feared the stakes might mean at least one of the heroes might not make it through, though I’d hoped for more of a conclusive end for Slone and the IO. We’ll have to see how things shake out next season.