If you're into espionage (and Deadpool), the newest Fortnite season is for you.
Epic Games launched its much anticipated Chapter 2, Season 2 update early Thursday morning. Spies, secret agents and all things mystery is the theme. It's fitting in a way, since Chapter 2, Season 1 was the longest season in Fortnite's history and for a while fans were left wondering when the next update would come. So far, it looks to have been worth the wait.
What's up with the story?
It's a spy theme, "Top Secret," complete with new characters, modes and weapons. The world is split up into two factions, called "Ghost" and "Shadow," that are at war with each other. You get to pick a side and join the battle. Speaking of battle, purchasing the battle pass unlocks an updated hideout themed battle pass menu, with a bunch of challenges and tasks, that dive deeper into the lore of the season. Epic Games noted that "limited time operations" and "spy games" are coming this season, which will likely add some twists and turns to the story.
The Island has been taken over by covert operatives - members of Ghost and Shadow. Will you join the fight? pic.twitter.com/dmUiUyxWM2— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) February 20, 2020
With this new season, Epic Games continues its strong track record of keeping Fortnite fresh and interesting to its core audience while piquing the interest of lapsed fans to come back and give the game a try again. This update is story rich, and you definitely feel it when playing the game. C2S2 might not capture mainstream attention like the black hole event did, but as far as changing course and making this a pleasant experience for fans, this is a win.
How about new features?
Gold is definitely the theme of the season, which was evident in the preview tweets from the official Fortnite account leading up to the launch of Season 2. One particular item that will be of interest to players is the umbrella that is only unlocked with a Victory Royale: primarily gold with black trim. Unlike previous updates, gold is a prevalent theme. It makes me wonder if color schemes will be used to this magnitude moving forward to put an extra stamp on the uniqueness of future seasons and updates.
The "memiest" part of the new Season is absolutely a new playable character named Meowscles -- a chimera cat that's equal parts cute and menacing, with big round eyes and a warming smile above the shoulders, boasting giant muscles and a six-pack. Get ready for endless TikTok videos of everyone doing the Meowscles "cat dance" emote. You've been warned.
Purchasing the battle pass unlocks Meowscles and a host of other agents, such as Brutus, Maya, Agent Peely (Peely is the greatest video game character of modern times, don't @ me), Skye, Tntina and Midas. As the season progresses, you'll have to make a choice: Ghost or Shadow. Once you choose your allegiance, you can't go back. As the opening cinematic to the season notes, "choose wisely." Maya in particular will be interesting to players because her skin is fully customizable ... she is the "Mii" of Fortnite. Once you upgrade through the (no longer locked!) challenges, you will have this at your disposal. Completing the challenge table (not a list, so you can go through them in the order you want) will give you back 1,500 VBucks (the battle pass costs 950 VBucks, so this is a further incentive to complete the challenges).
Has the map changed? What about items?
C2S2 has come with a number of changes to items and the map. Traps, a hotly contested item, have been vaulted. Grapplers and C4, meanwhile, have made a return. You can hide in a box of cardboard. The map has been updated to include areas such as a volcano hideout, a giant yacht, secret lair, agency headquarters, oil rig and a cave with a giant shark's head. There is a new area just outside Slurpy Swamp that is now a base with NPC baddies that you can take down, then "shake down" for some temporary buffs (there are other areas of the map that also house the henchmen). ID scanners by doors have popped up around the map as well, and they can't be unlocked right away. Try and you'll be rejected. But if you step into a nearby phone booth, or knock down (but not eliminate) a henchmen and bring them to the ID scanner, the door will open.
Suit up, it's time to drop in, secure intel and take back the Island. The Agency is calling, whose side are you on? pic.twitter.com/kHw6LcDSnT— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) February 20, 2020
Helicopters are present in certain map locations images, which has led to early speculation that helicopters may also become a playable vehicle (no official word has been given on this).
Sorry, did you mention Deadpool earlier?
We don't know when or how just yet, but we know that Deadpool appears in the Season 2 trailer with other clues, and a vent in the battle pass screen is a secret gateway to a hideout with a computer that displays Deadpool-centric weekly challenges.
This isn't the first Marvel crossover in Fortnite, and (hopefully) not the last. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Fortnite is the best medium that exists today for collaboration. Are you a celebrity, athlete or massive influencer with something to promote? Fortnite. It's the new late-night talk show appearance. Half the fun is seeing what collabs we will get next. In this case, Deadpool. I'm here for it.