As Epic Games and fans look back on Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4, here's how the Marvel-themed season redefined the game and won us all over.
Even though we're striding ahead with a new season of Fortnite, that hasn't stopped players still "marvelling" at the landmark that was Chapter 2 Season 4. The Marvel-themed season dropped the might of Marvel Comics into the map and had everyone from Iron Man to Storm, Daredevil to Venom, She-Hulk to Ghost Rider, jumping off the Battle Bus.
It's no secret that there have been complaints Fortnite is a "dead game" after the mass exodus of pro players alongside Chapter 2, but by bringing these spandex-clad heroes into our lives, Epic Games clawed its way back to the top to once again sit on the throne of battle royale games.
A whole host of Marvel locations, foes, friends, and stories made their mark, while the new Mythic Weapons let you down opponents with Thor's mighty hammer or Doctor Doom's cataclysmic gauntlets. The influx of Marvel content came at just the right time for Epic, and with this in mind, here's how Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4 redefined the game.
The skinner takes it all
Not to sound superficial, but it really was the skins that made Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4 what it was. While we only started out with a small crop of Marvel favourites like Iron Man, Thor, and Wolverine, the ranks soon grew over the course of the season. Looking at the current Season 5, there are still plenty of us electrifying the skies as Storm, taking a bite out of the competition as Blade, or skulking around in the snow in Black Widow's snowsuit.
Season 4 rounded off with an eclectic mix of heroes and villains that included a bizarre crop of the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, and Daredevil. However, there were a few missing in action - leading us onto our next point. The tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman meant Epic's well-laid plans to include Black Panther in Season 4 were cut short. This led to heart-warming scenes of the Panther's Prowl statue becoming an unofficial shrine to Boseman's role as T'Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Jump forward to today and Epic has finally added Black Panther to the game - albeit a season late. As well as being able to unlock the Wakanda Forever emote through in-game challenges, Black Panther's skin can be bought alongside Captain Marvel and the villainous Taskmaster. Season 5 also has DC-themed skins in the form of the Last Laugh bundle with Joker and Poison Ivy, but even after the credits have rolled on Season 4, it's clear Marvel is ruling the roost.
An event of 'galactic' proportions
It wasn't just the size of big, bad, Galactus that teased the sheer scale of Season 4's lofty ambitions. From the tiny acorn of a tie-in comic about Thor landing in the map, it's crazy to think how far Fortnite came, and in such a short time. Every day, we were pouring online and sifting through the various leaks and datamines to try and figure out what was on the way next. A constant presence was the world-devouring Galactus, who grew larger in the sky as the season progressed. Despite players rightly guessing this would lead to some sort of showdown, they were largely left in the dark.
And so, Season 4 came to a climactic end with the supersized Galactus Event. Theorists were on the money that Tony Stark tinkering with the Battle Bus would play a party in the final fight with Galactus, but did anyone expect an on-the-rails shooter that was a break from the norm of the battle royale brawler? Millions of us dived in for the last hurrah, managed to break the servers, and led to the biggest ever concurrent player count of 15.3 million for the Galactus Event. It's safe to say, Fortnite's critics were eating their words. What happened next though?
Some predicted we'd have a repeat of Chapter 1 Season X's "The End" wiping out the OG map. We all know that didn't exactly work out well for Epic - leading to the mass departure of some of its biggest players. Even if Season 4 didn't follow in Season X's footsteps, it still looks like a Chapter 3 overhaul is on the horizon. Galactus may have been banished, but he also ripped open the mysterious Zero Point and left more mysteries in his wake. Season 5 is still unravelling the various plot threads as Agent Jonesy recruits a team of pop culture mercenaries to stop characters escaping their loops.
We don't know what Chapter 2 is working toward in its presumed 10-season run, but we're guessing Galactus will be back for another confrontation. Let's remember Epic Games Worldwide Creative Director Donald Mustard has said we have "many years" of Marvel content to come, suggesting this isn't the end of the road for our heroes and villains.
Return of the King(s)
The dark days of Chapter 2 seem to be behind Epic. With criticisms over the new map and a war waged against skill-based match-making, we saw some of its biggest names turn tail and abandon ship in favour of other games like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone. This left just a loyal crop of pro and casual players defending the fort. However, something about Season 4 lured the best of the best back.
Perhaps the biggest was the return of Tyler "Ninja" Blevins alongside a superstar stream with Ali "SyhperPK" Hassan tempting him back. Ninja wasn't alone from the old crowd though. Turner "Tfue" Tenney, Nick "NICKMERCS" Kolcheff, and Dennis "Cloakzy" Lepore all bought a ticket for the Battle Bus once again. It was great news at a time Epic needed it. In all honesty, who can really remember anything about Chapter 2 Season 3? Thankfully, the return of the king(s) was a PR push that rounded off Season 4 in style.
In years to come, we'll look back at Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4 as a definitive time in the game's timeline. With Galactus gone and faith restored, the magic of Marvel brought peace to this once-troubled map. Yes, there are complaints that Epic is going in too hard on its pop culture crossovers, but like them or loathe them, they're pulling in the big V-Bucks.
Now that things are back on track, Season 5 is also being heralded as a big win. Alongside the introduction of the new Fortnite Crew Membership, bounties have been another highlight, and we finally got to play as the Xbox-locked Master Chief on PlayStation (albeit as a skin).
All in all, Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4 shows what you can do with a little hope, some perseverance, and a stack of comic books. Either way, it was a delight to see these Avengers assemble and inspire a whole new generation of players. Now, everyone practice your Wakanda Forever emotes.
Images via Epic Games