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Looking back; reviewing Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4

(Image Credit: Epic Games)
(Image Credit: Epic Games)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 27 Nov 2020, 00:24 IST
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As the latest season of Fortnite slowly comes to an end it’s worth it to take stock of the season as a whole and see just how well it holds up.

Chapter 2 Season 4 of Fortnite has certainly had its ups and downs, but determining where exactly it lies is more difficult than merely taking a look at where the community lies at the end. This season has seen a lot of questionable decisions being made, some of which ultimately paid off.

What was good in Fortnite Season 4?

Juxtaposed against Fortnite Season 3, Fortnite Season 4 felt like a shot of adrenaline added to the game. Coming off of a season that was very slow and boring, Season 4 reworked the map, added new bosses, shifted the available weapons, and generally shook things up for the better.

It even went so far as to add superpowers to the game - something which ended up having a mixed legacy. On the one hand, the powers gave players a way to drastically change how they approach combat.

In the previous season, mythic weapons were little more than powered up versions of already available weapons in the game, with some specific mythics offering some minor mobility instead.

However, the superpowers offer powerful abilities which go on cooldown after being used, such as being able to ride a galactic surfboard to escape a sketchy situation.

Other powers give more offensive capabilities, such as Dr. Doom’s or Thor’s powers which offer powerful area-of-effect abilities that can break down builds and deal significant damage to opponents.

Season 4 of Fortnite took its Marvel theme and found ways to work it into the game in a more meaningful way than Season 3’s water theme. Rather than merely being a change in layout or series of skins, Fortnite Season 4 incorporated Marvel into its gameplay, its world, its quests, and its LTMs.

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What was bad in Fortnite Season 4

Firstly, it should be mentioned that the worst thing about Fortnite Season 4 was the circumstances which ultimately led to iOS players being left behind.

While not entirely Epic's fault, millions of players were not able to play this season on their preferred device; something which will likely carry on for quite some time.

Additionally, the Marvel theme wasn’t universally well received, especially at first. Many players initially felt like the Marvel theme was unwelcome marketing, as though Epic had chosen to partner with Marvel to the detriment of the game.

No information regarding how or why the Marvel crossover deal was started, so the only thing players have to judge it by was what was ultimately made a part of the game.

While the thematic integration of Season 4 across all elements of Fortnite certainly offered a level of cohesion not usually present, players can’t know if this integration was the result of corporate advertising or game design. And that has been kind of a running trend this season.

It can be tempting to suggest that anything which was negatively received was the result of this partnership, and Marvel pushing for strong marketing, while anything good was the result of careful game design. However, the line between the two this season is much blurrier than that.

For example, the Marvel Knockout LTM is fun and had a number of tournaments to support it, but were those tournaments the result of Marvel wanting that game mode to have a boost in attention or because Epic thought the game mode might be fun for players to play?

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Likewise, the superpowers have shifted how players can approach combat and injected new life into the game, but the superpowers also nullify certain defensive strategies and are so strong that they almost always appear in the endgame.

Is this the result of Marvel wanting superpowers to be strong enough that players would almost always see them, or just the result of Epic wanting the powers to counter certain strategies?

Where will Fortnite Season 4 ultimately end up?

The only thing remaining for the season is the final Galactus event - something which will likely end up destroying or significantly altering the map and lead neatly into Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 5.

As a result, it’s fair to say that the current iteration of Fortnite is the one which most captures what the end of the season is, as the event itself will be somewhat different.

Fortnite Season 4 certainly tried a lot of new ideas, and played differently from previous seasons, but in a few months Season 4 will probably be remembered mostly just as “the Marvel season.”

With many players worried that Fortnite will begin exaggerating their crossovers, and featuring even more corporate marketing as a part of their game design, they are going to keep a keen eye on Fortnite Season 5 to see if Epic plans to continue this trend or shift away from it.

Published 27 Nov 2020, 00:24 IST
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