a couple of weeks beforereleased, rumors began to circulate about a “Neo Tokyo” type of futuristic city location being added with the new season. And I thought, “Great, they’re bringing Neo Tilted Towers back.” But I was wrong. Mega City is way beyond anything else we’ve seen in Fortnite – there aren’t any good past comparisons for this place, either in terms of size either quality.
what makes it so good? Well, it’s the first place Epic have built on the Fortnite island that looks like Zero Build was considered when they conceived it. Mega City has a ton of skyscrapers, but most of the interiors are inaccessible, making the number of places you can be shot from significantly more manageable. Also, this place has a serious infrastructure in the form of grind rails and three or four different vertical zip lines in each building, and a car or motorcycle at each corner.
And if you have a, also? And the rise of Aerialist? Mega City is your playground.
While it’s been a year since the Zero Build was added at the beginning of Chapter 3 Season 2, it took time for Epic to adjust their design philosophy to account for it, and now, Mega City is the culmination of every lesson the game has ever learned. team has. learned about game design for Zero Build over the past year.
The problem with the past “cities” of Fortnite
Chapter 3 had two urban settings for most of last year: Tilted Towers, in the center of the map, and The Daily Bugle, which featured three New York skyscrapers inside the mouth of a volcano. Both were filled with traditional Fortnite buildings, meaning the interiors were actually full interiors and the buildings were fully destructible.
The Bugle had bouncing spider webs to help you up to the roofs of their buildings, at least, but Tilted Towers was just a completely flat square of land filled with tall maze-like buildings, and usually the only safe way down. from the roof was to take the stairs. It was the kind of place only the sweatiest jerks in your lobby could love: all risk and no reward to speak of because some guy probably lasered you in the bathroom on the fourth floor two buildings over.
The problem was that Titled was a legacy town, designed entirely with the idea that you can build your own staircase or wall if you need to. But without being able to do that, the place was psychological torture: no matter where you were in Tilted Towers, there seemed to be an infinite number of places to get shot at, and not enough ways to respond when ambushed. a strange angle.
And it wasn’t that unusual to come to Tilted and find that someone had bulldozed everything and turned the place into an empty parking lot. And while that was always fun, it wasn’t really good for the game itself to have a giant flat square with no lid on it; It wasn’t an issue at all in Build mode, but it needed to be addressed for Zero Build.
How Fortnite’s design slowly evolved for Zero Build
After Epic added the Zero Build in Chapter 3 Season 2 at the same time, amusingly, the Spider-Man Web-Shooter Mythic jumped, Epic spent the next year slowly evolving Fortnite’s design to further accommodate it. That first season added cover and dash (and sliding had been added the season before), and we had Shockwave Grenades for sweaty movement, but otherwise it felt like the map was still fully made for Build mode for the next two seasons. .
During Season 3, Dragon Ball Z Cloud Mythic changed everything by showing us how crucial it was for Zero Build to have a useful, fast-moving tool that anyone could use, as opposed to Shockwave Grenades, which were high-skill tools that were difficult. . for average gamers to figure out how to use it well.
While the season 4 chrome blob hack was just a nice method of getting around, Epic added some really cool map-wide movement infrastructure over the course of the season, with those blobs lifting a number of buildings off the ground. Those balloons would launch you high into the air like a turbo jump pad and make it pretty easy to move from one end of the map to the other in a hurry. And they were also a lot of fun.
Chapter 4 Season 1 lacked a lot of travel infrastructure besides the jump pads in all of the northern snow fortresses, but it made up for it with the Shockwave Hammer, basically a rechargeable Shockwave grenade that anyone could use for both impaling and damaging. to enemies. While it’s certainly a great help to Zero Build, the Hammer could have been even better as an agent of chaos in Build mode – nothing destroys enemy structures more hilariously than someone bouncing around with a big Hammer.
How Mega City is Peak Fortnite
With Chapter 4 Season 2, Epic have brought together all aspects of their new and improved philosophy on player movement, finally, in Mega City. It starts with the Kinetic Blade, which is in some ways (at least for now) even better than the Hammer just for how far you can go in the air with it. But even if you don’t have one of those sick swords, Mega City is designed to give you a fighting chance no matter what you’re up against.
To quickly traverse the city horizontally, we have all these rails winding around the city, and every skyscraper has at least three zip lines that can take you up or down from their roofs. If you’re on a rail and you jump, you won’t take fall damage, so if you get on one of those roofs and discover an entire squad, you can always just jump onto a rail and then jump off it and safely drop down. And once you’re on the ground, you can lose your pursuers in Mega City’s ground-level maze, crouching in a parking lot or running through a diner.
Having that inaccessible buffer between the base and the top of each skyscraper essentially turns Mega City into two separate but adjacent locations: one with floating islands in the sky and one below on the ground. And that brings the whole city fighting experience into focus immensely because you no longer have to be able to account for every possible angle like you did in Tilted Towers. When on the ground and looking up, you have only a few key points to search for objectives, rather than every window in every large building. This season’s new sniper scope flash is also useful as a focusing tool in that regard – that addition was Well late.
With that infrastructure in place and a more focused design philosophy, you have the tools to survive even the sweatiest of landings, even when someone else lunges forward and catches the weapon you were trying to drop. But when you get your Kinetic Blade and the Aerialist augment (the only must-have augment this season, which allows you to activate your glider any time you’re more than a couple feet off the ground), Mega City becomes a veritable playground. that you can run with the ease of a superhero. And it’s so dense with stuff that you won’t get bored spinning the whole game.
There’s always room for improvement, of course, and I’m already excited about what the designers at Epic are preparing for player movement in the future: that Attack on Titan team is just around the corner! But Mega City is the first major Fortnite location that’s good enough to make this plea to Epic: please don’t take this masterpiece from us anytime soon.
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