The latest installment of the free-to-play battle royale game, which publisher Epic Games calls the first season of “Fortnite” Chapter 2, went live early Tuesday at around 6 a.m. ET. That came less than two days after Sunday’s cataclysmic end to Season 10 of the original hit, leaving fans confused and anxiously anticipating the iteration of “Fortnite” as they stared at a pulsing black hole for hours. It was a gutsy stunt-marketing move by Epic Games, aimed as much at getting the attention of those who haven’t played the game in recent months as hardcore fans.
The new “Fortnite” island in Chapter 2 is a more bucolic environment, with mountains, forests, lakes and a lighthouse, foregoing some of the first chapter’s urban locales. There are seven new skins for Chapter 2, including 8-Ball — a guy with a pool ball for a head — and Rippley, a protoplasmic blob creature.
New features in Chapter 2 include water gameplay — like swimming, fishing and motorboats — a “bandage bazooka” to heal squad-mates, and group emotes like high fives and the ability to coordinate dances with other players.
Weapons in the streamlined “Fortnite” arsenal include new shotguns and an additional sniper rifle. There are also new hideouts (like haystacks and Dumpsters) and the ability to blow up gas tanks and explosive barrels.
As before, Epic Games offers a Battle Pass that lets players unlock rewards through Season 1 of Chapter 2. The Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks ($9.50) and players can earn up 1,500 V-Bucks over the course of the season and use that toward the purchase of a Battle Pass for next season.
Watch the launch trailer for “Fortnite” Chapter 2: