Reviews - Updated on April 8, 2022

The last seasons of Fortnite’s battle royale were tiring with constant innovations that either littered the map or added a bunch of oddly working mechanics. Air pipes, for some reason destroyed Abandoned Towers, in the place of which a boring new location appeared, walking mechs destroying everything in their path – you can’t remember everything at once. It was worth skipping one season, returning to the game after a couple of months, and Fortnite was unrecognizable – weapons are introduced and removed, there is no balance either because of powerful explosives or because of gameplay changes. The game seemed to need a reboot to start over with a clean slate. So far, season 11 seems to be something of the sort.

New world

The launch of the second chapter of Fortnite, as Epic Games calls it all, went off in a big way. The fact that the popular royal battle was sucked into a black hole for two days was not only written by specialized publications, but also talked about on American television. Apparently, in this way, the developers disguised a lengthy server maintenance – after it, the action changed externally, many familiar elements disappeared, and the interface was shoveled.

They tried to make the introduction to the new season spectacular – at first you don’t understand why they make you watch the introductory video and don’t let you miss it, and then Jonesy jumping out of the bus turns out to be a playable character flying towards the new map. True, it cannot be called completely new, since some of the old locations are immediately recognizable: here is the Pleasant Park, and the long-disappeared Nightmare Cinema, and the Trade Point beloved by many. But the vast majority of “points of interest” are previously unseen areas, thanks to which the game feels much fresher.

In addition, the entire map in the menu is not visible at first, it is covered with the “fog of war” and gradually opens when you visit each location. In this regard, so far there are no such places where fifty people fall out at the first opportunity, as it was before. A meteorite fell and destroyed the Old Warehouse? Everyone is trying to get there, and five minutes later, two-thirds of the players are dead. New locations appeared after the volcanic eruption? Everyone is flying there. Now there is nothing like that, users are just starting to get acquainted with everything, so the matches turn out to be more interesting, although over time everything will surely become different.

Fortnite Chapter 2 - It Can't Get Better

Oh, those optional activities.

No fuss or mess

Another great feature of the new season is a significantly reduced amount of loot and all kinds of interactive objects on the map. There are no vehicles at all now, except for the boat, on which rockets do only 35 damage. No furs, ballers, hoverboards and other things. No pocket rifts or pulse grenades, even the launcher was gone, although it seemed to be an integral part of the inventory, since it did not take up space, and allowed you to quickly get to the desired point. Now you need to follow the storm, just like that in the blink of an eye you can’t escape from it – the feeling after past seasons is unusual.

Opportunities to heal have become less – frothy nectar, vigorous bomb and vigorous broth have disappeared, and shields seem to come across noticeably less often. Cozy bonfires cannot be placed anywhere – just look for them on the map. There are also no more vending machines selling random goods. In general, it is much easier to list what is left in the game: ordinary grenades, bandages with first-aid kits, shields and a good old trap – this is not counting weapons. And among the guns, only two machine guns, two shotguns (including a weakened pump-action), a submachine gun, a regular pistol, a rocket launcher and a sniper rifle are remembered. Not heavy, thankfully.

There are few innovations, but they look interesting. For example, now you can get a fishing rod that takes up one slot in your inventory. Find any body of water, throw a hook into it, wait a couple of seconds, and it starts to peck – you can catch a healing fish, cartridges, resources, and all sorts of rubbish like tin cans. Sometimes a weapon comes across – if you find a good place, you can get something epic or legendary. The main thing is that some sniper should not look at an inattentive fisherman through the scope.

Fortnite Chapter 2 - It Can't Get Better

The names of “points of interest” on the map are not displayed until they are first visited.

Another new item is the bandage bazooka, which Epic Games is clearly trying to add variety to the squad mode. It takes up as many as two slots, so the player wearing it will not be able to put more than three other items in their inventory. But you can appoint him a “healer” – all of a sudden there is a weak link in the team that can neither shoot nor build. Now such users will not run after the rest, but will hide somewhere and will provide support to their comrades-in-arms. And those, in turn, learned how to drag wounded comrades, although if you wish, you can grab enemies with you to throw them off a cliff.

Not everything is smooth

Unfortunately for those who can’t stomach building in Fortnite, this element hasn’t changed in any way. Rather, for experienced builders, some things have become more convenient (including editing), but for completely “casual” players, everything is the same – if a skilled opponent comes across, he will install walls and ceilings very quickly. At the same time, the matchmaking system has improved in the action, and at some point, weak users will no longer meet with professional streamers. In the meantime, more and more bots will come across in their matches, randomly placing walls and unable to hit you from ten meters away. Thanks to them, many players celebrated the victory during the first five matches.

Of course, it was not without drawbacks. The dispersion of some types of weapons has increased markedly – it is especially sad to shoot from machine guns. There are problems with the sound – once I was shot right up close with a shotgun, although I did not hear a single step of the enemy. Some have complained about poor optimization, which seems to have been improved with the last tiny update. But most of all, players are annoyed by the interface – here not only notifications about medals and completed achievements come out, but it is also constantly reported that there are 50 or 10 opponents left in the match. When you try to carefully listen to the steps and select the most successful tactics, such noisy alerts greatly interfere.

Fortnite Chapter 2 - It Can't Get Better

Reddit user aareyn01 has compiled a complete list of all items available in the game.

All this is fixable, and Epic Games, if desired, can very quickly fix these shortcomings. And without them, it will not be easy to find significant shortcomings in the new season. Here, even full-fledged swimming appeared – if earlier I avoided locations like the Vile Pond, because I either walked slowly in the water there, or spent a lot of resources on building bridges, now completely new animations have been added. The character can not only swim, but also emerge like a dolphin, accelerating at the same time, which will surely save in some situations. Especially if you jump out of the water and build a whole palace in a couple of seconds you can’t do it.

Resources are still used not only as materials for construction, but also as a kind of currency. Previously, we used it to buy things in machine guns, but now the system is much more interesting – you can improve weapons on special workbenches. Found a “white” shotgun – turn it into a “green” one, and make a rare submachine gun epic to deal more damage. The cost is high when it comes to powerful weapon options, but here again we return to the help of the clumsy friend from the paragraph about the bandage gun – you can task him with chopping trees and destroying cars so that he spends resources on improving your guns.

Finally, the last noticeable change is related to the appearance – Fortnite has become much prettier and even more realistic. The cartoonish style hasn’t gone away, of course, but the quality of the models and the environment has grown significantly. There are more visual effects, like flying butterflies and falling leaves. Although it all looks great, sometimes such elements get in the way – already in the third match I started aiming a moving target with a sniper rifle and only after a couple of seconds I realized that it was just a leaf.

By the way, when falling from a height into water, you no longer receive damage.

***

Unfortunately, Epic Games will probably continue to update the game every two weeks, introduce mechanics, offer more weapons and litter chests with loot – by the next season we should expect the same mess as it was at the end of the 10th. But now, for the first time in a long time, Fortnite can be called balanced, convenient and accessible – this is an opportunity to return to the days when the game was just starting out and was a regular battle royale without crazy vehicles flying all over the map of opponents and stupid items like storm converters. So this season is the perfect time to get to know Fortnite or launch it after a long hiatus. It won’t get any better.

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