Fortnite: Battle Royale has officially entered its seventh season, which sees the game getting a number of holiday-themed items and skins, introduces snow and a couple of icy new maps, a Minecraft-esque creative mode, lets players customize their weapons and vehicles with wraps, and even introduces an airplane that players can hop in and fly around. This bevy of new features is accompanied by a new battle pass, available for 950 V-Bucks, and a range of fixes and optimizations. Android users aren't affected by most of the minor changes, though there are some performance optimizations here and there, along with fixes to text placement issues with large amounts of text or when changing languages in the game.
Background: The first thing players will notice is that winter has arrived. A lot of in-game areas have been blanketed with snow, and you may even stumble across the occasional Holiday decoration in some places. The season is the strongest in two new maps, Frosty Flights and Polar Peak. As with just about any geographical event in Fortnite, the living and breathing game world introduced the new maps by way of having a massive glacier island slam into the main island that the game takes place on. The game's very first flying vehicle comes in the form of the gun-laden X-4 Stormwing plane, which can engage in dogfights with other players in planes, shoot targets on the ground, zoom around the map, and tear up buildings with machine gun fire. Perhaps the most jarring of all of these additions is creative mode, where players are thrown onto their very own island to make whatever they please, all of which is saved. You can use it to shoot an in-game film, stage your own game modes, or just build whatever you please. Battle Pass owners can get in on the action right now, whereas the general population will be getting their own islands to build up with friends on December 13. Speaking of Battle Passes, this season's will net you the Zenith and Lynx progressive skins instantly, along with 100 exclusive rewards.
Impact: The addition of Creative Mode will mean seeing more unique uses of the engine, and almost certainly a larger number of in-game films shot by players. Since players can bring their friends to the island rather than letting general population run the place, and normal game modes don't apply, just about anything is possible, from teamwork in massive builds to making up game modes just for the fun of it. The addition of a flyable plane is also sure to change up the meta for the lauded battle royale game; turtling strategies that involve building massive, thick structures are pretty much out, as are the exploitative stairway to heaven types of strategies that see players constructing towers or stairs and then building while outrunning the storm in order to keep away from other players and score some easy kills. Dogfights in the sky will certainly be an interesting addition to the game, though just how often they occur will likely depend on how players work them into existing strategies; matches probably won't come down to a dogfight between two potential winners very often, for example. This has been a pretty busy year for Fortnite, and that trend will probably continue.