After what felt like an eternity after season 4 had been out, Fortnite‘s season 5 is finally here and it has brought a ton of changes with it. Along with new locations and vehicles, the latest Battle Pass is out now as well which means you can start grinding towards the sweet new skins and cosmetics the game has to offer.
Fortnite was perhaps at the peak of its popularity when season 4 came around. However, that was quite a while ago and fast-forward to now, the game seems to have lost some of that momentum. That’s a huge problem with online multiplayer games because they can get stale pretty fast. It’s then the developer’s responsibility to ensure people keep coming back to the game.
Fortnite’s seasonal content system seemed to do well in tackling this problem but in the end, season 4 and 5 were too long apart which reduced the number of people playing the game. However, the drought is now over and season 5 is finally here and it’s shaping up to be really good. After a lot of speculation about what Epic’s teaser images could have meant, most of it has come true. However, season 5 brings a lot more to the table including vehicles, there’s a lot to talk about. Let’s get started.
The new Karts
Perhaps the most exciting or the most talked about addition to the game so far has been the addition of vehicles to Fortnite, well, kind-of. There’s something you can ride/drive at least that’s not the shopping cart. The new All-Terrain Karts let you and your friends drive around the map pretty fast which can come really handy when running away from the storm.
If you press R1/RB depending on the controller you use, you’re able to initiate a drift and if you let go once the skid marks turn blue then you also get a speed boost. Players will also be happy to know that the Kart doesn’t take fall damage from what we’ve seen so far. Therefore, it’ll be hard for the trolls to kill you by driving the Kart off a cliff this time.
Another cool thing about these vehicles is that it serves a bigger purpose than just being a means of transportation. Apart from the person driving, other players aboard are still able to wield their weapons and shoot which will create an interesting dynamic and it’ll also result in new gameplay strategies in team-based modes.
Last season, Fortnite saw a huge change to the map and this season’s no different. More places have been added to the map, however, that does mean that some of the older ones had to go. Last time, new areas were added and some older areas were modified. However, this time, there are just two additions but much larger in size compared to previous additions.
Anarchy Acres and Moisty Mire have been replaced by Paradise Palms and Lazy Links. The latter is a nice little golf course which doesn’t come as a surprise because it’s also a huge estate plus, it’s Fortnite. Of course, buildings mean that you can go explore and loot them as well. Since it’s a golf-course, expect to find Karts a lot here as well, especially in the Clubhouse.
Paradise Palms, on the other hand, is completely different from the rest of the map, it really stands out. In the southeastern side of the game’s map, you can instantly recognize this area because it’s a large desert. The desert-themed, PUBG Miramar-like area adds a new town, several new buildings as well as a racetrack. Vehicles are a focal point of this update as the two new areas give the best chance of finding one.
The area itself is divided into three sub-areas. One of the areas is in the corner-most side of the map which, comparatively is much smaller than the rest of the area. In the center of the area is, of course, a big town with lots of buildings and then comes the huge race track. You can see the outline of the track from the map overview as well.
Paradise Palms also features some weird rifts that were teased before the new season was launched. If you come across one, there’s no need to be afraid. Here’s how to use them: approach a sparkling rift, hit the action button and it’ll teleport you somewhere higher than your current location.
This is kind of like using the jump pad to either get out of challenging shootouts or to just run away from the storm faster. For now, players have mostly encountered these rifts on the new area itself, but it’s likely that they’ll eventually get spread out to the entire map.
Epic has also introduced some key gameplay changes that are definitely a step in the right direction. Apart from the weapon tuning and game balancing changes, there are some cool new ones too that’ll definitely make the game more interesting.
For example, the storm is a key aspect of the game. The storm is what makes sure the game doesn’t drag out too long because the map is huge and when a small number of players are left, it can be really hard to find each other. The storm makes sure that doesn’t happen as it effectively shrinks the playable area portion over time.
However, instead of shrinking the storm uniformly to a single location determined at the start of the game, the center of storm circles can now change in random directions. Thus, as the storm closes in more, it shrinks to a new location everytime which will create an interesting dynamic for the players. It’ll also ensure that players don’t just “hang around” areas the entire game and actually take part in the action.
Challenges can now be completed anytime instead of expiring after a season ends. This will help ensure you can complete challenges at your own pace. Gyro/motion controls are also added for Switch players. Another cool thing is that the weekly challenges are now divided into two categories: free and Battle Pass. The first 3 each week will be free while the last 4 are only accessible if you have the Battle Pass.
It’s also expected that Epic will continue to incorporate and introduce new things as season 5 gathers some steam, it remains to be seen what they have in store for us.
Season 5 looks huge. Epic Games is slowly setting a higher bar for themselves with every passing season. However, there are a few things that are worth noting. Fortnite was already considered a “PUBG copy” by many, and a lot of people call it “PUBG for kids”. Given its similarity to the original Battle Royale game, Fortnite has always been compared to the former.
However, there were a few things Fortnite lacked such as vehicles which gave PUBG the advantage in terms of giving more diverse playing options. The addition of the ATKs seems like an inspiration for PUBG and this is highlighted even more so by the fact that Paradise Palms has a huge similarity to PUBG’s latest map Miramar.
That’s not the only thing though, PUBG also has a system that allows you to get some things free, and access some challenges for free while the rest are locked away behind a pass, like the Battle Pass for Fortnite. The latter also implemented a similar strategy this time but since Fortnite came up with the idea of a pass-like system first, it’s off the hook for this one.
Whether or not some inspiration was taken from PUBG, Fortnite’s season 5 has a lot of promise and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The game was going through a dry spell and was losing its buzz, then season 5 comes around and the game now has a new life. Whether or not the game will continue to be as hot as it was throughout season 5 remains to be seen, for now, let’s enjoy all the new content we’re getting.