Something strange is happening in Fortnite. That’s true right now, but it’s also applicable to Epic’s battle royale phenomenon at any point in its history. In recent months, however, the developer has seeded its world with anomalies and ominous weather events. Rather than telling us a direct story, Epic has pulled back and let us discover one for ourselves - while remaining shtum on where it all leads.
Clearly, fans are currently deep into an ARG - one that has seen supply llamas appear in cities like Barcelona, Cologne, London, and Cannes. Those players who are brave enough to venture out into the Mojave desert for answers were handed cards which pointed them to Paris.
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So, not only is something strange happening in Fortnite, it’s creeping out into the real world. The question is what it’ll all mean for the game. On the eve of Fortnite Season 5, we’re still none the wiser - but we’ve got theories. Some are very plausible. Others... well, they’re just theories. Let’s put it that way.
Fortnite’s world and ours are joining up
You know the Durr Burger? It comes with beef, cheese, tomato, an enormous tongue, and googly eyes - one of a few anthropomorphised food mascots on Fortnite’s map. Or, at least, it was. At some point in the last couple of weeks, it disappeared.
This is the kind of occurrence we’ve had to get used to since Fortnite’s rocket launch opened a big, beautiful crack in the sky. That crack has since widened, and smaller rifts have claimed objects across the island. The real shock, however, came when the Durr Burger was discovered in the actual Californian desert - real, tangible, and guarded by an FBI-style agent who claims not to know what Fortnite is.
“Season 5 of what?”, he deadpanned.
Will the great membrane in the sky allow large objects to travel through the other way? Perhaps landmarks from the aforementioned cities might appear on the island. Just imagine how much endgame metal you could get out of the Eiffel Tower.
Kratos is visiting from Midgard
The curved blade of an ancient axe splits the sky. At least, that’s what a recent tease for Season 5 seems to show. The axe is inlaid with intricate, Nordic-style engravings, and the way the air shatters at the point of impact is recognisable to anyone who plays on Fortnite’s map at the moment and looks up.
Some fans have gone further, drawing comparison to the signature weapon carried by God of War’s Kratos, the Leviathan. It wouldn’t be the first time Fortnite indulged in crossover - not so long ago, Thanos became a playable character for an ambitious Infinity War mashup.
But the argument against is stronger. For starters, the markings in Fortnite’s axe are not the same as those etched into the Leviathan. And more pertinently, Kratos is a first-party PlayStation hero. Theming Season 5 around a character who could appear on just one of the game’s several platforms would be an odd choice.
The island will be swallowed by the ocean
One of the stranger recent changes to Fortnite’s map in the aftermath of the rocket launch has been the appearance of an anchor, about the size of a human being, halfway up the side of a mountain. It’s not clear what significance this specific object has, if any, but fans on Reddit have already run with it. Metaphorically speaking, that is - anchors are heavy.
One theory suggests that the area around the anchor must have at one point been underwater, and will be again - plunging a significant portion of the map back into the ocean. Others have posited that the entire map could return to the seas, and the game relocate to a larger island visible in Battle Royale’s background.
That would be an odd decision - Fortnite Battle Royale’s sole map has seen a lot of investment since launch. But Epic has shown a propensity for reshaping the map in dramatic ways. Just think of Season 4’s meteor, which has indefinitely transformed Dusty Depot into Dusty Divot.
Fortnite will play host to all history
The most direct hint about the overarching theme of Season 5 can be found in Fortnite’s in-game news feed, which simply reads, ‘Worlds Collide’. Given what we’ve seen of the rift, its links to the real world, and that glimpse of a Viking axe, it seems plausible that Fortnite is about to fill up with ancient weapons and items from across time.
This theory is given greater credence by another teaser, which shows a brightly coloured mask in the eye of a rift. Everything about the mask, from its shape to its red and white markings, recalls the fox-like kitsune of Japanese folklore.
Then there’s the stagecoach that’s turned up on Fortnite’s map, starkly reminiscent of classic Wild West imagery. You’d have good reason to believe that Season 5 might see an influx of costumes and killing tools from, if not real-world history, then real-world mythology from across the planet.
The chances of some of these predictions coming to pass are slim - let’s say 100 to one. But hey: any good Battle Royale player knows those odds can be beaten.