It started quietly in early April. Players saw a comet sitting in the sky over Tilted Towers, one of the primary locations in Fortnite Battle Royale's only map. Everyone pondered for a bit. That was a new part of the game's skybox, right? It wasn't there before?
Then the hype began to build. One player translated Morse Code found in faint controller vibrations, which seemed to point to an SOS coming from Tilted Towers. By the middle of the month multiple comets were seen shooting through the sky on a regular basis. Towards the end, comet were directly hitting the map in random locations, destroying objects. Players surmised that Season 4 would open with Tilted Towers getting hit by the comet, wiping out a location players weren't very fond of.
Right outcome, wrong target.
Season 4 is finally here today and the game kicks off with a new cinematic of meteors hitting the map. Jumping into a round of Battle Royale shows that the map did change, just not in the way players thought. Tilted Towers did get hit, but the city itself is mostly intact. Instead, there's just a small crater in the center.
The major impact was just to the east of Tilted Towers. Dusty Depot, which was kind of a boring location towards the center of the map, has been stomped off by the major part of the comet. Like the first Thor film, the government has built a temporary base around the alien object. It's now called Dusty Divot to denote its total destruction. The giant crater is currently the new hotspot for immediate combat in Fortnite Battle Royale as everyone tries to figure out what's going on.
There are other sections of the map that have been hit with meteor impacts. Half of the prison is completely gone, changing that location drastically in terms of play. The other impacts are mostly in out of the way locations, like southeast of Retail Row or just west of Fatal Fields. A number of players lamented the loss of one of the factory locations in the middle of the map.
The comet impact craters are important because they offer a brand-new game mechanic. In each location, you'll find blue glowing crystals that dot the impact crater. If you pick one up, you gain this purple-blue shimmer and you can jump higher for a limited period of time. Tactically, this is great, given you can get to certain areas much easier; the drawback is other players can hear the pulse of your new powers. It's a nice way to pay off the superhero theme of this season without completely changing the game's core mechanics.
There are some brand-new locations around the map as well. North of Wailing Woods is Risky Reels, the drive-in movie theater shown in the new cinematic intro for Season 4. Moisty Mire has a new movie set location smack dab in its center, complete with a green screen. Near Lonely Lodge on the east side of the map, there's a brand-new superhero base and a corresponding villain base exists on the opposite side of the map near Snobby Shores. There's also a new secret bunker one player found under the blue house in Salty Springs.
In terms of overall play, there's a new shift in the overall focus to Dusty Divot given it's the "new" thing, but I expect that to taper off. As players get used to using the comet fragments, you can expect other impact craters to get some more love, especially the ones in less central locations. I haven't played enough to really get a feel for the new Risky Reels location, though it's fairly out-of-the-way. Overall, it seems like Epic Games is trying to spread out the landing spots just a bit, it's just a matter of whether the community will go along with it.
So the map has changed, but fans are already looking forward to what's next. Over near Snobby Shores, a mysterious giant footprint has been found…