If you’re not up to date with the surprisingly extensive lore of Fortnite, you might be wondering why you can’t play the game right now. Simply put, Fortnite’s next major content update is on the way, and servers are down while the developers prepare for it. Slightly less simply put, the whole map exploded after a big shiny weirdo smashed it to pieces, and now you have to wait for Brie Larson to put it back together.
Confused? Let me give you some context…
Early this morning, Fortnite concluded Chapter 3 with a huge and particularly strange finale event dubbed “Fracture”. The conclusion of this event introduced Chapter 4, Season 1, which will go live later today.
During the event, players were divided into groups on individual floating islands decorated only with a handful of lawn chairs, a campfire and an old-school TV displaying a countdown timer. When the timer reached zero, the event started with a cinematic cutscene featuring The Herald.
The cinematic portrayed The Herald, a recently introduced villain, leading a chrome tornado attack against the island. After it appeared that had been defeated momentarily, The Herald returned as a giant chrome version of herself, turning the entire map and all of its inhabitants into chrome before shattering the whole thing in a single seismic explosion. Players in the event then found themselves floating alone among the remnants of the island. While players became tethered and drawn into the Zero Point, audio dialogue between The Paradigm and AMIE revealed that as a result of the blast, everything is way off course and far, far from home. After reaching the Zero Point, players were re-grouped on a new set of floating islands and tasked with finding ‘zero fragments’ by completing various quests like interacting with strange trees, locating matching lawn flamingo props and throwing chickens into the void.
This painfully lacklustre portion of the event lasted around forty or so minutes before another cutscene, the official cinematic trailer for Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1.
In this, The Paradigm (played by Brie Larson) uses the zero fragments collected by the players to piece together the remnants of the shattered map and forge a new one. The end result is the Chapter Four map, pictured below.
You’ll be met with a “New Beginning” if you log in now. You’ll find your character patiently seated at a campfire, with the new map visible in the distance. You can’t move or interact with anything, but various structures, debris and other items occasionally float past, hinting at what will come when servers go live.
Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly when Fortnite Chapter 4 will officially go live. Leakers have suggested that there will be a maximum of 12 hours of downtime, so we expect it to be available for Aussies later this evening.
In the meantime, we’re expecting another new trailer, and we’ll keep you updated as we near the live launch of Chapter 4.