Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Fortnite’s The big event that ended the chapter has just ended, and it was a big event. After an extensive war against UFOs, zombies and the Cube Queen, players were rescued in a rescue mission led by Dwayne Johnson. (Well, his character in the game.) Then the island turned around.

The event

Let’s back up a bit. The last season of the game has been about the cubes, and just as the event was loading, a mysterious giant blue dice appeared on the map next to all the players in my lobby. Jumping on the dice bounced the players away, but otherwise it did nothing beyond the loom ominously. We could also look at the cube queen in the distance, who has been hovering in an energy ball over the middle of the island for part of the season.

Hi, blue cube.
Screenshot: Jay Peters / The Verge

The cube queen hovers menacingly in the distance.
Screenshot: Jay Peters / The Verge

When the clock with “even’t countdown” reached 10 minutes, Cube Queens echoed evil laughter over the island and zombies started spawning in front of our base. Luckily, weapons were added to everyone’s inventory, so players worked to ward off the incoming zombie troopers (though zombies did not appear to pose any real threat).

Stand back!
Screenshot: Jay Peters / The Verge

When the clock reached zero, an alarm rang over the island and the pyramid of the cube queen shone brightly. She sent a beam up into the sky that opened a huge portal that revealed a horde of giant UFOs. During the game’s seventh season, the island was under the shadow of only one UFO; the cube queen had brought an army.

UFOs and zombies approached the blue cube as players tried to fend them off. But the fight started to look unbearable and things went from bad to worse when a UFO blew the blue cube in the air.

Screenshot: Jay Peters / The Verge

Then the event took an interesting twist and shifted the perspective beneath the surface of the island to a CGI scene. (It was a bit like if Netflix made one Fortnite TV show.) The game’s protagonist, Agent Jones, was strapped to a lab chair with a device on his head, and Doctor Slone, who betrayed players at the end of last season, was apparently about to end Jones’ life. Then a magnificent figure known as The Foundation burst in to save the day – and he took off his mask to reveal that he, as a suspect, has been played by none other than Dwayne Johnson.

When Jones and The Foundation tried to get to safety, two other characters dressed in the same way as The Foundation rescued players on the surface and brought them down to the Inner Island. Players were then given control to follow one, called The Scientist, to get to Jones and The Foundation. But during the escape, the island began to capsize little by little.

The island slowly began to capsize.
Screenshot: Jay Peters / The Verge

Eventually, the players reached the Jones and The Foundation at Zero Point (essentially a large sphere of energy that has been a central plot point in Fortnite). The scientist assured everyone that we were safe, but then one of the giant zombies smashed a window, causing the water to flow in and for all of us to be forced out.

Soon my character appeared and saw how the island slowly tilted up to be completely vertical and then fall the other way. It shattered the Cube Queen, causing the giant portal with the UFOs to close. Then the island turned all the way and revealed a whole new landscape. In the distance you could see some of the new areas to explore, but a tidal wave quickly swept my player out to sea.

When’s Fortnite coming back?

Just me and the open water.
Screenshot: Jay Peters / The Verge

Now, Fortnite shows only my player at sea on an empty log. I can not move and there is almost nothing on the screen except me, my tree trunk and the great open sea. It’s all reminiscent of the black hole that bridged the transition between chapters 1 and 2.

There are no hours or any indication of when Chapter 3 can be played. But if you want a sneak peek at what’s coming, a leaked trailer seems to have spoiled much of what you can expect.

This chapter, which started in October 2019 after a multi-day downtime with the black hole, pressed Fortnite’s growing narrative ambitions with events featuring first-person storytelling, an arcade shooter against a Marvel villain, an exciting single-player event to try to stabilize reality, and even a mission inside an alien mother ship full of dice. The final event of Chapter 2 took things one step further, and now we have to wait and see what Epic has in store for Chapter 3.

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