Note: Fortnite, as many other games these days, is continually updated with new content, even on a daily basis. Because of this, CGR tries to release a new review every so often, usually at the start of a big new update. Still, 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 gameplay and such, check out my Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 3 review.
Well, I sure didn’t think I’d be writing this so soon.
After Fortnite Chapter 3 launched in late 2021, I thought it’d be at least two years before I would find myself reviewing the game again. It was also at this time that I took my first real break from Fortnite, I think maybe since 2017. I’ve only been returning for a couple games with friends and perhaps an event or two.
I was enjoying this break, playing a lot of Splatoon 3 when I suddenly heard that Fortnite was already moving on to a new chapter. Like the responsible person I am, I’ve returned to give my input on the new features and changes the game has received, and see if the morality/parental warnings need to be updated. Let’s go!
The first change I’d like to mention didn’t actually come with Chapter 4 but rather during Chapter 3, and that is the “No Build” mode. The most common complaint I heard by far about Fortnite was that the game had become overrun by sweats (competitive players) and that the building mechanic had much too high of a skill ceiling for newer players. I personally didn’t feel that this was that great of an argument since Fortnite has had skill-based matchmaking for the past 3 years, but I can certainly understand how building could be confusing and intimidating to new players. And seeing that most of my friends prefer to play without builds, I’m grateful that it is here to stay.
Some new movement options were introduced later to help make up for the lack of mobility in no-builds, including mantaling (grabbing and jumping up ledges) in Chapter 3 and with the latest update, vaulting (quickly jumping over grounded objects). These all feel good to do and make Fortnite even more fun to play than it already was.
This isn’t to say all of the notable changes came between chapters, however. Chapter 4 introduced reality augments (like perks from an FPS) that appear several times throughout the match and allow you to gain new abilities and buffs, receive special weapons, and the like. For example, the “light fingers” augment causes you to reload weapons that use light ammo more quickly, while “splash medic” will make every container you open, including ammo boxes, to have a chance of dropping chug splashes. These are cool I suppose, but honestly I don’t feel like they change that much of the game and seem like just another thing that Epic has thrown in to make the middle of a match less boring.
New weapons & motorbike
With a new chapter, as usual, come new weapons. However, most of these just feel like another reskin of existing weapons, such as the maven auto shotgun and the thunder shotgun which reflect the original tactical and pump shotguns. A few do stand out, such as the ex-caliber rifle and the shockwave hammer, which are both quite fun to use. The latter in particular seems like a very good mobility option and features some awesome animations which makes just the act of using it feel very cool.
To top it all off, bikes have been added to the game. Yes, first it was shopping carts, cartoon cars, planes, hoverboards, helicopters, spaceships, real cars, tanks… seems like we are back to square one. Granted, these are of the gas-powered kind, and that means they are more fun and let you easily perform tricks as you ride around the island. I like them about as much as past vehicles. Again, nothing crazy here, but a fun new addition to try and keep things fresh.
You can’t talk about a new season without going over the Battle Pass. The progression system remains largely the same; you complete various quests that earn you battle stars which can be used on rewards in a semi-linear fashion. If there’s a smaller reward you want to claim, you can get it before some others but for all the skins you’ve got to complete each “page” to get them. It’s fun to spend the stars yourself but still nothing crazy different from the typical battle pass.
One of the crossover skins this time around is none other than the canonically Catholic (in the earlier games at least) Doom Slayer, or “Doom guy”. Seems like a well-made skin if you like the Doom games, and the “Rip and Tear” music was even made available for free as a lobby track during the Winterfest. As usual, if you find it prudent to play this game and are willing to spend some money, the Battle Pass remains a great value after all these years and you’ll get your spent V-Bucks back if you complete it.
Unreal Engine 5
Last thing to go over – the updated graphics. Fortnite is now compatible with Unreal Engine 5.1, which probably makes this the biggest leap we have had since Fortnite made the jump to, um, Unreal Engine 5. Certain aspects of the world like the sky and grass appear to be more detailed… I think. Most things look quite crisp and there are some added effects such as the splinters that appear when taking down trees. I can’t honestly say any of this is that big of a deal as there’s not much you’re going to be noticing constantly, and if you don’t have an Xbox Series X, PS5, or high-end PC, many of the improvements will be incompatible with your device. Still, graphical updates are always appreciated no matter how minor.
Fortnite Chapter 4 is a fun update to the game, but still doesn’t top the Chapter 2 update in terms of changes and is probably less impactful than the No-builds mode was last year. There’s not really anything to add to the morality/parental warnings section, but it was already kind of extensive and might be worth re-reading.
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: 97% (EXCELLENT SHOOTER/BATTLE ROYALE GAME)*
Gameplay: 4.5/5 (Loses 0.5 for minor bugs that occasionally pop up)
Language: Completely clean aside from select concerts/events, although there is real-life music when riding in vehicles that may convey bad messages, which unfortunately is more than I can monitor. 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 some 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, and a pride event has been held the last two years.
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. There are parental controls available inside the game (in addition to those found on many devices). 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.