Note: Fortnite, as many other games these days, is continually updated with new content, often on a daily or weekly basis. Because of this, CGR tries to release a new review every so often. Each review is based on the start of each season or chapter, but since new content is added throughout you may encounter things not mentioned in this review.
I only cover the much more popular Battle Royale game mode, but I have played a lot of the Save The World mode and can say most morality notices are pretty similar across the two. I do not cover Fortnite creative mode, which features extensive online interactions.
If you want my take on the basic graphics, gameplay etc. check out my Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 3 review.
I was not expecting this a month ago.
I’m sure those who were keeping up with the storyline had an idea for a while, but as my interest in the game waned following Season 5 of Fortnite Chapter 2, I kind of fell out of the loop ;). However, a new fire has been kindled inside me after experiencing the next chapter in my 4-year long journey with Epic Games’ revolutionary title. I think the devs have learned some lessons over the past 2 years and I’m ready to pump out what may be my last review of Fortnite for the next 24 months.
The first thing you should know before jumping into Chapter 3 is that there’s an entirely new island. At the end of the Season 8 event (which you can watch me react to here) the previous island was flipped over, revealing an entirely new world underneath. Not sure how all those buildings, mountains and wildlife were chilling underwater this whole time but Fortnite Isn’t meant to be a realistic game, is it? Either way, I’ve already found myself to love the new island, but much like the one from Chapter 2 it still doesn’t feel the same as the original island all the way back from Chapter 1, even considering the handful of locations that were brought back. Sure, it may just be nostalgia speaking but it’s still important to note.
As expected, to keep the game fresh there are a handful of gameplay mechanics this time round. Chapter 2’s biggest changes were fishing, swimming, gold bars, and crafting. All of these aside from the latter have remained alongside the new additions. Chapter 3 added sliding (simply crouch on an incline or while running), trees that fall down and roll around once you destroy them, and placeable “tents” which supposedly contain interdimensional portals that allow you to carry items between different matches.
Smaller changes include a scoped AR that is actually good (it’s been about 4 years since that was a thing) and Spider-man web shooters that are, in my infallible, unbiased opinion, the coolest item they’ve ever added to the game. They absolutely nailed the controls and I’m amazed at how well they made it work in such an open-world environment.
As happy as I am with the additions, I must admit it’s not the biggest list of changes, but there’s only so much you can do without creating an entirely new game, and I think the Fortnite developers have really pushed the limits to see just how much you can add to a game without it losing an identity. Veterans can come back to the game and attest how much of the original concept is still there.
It’s more than just the gameplay changes, however – Fortnite continues to harbor an ever-evolving story revolving around “the loop” (the idea being that each match you play is a simulation which runs over and over again endlessly) and the “loopers” (the players) attempts to escape. Also taking place in the season 8 event, we assisted Agent Jonesy in his efforts to escape the loop, working with his mysterious partner “The Foundation” who was hilariously revealed to be played by Dwayne Johnson. It’s always been enjoyable how Epic finds a way for us players to participate in uncovering the lore through these playable events rather than being forced to go read a whole series of books and waste hours on Reddit. While this sort of thing has also continued throughout the season via quests that can be completed during matches, they took it a step further and added extensive voice acting for these. Whatever actor(s) they hired (it’s only been one voice so far, but it’s still early in the season) are great and I hope this stuff stays around for a good while.
Now for the Battle Pass. If you were wondering how Spider-man’s web-shooters made it into the game in the first place it’s because he’s finally made it to Fortnite (as a skin) in the pass. I can only imagine the effort it took to get this Sony-owned IP over and find it quite amusing that both the “No way home” and Classic versions (yes there are already two, and only the classic is in the BP) are both labeled as a Marvel skin, even though it’s what’s expected. I’m sure that’s only going to help the general public’s understanding as to who owns Spider-man…
Unless Spider-man sticks out to you in particular as he does with me, you can expect about the same sort of stuff as many previous seasons, since it tends to follow a format. In case you aren’t familiar with them by now, I would describe the typical Battle Pass lineup as: a few “cool” skins, a silly or “joke” skin (think giant smiling banana), a slightly objectified female skin (oof) and the licensed, tie-in skin (Spider-man obviously takes that spot this time around). Aside from the exploitation of lust, I do have to say it’s a pretty balanced and well-thought out selection, and really provides something for everyone. To anyone who is playing Fortnite actively, I will always recommend buying the Battle Pass. That $8 (or your country’s equivalent) goes a long way.
That’s all I have to say about Fortnite Chapter 3 for now. As previously mentioned, this will be my final Fortnite review for a while. I’m dropping the seasonal release schedule for now as it simply takes me too much time to make these extensive updates every few months, and I think the time will be better spent focusing on other games which don’t get updates often (or even at all) following release, and therefore result in reviews that are still worth checking out even years down the line rather than just 2 or 3 months.
If we see a significant number of requests for seasonal reviews (let us know through email or any of our social media accounts), I will absolutely bring them back, but at the moment I’m not noticing too much interest in them.
Priestly Comment by Fr. Stephen (Trekkie4christ):
“Fortnite is surprisingly fun, even for amateurs like me. I really enjoy the laid back attitude that comes from the cartoony graphic design. When you can play as a secret agent banana or a cute cut cat, things get hilarious fast.”
Scoring – 96% (EXCELLENT SHOOTER/BATTLE ROYALE GAME)*
Language: Completely clean aside from select concerts/events, although there is optional music when riding in vehicles that may convey bad messages, which unfortunately is more than I can realistically monitor. And there is voice/text chat in some places. All of these can usually be either turned off or avoided, however.
Sex/Nudity: Many of the female skins have revealing clothing, and select male skins don’t have a shirt. A few emotes have somewhat sexual themes through dancing and/or lyrics. There are also a few “pride” cosmetic items in-game along with a flag in creative mode.
Occult: Some skins themed after demons/the devil, with some pentagram-like symbols. There are also wizards & witches, and few skins/cosmetics are referred to as gods or are parodies of false religion.
Violence: Guns are realistic, but no blood. Animals drop meat, but it’s very cartoony.
Consumerism: Many expensive microtransactions, some skins and emotes are themed after real people or fictional characters that love to glorify their material possessions.
Addiction: Very stimulating and addicting feedback loop/gameplay. Make sure to pace yourself!
*Games that receive this ⭐ star have a score of 95% or above. This is purely from a game design perspective and is not in any way related to our morality evaluation.