Fortnite Season 6 is coming: what can we expect? | Computing
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Every three months, a large number of Fortnite’s 125 million players begin acting like medieval religious fanatics, obsessively searching the game’s island map for esoteric signs and symbols that augur coming cataclysms – or just some nice new buildings. That time is upon us again as the hit Battle Royale game is gearing up for its sixth season, due to start on Thursday afternoon.
With each seasonal instalment, Epic Games loves to foreshadow major changes to the island, new skins and fresh play modes through a combination of cryptic tweets and sudden scenic changes to the landscape. In the past, we’ve had cracks in the sky, comets and rocket ship launches, but what do we know about the game’s sixth iteration?
The purple cube
Since August, a gelatinous purple cube has been seen moving ominously around the Fortnite map, making a weird electronic humming noise. Lately it stopped at Loot Lake, where it turned the water into something resembling blackcurrant jelly.
Players have been expecting a major change to this central landmark for some time – the vast body of water isn’t popular with all players as it’s a sniper’s paradise. One theory, based on an alleged leak published on 4Chan, is that this will be the site of a new domed city built by Fortnite’s Enforcers, a race of alien overlords. Alternatively, it could become a sort of wormhole to another version of the island, complete with dark alternatives to favourite skins.
A alternate theory, based on dataminers rooting about in the PC code of the game, suggest that there maybe a volcanic eruption, creating a Lava Lake. This seems unlikely – if Epic is removing the lake because many players felt it was an annoying obstacle, replacing it with a fiery pit of molten rock is not going to appease them.
There will be a party theme
This tweet, featuring a DJ with the head of a llama (the game’s mascot creature), suggests Fortnite is set to get some sort of festival- or party-themed area. The island already has a couple of warehouses that double as nightclubs, replete with loud techno music and swirling disco balls, but perhaps we’re going to get something bigger and more intricate.
We all know that masked EDM star Marshmello is a big fan of the game – alongside YouTuber Ninja, he won the first Fortnite pro-celebrity event in June. Perhaps he’ll be seeing in the new season with a live set?
This second tweet took us in a totally different direction. Is Season 6 going to give us a wild west-themed area, with saloons and sixgun shootouts? If so, will this be a new area or will it be dropped into the geographically relevant Paradise Palms?
This would be a clever concurrence with the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 (not that Fortnite needs to leech off another game’s publicity, but what the heck). The wild west also brings opportunities for new weapons and skins, but what about vehicles? The “saddle up” message suggests the possibility of horses, which would be fun – as would four-player stage coaches.
Sound is improving
Okay, this is not gigantically exciting, but it will add to the tactical element of the game. Epic Games has released some patch notes for Season 6 and they’re all about the spatial audio. It will be easier to work out where another player is (and if they’re higher or lower than you) from the sound of their footsteps, while gliders will also make a more obvious noise so that you can tell if other players are landing nearby. This all should help with those panicky endgame moments when you’re sure the other surviving player is underneath you somewhere – right up until they shoot you with a grenade launcher from several meters above.