Gone are the days of scrounging up loot at dilapidated taco joints and rusty playgrounds in Fortnite. Epic Games released a massive new update to the battle royale game this week as part of Chapter 5 Season 1. The patch literally blew up the OG map with a meteor, replacing it with an entirely new, much fancier map. Instead of rough locales like Greasy Groves or Tomato Temple, players now explore palatial manors like Lavish Lair or the manicured vineyards of Pleasant Piazza. Fortnite is basically a fancy European vacation now, and it feels a bit outside my personal budget.
Developers stuffed the new map with luxurious points of interest. Another example: Grand Glacier, a hotel nestled on a snow-capped mountain that looks like it’s straight out of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. If the mountains aren’t your thing, you can head over to the Ritzy Riviera, a picturesque shore-side town with villas nestled into a sloped hillside. At places like Classy Courts, decrypted playgrounds with broken concrete have been replaced with manicured hedges.
Call me a traditionalist, but I like to do dumb shit in Fortnite. I personally play as Kakashi from Naruto, and style him with an Among Us backpack as I regale other players with emotes like the Gangnam Style dance. Part of what made me fall in love with Fortnite was the garishness of it all. It’s a bright, cartoony game where you can go fishing with Ariana Grande, then turn around and scuffle with Goku. In the new season, a lot of that whimsy is still there: Peter Griffin is now a skin, and appears as an NPC you can fight. But that tone doesn’t seem to be reflected in the map, which forms a central part of the game.
It isn’t that previous maps were lacking in high-end locations. Prior to the return of the OG map, Chapter 4 Season 4 added the cyberpunk-inspired Mega City and the sweeping Japanese estates of Kenjutsu Crossing. While Kenjutsu resembles the more elaborate locales in the current iteration of the game, some of those additions still evoked a sort of surrealism: Mega City’s sci-fi elements felt true to the less realistic elements of Fortnite.
All that said, locations are subject to change with each update. So it’s possible that further meteors or other ill fates might befall some of these fancy locales and bring back some of the good old Fortnite charm — rough hedges and all.