Fortnite just wrapped up its most recent large-scale live event, and it was a strange one – even through Fortnite standards. The event, dubbed “Fracture”, was intended as a farewell to Fortnite Chapter 3, and now that it’s over, the game is out for the launch of the next chapter on December 4, which will not only introduce a new island, but also characters such as the witcher himself, Geralt of Rivia.
Before the game kicked off, players were split into groups and hung out on small floating islands with little to do other than watch a countdown on a TV screen. (My trio of players were all roasting marshmallows together.) That was followed by a cutscene where The Herald, a relatively new Fortnite character, led an onslaught of tornadoes and after a bit of fighting, a giant chrome version of her appeared, somehow causing the whole island to explode into many, many pieces.
Afterwards, players floated through the debris in space, being told that “home is gone” just before the zero point – a kind of superpowered energy source in Fortnite lore – a number of fragments of the destroyed island fused together, as well as players. From there, everyone had to work together to collect orbs of energy to power the zero point for reasons that weren’t entirely clear.
While past Fortnite events were heavy on action, whether it was a battle against Galactus or an explosive alien invasion, this one was a bit more subdued. Sometimes it felt like busy work. To power the Zero Point, players had to complete simple tasks such as building a snowman or finding matching objects to collect energy. They could also relive brief flashbacks of past events – such as the mech vs. kaiju battle or the rolling cube – and talk to some NPCs for basic quests. As the portal started itself up, more fragments of the destroyed island would appear.
Once the Zero Point was up and running, the event shifted to another cutscene, where Paradigm – a Fortnite character played by Brie Larson – appeared to be overseeing the formation of a new island.
The whole thing lasted about 45 minutes and it lacked the thrill of past events. (However, like its predecessors, it made absolutely no sense unless you’re hooked up to Fortnite‘s ongoing story.) Currently, players logging in can’t do much other than stare at a loading screen with a glimpse of the new island in the background. But that won’t be for long: Chapter 4 launches on December 4, and the splash screen shows some new characters coming up, most notably the Doom Slayer and Geralt. The art also teases the introduction of dirt bikes.