Houston, we have a new island.
Epic Games' Fortnite Chapter 3 finale event "Fracture" destroyed the battle royale game's island home on Saturday (Dec. 3), then launched players into space where they worked together to piece together a new battleground. Like its company's namesake, the event was epic in length, running nearly an hour — Fortnite's longest yet — sandwiching a half-hour minigame between two cinematic cutscenes.
For those just tuning in, Fortnite's Chapter 3 finale marked the end of the current chapter's Season 4, which pit players against a baddie called the Herald who threatened to cover the game's island in chrome to destroy it (and a ball of energy called the Zero Point responsible for reality across the multiverse), bringing about the Nothing. Players teamed up with the Paradigm (part of a team called the Seven working to save the island), an A.I. named Amie and the game's iconic Jonesy to fight the Herald, leading to a final battle in a massive tree fort (RIP Reality Tree) that they ultimately lost. You can see Fortnite YouTuber Ali-A's view of the event (opens in new tab)in the video below, starting at the 1-hour, 25-minute mark.
The Herald's win over players and the Paradigm was surprisingly swift, pushing players directly into the minigame to collect fragments of the Zero Point and restore its energy. Those efforts helped the Zero Point collect massive floating chunks of the old island to forge a new island.
Players performed different tasks, tuned in to flashbacks of past live events and could even find the Paradigm herself (voiced by Brie Larson) during the games. While fun (you could throw chickens into the Zero Point and bounce around as an actual beach ball), some players — myself included — report server problems during the massive multiplayer live event.
Well, @FortniteGame did send us to space, but I got launched right out of it mid-event! Luckily, my daughter Was able to stay in and ended up watching the new island from space. Pretty cool, despite the clear server issues. #FortniteFracture pic.twitter.com/cnd2qnZqBdDecember 3, 2022
About 15 minutes into the event, Fortnite kicked me offline and I was never able to successfully log back in, despite many attempts. My daughter, meanwhile, remained on line and completed the minigames and the screenshots you see here are photos of here Nintendo Switch.
The same connection error booted Fortnite YouTuber Tabor Hill (opens in new tab) out of his game during his Twitch livestream (opens in new tab), though he was able to eventually get back in before the event concluded.
Once enough of the island was restored, Epic shifted the game to a final cutscene, in which the Paradigm used the Zero Point to bring all of the restored chunks together into a new island. There was even a space-traveling Battle Bus to bring players to the new island.
"I've done everything I can," Larson says as the Paradigm. "This is your fight now."
And with that, Epic Games teased its Chapter 4 Season 1, with new characters including from Doom, Geralt from "The Witcher" games, the Hulk from Marvel Comics and even YouTuber Mr. Beast (Jimmy Donaldson) apparently coming to the game.
Fortnite and space have a long history over the games five years. The first live event starred a rocket launch into space, with one of its first seasons devoted to a space theme, and astronauts have dropped in from time to time. The game's Chapter 1 ended with a massive black hole that looked eerily similar to actual black hole photos released by astronomers later.
More recently, Epic Games has added Star Wars characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo as player character skins alongside other icons of science fiction like Predator, Robocop, the "Alien" franchise's Ripley and Xenomoph and Rick and Morty.
After the Chapter 3 finale live event, Fortnite is expected to have several hours of downtime as it shifts over to Chapter 4. You can bet if there's any space-y goodness in the Chapter 4 Season 1 battle pass we'll bring that to you here.