While some of the weapons and locations remain from the early days of Fortnite, the game feels nothing like it used to. Yes, the gameplay has been consistent throughout, setting aside any minor meta changes like when the P90 SMG released.
However, Fortnite has been drifting off from what made it great since Season 6. With the game now set in the future, all-new mechanics are being utilized. These mechanics, such as the new Slipstreams, make the game feel like something else entirely.
Of course, change doesn’t always need to be negative. If executed correctly, this could be a great thing for Fortnite long-term. But for now, it seems as though Epic Games and Fortnite are leaving their roots behind. This is especially evident with the Season 9 update.
When the Season 9 patch notes dropped, everyone was shocked to see the Vault list. One of the most iconic and popular weapons, the Pump Shotgun, was on this list. Seeing as everyone was irate with this decision, Epic released an explanation.
Essentially, Epic wants Fortnite to feel fresh with the start of every season. They felt that since the Pump was so overly used, vaulting it would accomplish this goal. While that may be true, the Pump Shotgun was a staple of Fortnite. It’s like taking the Needler out of Halo or the Portal gun out of Portal.
The decision to vault the Pump is the catalyst for what Fortnite is trying to do: move on.
As Epic wants a fresh start, the Pump Shotgun may not be the only casualty. New weapons and items are making their way into the fold, leaving the old ones behind.
It’s true that this game doesn’t feel like the game that shot to the top of the gaming world. There are far too many new mechanics that make Fortnite feel like something entirely different.
For example, the new Slipstreams, while fun, are not what Fortnite was once about. These air tunnels seem like they belong in a Titanfall game. However, this is not a bad thing. While these futuristic additions don’t feel like Fortnite, it doesn’t mean the game isn’t still fun.
To stay at the top, games need to adapt and change. Treading water and doing the same thing over and over will eventually get too repetitive. However, changing too much about what people love can have negative ramifications too.
Fortnite is trying to reinvent their game with each season to stay fresh. Hundreds of multiplayer games have done the same thing. The big question here is whether or not Fortnite is changing too much.
Many fans feel like they’re playing a whole other game with the release of Season 9. Whether that is a positive or negative thing remains to be seen.
As Fortnite heads into the future in-game, their future in the real world is very much up in the air. If they keep putting out controversial updates and drift too far from their roots, we could be seeing their decline sooner rather than later.
What do you think of the new direction Fortnite is taking? Let us know in the comments below. Keep up with Daily Esports for all Season 9 news and updates.
Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 4+ years experience covering Esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.