However, this season’s protagonist is a secret agent named Maya, who seems to be the most customizable Fortnite skin yet. Each week will unlock new challenges for a part of her clothing and body part to customize. Fair warning, all of these Ghost, Shadow and Maya decisions are permanent.
This is the closest thing Epic Games has come to opening up customization options for skins. While Fortnite offers hundreds of skins, one person’s Kylo Ren would look exactly like another’s Kylo Ren. This time, it’s going to be rare to find two players with the same version of Maya. For the first week, we only have the option to play for a “hair upgrade.” She eventually gets tattoo, face paint and even scarf upgrades.
The user interface also sees a drastic change, and Maya is a big part of it. She gets her own “Upgrade Vault” to see her challenges. There’s a new “Challenge Table” that now helpfully sorts general player challenges by region.
There’s also a computer that teases “Ghost vs. Shadow” modes. Looks like players picking a side will also be drawing battle lines for future game modes.
And Marvel character Deadpool all but announces that he’s the secret unlockable character. He is currently hiding in the vents of the new “Challenge Table” room, where he left a note for Epic Games about his redesign for the iconic battle bus. His first challenge to players: Don’t thank the bus driver.
Fortnite’s seasonal changes often come with game-changing events, like the black hole or a huge Godzilla-like fight that ended the last summer season. And usually these changes would come with hints littered throughout the previous season, all tied to some very vague lore that remains intentionally inconsistent and vague. These last four months have been different ... until recently.
Worldwide, real-world billboards and ads dropped a black-and-gold logo with a phone number. Fortnite players spotted several in cities like Paris, Venice Beach, Poland and Moscow, each with a phone number with different messages about secret agent stuff.
Here’s one spotted in Australia.
Then earlier this week, players found their menus appearing to be “hacked” with secret messages and images about the new season.
This was not the first time Fortnite used real-world ads to tie into the game, or what’s known as an “augmented reality game." Fortnite in-game locations started appearing in California deserts to promote 2018′s Season 5 launch.
The game’s Twitter account has also been tweeting out random imagery, including a man with a skull mask, and various explosive devices, all wrapped in gold.
Fortnite observers recently noticed code that hinted that a Trios mode, allowing players to form teams of three, may return. However, the mode has yet to emerge; the game just has the standard modes for now. Fortnite regularly swaps out different game modes to keep players engaged.
Trios was recently pushed to the top of the playlists in the API meaning that we should be expecting it to release again soon!— FireMonkey • Fortnite Intel 🎄 (@iFireMonkey) February 12, 2020
The latest season ends what had been a relatively quiet spell for the game. The biggest event of Fortnite Chapter 2 was the Star Wars promotional tie-in to the “The Rise of Skywalker,” which featured Fortnite’s first-ever “talk show” starring director J.J. Abrams. And there’s very little in the way of past seasonal story lines like big, mysterious glowing cubes or rocket launch countdowns.
It’s been a strange and relatively listless four months for the world’s most popular shooting gallery. Fortnite popularized the “seasonal” format for online games, and typically the game would end seasons after about 8 to 9 weeks. The current season, which kicked off “Chapter 2” of the game, has lasted since mid-October, when the game famously went into a black hole for three days before launching a redesigned map.
Fortnite’s massive playerbase of hundreds of millions become frenzied with every droplet of information. And that’s just the way Epic Games likes it.