We're sure you're familiar with the Fortnite: Battle Royale phenomenon at this point. We've been keeping you up to date on the weekly challenges, the latest updates and changes, and offered some perspective on things we'd like to see added to the game. And although we still enjoy battling it out against 99 other players on the game's current map, it's easy to imagine how a new map could keep us coming back for more Victory Royales in the long run.
There is currently one map in Fortnite: Battle Royale, but to Epic Games' credit, it has evolved over time. With new seasons comes new content and actual changes to the lone map's layout and features. When Season 4 hit, so did a comet that destroyed Dusty Depot to create a new area called Dusty Divot, which fed into the superhero theme the game was going for. Now with Season 5 on the horizon (starting July 12), we started to think about how Fortnite's world is going to evolve further given the recent appearance of mysterious tears in the sky. Could they lead to a new map, and if so, what might that look like?
For the latest on Fortnite, be sure to read through our stories on the new Playground mode and when it'll be going away, Epic's user-made short-film competition, or how the latest patch changes up the game. Week 10 of Season 4 tasked players with a slew of new challenges, like the search between movie titles, which we have a complete guide for.
In creating a new map, Epic could take the approach of releasing something that isn't meant to be much more than a simple alternative to the existing island, offering a different look and feel but not much else. Alternatively, it could release something that is much more specialized, with its own custom set of rules, almost like a new playlist that happens to have a map that is catered specifically to it.
One such possibility: a winter map where snow has a real impact on gameplay. A snow-covered map would make distant enemies easier to see, making long-range weapons more valuable. But snow could periodically fall during the match, reducing visibility and thus emphasizing close-range combat for a period of time.
Movement speed could be impacted by the amount of snow you're walking through, but what's even more intriguing is the prospect of needing to keep yourself warm. Similar to Company of Heroes 2, which requires you to garrison units or get them near a fire periodically, Battle Royale's gameplay could really be shaken up if you also had to account for your body's temperature. If you're cold, do you risk suffering damage to grab that desirable weapon in the distance, or do you find a place to warm up first?
So many new wrinkles would make for a technical challenge, but a new map that impacts gameplay in so many ways would be a great way to show how meaningful new locales are going to be in Fortnite.
Admittedly, this sounds a lot like an experimental limited-time mode, but a map that's essentially a flat, wide-open field could be a ton of fun. Here, players would have to put their building skills to the ultimate test. Matches would probably boil down to a build-your-own map type of game, where things would play out in even more unpredictable fashion than they already do. We imagine players would have to do more than just protect themselves; with the storm closing in and not much in the way of natural defenses, creativity would be pushed and building structures with mobility in mind would change the way Fortnite is traditionally played.
To make this work, you'd probably have to start players with maximum (or unlimited) resources so everyone can get to building as soon as they land. Weapon scavenging might be tricky to implement in this type of map, but maybe weapons stashes can act as hot dropzones for players to start building out from. This type of map can highlight one of Fortnite's strengths and the feature that has helped distinguish itself from other battle royale games in the first place.
What really sets Fortnite apart from other battle royale games are building mechanics, and while they are used in fast combat situations, it could be really cool to require them during the running phase of a match to overcome obstacles. A giant volcano map with peaks, chasms, and lava tubes would add another layer of thinking and movement. A volcano map could also vary the distances at which players fight in the final circle. Maybe there'd be close-range final circles in caves, long-range final circles over a giant magma chamber, hilltop-to-hilltop fights similar to those that take place now, and possibly small island battles in the water around the base of the map.
Epic has been really good so far at planned events, such as the recent rocket launch, but why not take this one step further with random events? Matches could have a lava tube that opens and floods the map, or one match the lava chamber is empty and cavernous. With dimensional rifts opening up, the possibilities for random events are endless. The volcano map could even take place during different eras-- dinosaurs, anyone?
Fortnite's island has variety, as you've got everything from swamps to suburban towns to junkyards to (more recently) a giant crater with some kind of scientific base built inside of it. But it all generally makes sense and seems like it fits in the same general area.
With Season 4's rifts causing objects to disappear, it would be fun to see that serve a purpose. What if these rifts are not just on the Battle Royale island, but all over the world--or even different dimensions? Rather than having these things blink out of existence, maybe these rifts are instead transporting them elsewhere. That elsewhere could be the setting for a new map.
It might be a bit extreme as the concept for what would only be Battle Royale's second map, but it would be great to eventually see a location full of weird juxtapositions. A jumbo jet inside of a gym? Sure. Alien plants that attack you lined outside of a toy store? Why not! Fortnite already embraces silliness, and this would allow Epic to truly go all-out with a map that's unlike anything else in the battle royale space. It would also feature a perfect, built-in excuse to continue updating the map with new elements as more things are teleported in and out.
Epic has the flexibility to take Fortnite in almost any direction it wants to, thematically. And given the premise of the original Save The World mode--defending yourselves from the undead and mutated monsters--going with a post-apocalyptic theme for a new map is well within the realm of possibility. This would be more than just a cosmetic overhaul, too. It'd be interesting to see how radiation zones could factor into matches; clever ways to build around dangerous areas on top of avoiding enemies and the deadly storm might spice things up a bit. Maybe irradiated zones can be randomized just like the storm to ramp up the tension even more. Geiger counters going off when you least expect it while thinking you're building into a safe zone could make for a real curveball.
A post-apocalyptic map may serve as the impetus to bring in new weapons as well. A nuke launcher could be wildly devastating, but highly sought out by players. We'd be hesitant to ask for hostile hordes as a factor when it comes to a battle royale match, but it's an aspect that could be cleverly implemented in this specific type of map.