The new season of Fortnite is finally here — and it brought with it a flood. Today Epic Games released the long-delayed third season for Fortnite: Chapter 2, following a massive event earlier in the week which saw the game’s battle royale island surrounded by a wall of water. Fittingly, the new season has submerged large areas of the island, creating a bigger focus on aquatic gameplay elements. That includes a new Waterworld-style floating city area, and the ability to water ski — while pulled by a shark.
The biggest change is, of course, the map. The western portion of the island is now mostly underwater, largely eliminating locations like Slurpy Swamp and Weeping Woods. Meanwhile, the previously destroyed Agency area now appears to be some kind of heavily-fortified base. The new map makes the game’s boats much more viable, while the new season also introduces new mobility options, including the aforementioned water skiing; you’ll be able to latch on to a shark, naturally, by fishing. Other big additions include new NPC enemies called Marauders.
Epic has also teased that later in the season actual cars will be coming to the game, a first for Fortnite. It appears the flooding isn’t necessarily a permanent fixture. “As time goes on and water recedes, even more locations will be uncovered, and as the roadways become more open, you’ll discover new ways to get around,” the developer explains.
Along with the changes to the game itself, a new season also means a new battle pass, Fortnite’s seasonal subscription-like service. Players who splurge for a pass will get a number of characters to unlock, including Aquaman and Kit, a tiny kitten riding a motorcycle that also powers a mech suit. You know, typical Fortnite stuff. Just like last season there’s a continued focus on customization; this time players will be able to build their own umbrella over the course of the season, unlocking parts over time.
It’s been a long time coming for the new season. Chapter 2’s second season debuted back on February 20th, and since then Fortnite has seen some notable changes and events. That includes a violence-free social space called Party Royale, in-game additions like helicopters, and a surreal virtual concert tour from Travis Scott. Epic also announced that the game had topped 350 million players, making it among the most popular titles in the world. The flooding of the map represents the biggest change to Fortnite since the days-long blackhole event that wiped out the original island.
Despite the long wait, Epic managed to hype up the new season in grand fashion, with the “device” event on Monday, which saw 12 million players participate live, and more than 8 million more watch on Twitch and YouTube.