Fortnite Chapter 2 – Is it a brand new game?

Fortnite has had its biggest change to date this week. After vanishing for a few days down a black hole, Fortnite Season 11 finally started. Except it isn’t actually Fortnite Season 11, this is Fortnite Chapter 2. Chapter 2 is a bit of a grandiose way of putting it, but it does feel almost like a new game. There is so much that has changed that pro players and streamers are still catching up. Even the initial trailer sent fans’ heads spinning.

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Fortnite Chapter 2 hasn’t thrown everything out. It is still the same core of shooting, looting, and building. Although, everything around seems to have changed quite a bit. While the jury is still out on how this new balance is going to affect things, it does seem to have a more competitive-friendly tone than the last Season of Fortnite had.

Fortnite Chapter 2

© Epic Games

Dropping in like it’s the first time

When you first boot up Fortnite Chapter 2, you’re treated to a pretty special moment. After a lengthy cut scene, the default skin characters come across the new island. Looking over the brand new map in a fashion suspiciously similar to the iconic shot in Zelda Breath of Wild, the game makes clear that it wants you to go out and explore this new map yourself.

Epic has gone all-in on this, refusing to even properly write up patch notes. This first match that you play features a greyed out map. If you want to know where things are then you have to explore for yourself. Players are pretty certain this first loaded game is full of bots, and it does seem likely when you play it. Once this is over you’re dropping back into the traditional Fortnite lobby but without too much knowledge of what has changed. To find all the differences, you’ve got to discover them for yourself.

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Fortnite Chapter 2 Update - Patch Notes

© Epic Games

What’s new in Fortnite Chapter 2?

The biggest new element in Fortnite Chapter 2 is the map. It is brand new, although some areas are reminiscent of previous favorites. This new map is packed with POIs. However, being relatively new it is yet to reach the bursting at the seems state of the previous map. The experience is closer to a mid-season match of Fortnite. There is plenty around for those after a crowded spot, but lots of wilderness too.

The weapons in Fortnite Chapter 2 have received an overhaul. Many favorites are now in the vault, but standards like the Pump Shotgun are pretty similar to their previous builds. The overall looting balance is now more geared towards low-tier weapons. To actually upgrade them, you’ve got to forage and harvest materials. Crafting stations then let you upgrade these items to higher rarities. This can be both a helpful way to take your gear up a stage and an unwanted resource hoover.

One major new mechanic is swimming. Water, in general, has been overhauled. It is now something more than a blue liquid covering part of your model. You have to actually progress through moving and flowing water. This is also where the latest vehicle to come to Fortnite Chapter 2 has come in. It is a Boat. This is much more reasonable than the Ballers or Mechs that have infuriated pro players in previous Seasons.

Along with the overall visual upgrade, Fortnite really feels fresh again.

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Fortnite Chapter 2 slurpy swamps

© Epic Games Community Asset Pack

What’s the same about Fortnite Chapter 2?

Defaults might have different skin and Tilted Towers is reduced to the history books, but there is a lot that is familiar with Fortnite Chapter 2.

The competitive scene is remaining relatively unchanged. High-level mechanics don’t appear to have been altered. There is still plenty of action kicking off between pro players and opportunities for betting on Fortnite. One element of the competitive scene that also remains unchanged is the relentless criticism of anything new.

Tfue’s opinion aside, none of the major additions this time around seem too overpowered. Most players seem happy with the new metagame, especially when compared with previous Seasons.

The skins in this latest version of the game are just as wacky as previously. Once again, you can unlock these through the battle Pass. This is a season-long progression system that is available for some in-game currency. It gives you cosmetics as you level up. This time around you collect XP for survival, and other novel achievements, in the form of medals. This gives even more players the chance to progress quickly, even if they’re not racking up the eliminations.

It is still early days for competitive Fortnite Chapter 2. However, with so much new in the game it will be exciting to watch the next high-level event after every player and streamer has gotten accustomed to the new Fortnite.