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Why some Fortnite crossovers just don't work and what can be done about it

(Image Credit: Epic Games)
(Image Credit: Epic Games)
Modified 12 Dec 2020

Not all Fortnite crossovers work, especially if the character in question doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the game’s universe.

Two new crossover characters in Fortnite, the Master Chief from Halo and Kratos from God of War, have drawn a fair amount of criticism from fans, in part because of how much their original characters clash with Fortnite.

Their inclusion in Fortnite raises serious issues about who those characters are, and whether or not they can ever be accurately portrayed in Fortnite.

Fortnite and the crossover conundrum

A major part of the backlash directed at Fortnite for the inclusion of characters like Kratos and the Master Chief is that these characters, as portrayed in Fortnite, often feel false or inaccurate.

For some players this isn’t as much of an issue as they can simply adopt the perspective that these are merely skins meant to evoke the image of the character and not actually the character themselves.

However, this dynamic can occasionally fall flat with the inclusion and portrayal of some characters. For example, when Fortnite releases a trailer wherein a character uses a device to travel to alternate universes to retrieve two beloved characters from The Walking Dead TV series, it’s hard to imply that their portrayal in the game isn’t meant to be as those same characters.

This goes beyond the concept of a person wearing a costume and begins to delve into the territory of canon or semi-canonical portrayal of said characters.

This isn’t a dilemma for all characters brought to Fortnite, especially those who already have different canon versions of the same characters. However, not all characters have the luxury of existing in parallel in TV, movies, comics, games, and more simultaneously.


Why Kratos and Master Chief specifically don’t work

God of War made headlines during its initial release for being violent, grotesque, and lurid all at once. The game very nearly earned the dreaded AO rating from the ESRB at the time of its release, in part due to a series of interactive sex scenes, but nevertheless managed to skate by with a very hard M rating instead.

Kratos himself is a character known for his vitriolic rage, violence, strength, and hatred, all qualities that simply don’t work in Fortnite. The candy colored cartoon version of Kratos in Fortnite can only be one of two things, a “costume” of Kratos or a portrayal of the Kratos character seen in previous God of War titles.

If he is simply a costume then Epic Games and Fortnite players will ultimately have to admit that his inclusion amounts to little more than fanservice meant to entice players who may or may not even recognize him to buy a costume of the cool tattooed Greek guy.

If, instead, his inclusion is meant to be the character himself, then Epic will instead have to justify the inclusion of a character with as many negative qualities as mentioned before in a game like Fortnite.

An accurate portrayal of the character simply wouldn’t be allowed, and an inaccurate portrayal of the character can be seen as disrespectful to its fans and creators.


Likewise, for Master Chief, the many fans who played as the stoic walking tank through the numerous Halo games may find it jarring to see the character participating in the typical hijinks that goes on in a round of Fortnite.

Does it matter? If so, how much?

Despite all this, why does it matter? If players want to play a game as animated as Fortnite while appearing as some of the most stoic or most rage fueled characters in gaming, then what of it?

It probably doesn’t matter. Kratos and Master Chief being in Fortnite (hopefully) won’t impact their future games. However, it certainly does feel cheap, and has the potential to lead younger Fortnite players to stumble into games far too mature for their age.

Nevertheless, it will always feel a little awkward to see these characters dancing around in Fortnite.

Published 12 Dec 2020, 03:57 IST
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