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Fortnite
Fortnite
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First impressions: Fortnite Season 6

I don't need to tell you what Fortnite is at this point. I need not remind you that it is possibly the biggest video game in the history of video games. It has become a pop culture phenomenon unlike anything we've ever seen, and last week developer Epic Games released Season 6 to the world. Here, I share with you my first thoughts of the new additions that have been introduced.

Shadow Stones

Fortnite shadow stones

Shadow stones are the latest controversial addition to Fortnite, with many already saying that the premise itself makes the consumable item overpowered. For those who aren't already aware, shadow stones are consumed to grant invisibility (or near-invisibility) to the player. It also makes you faster and immune to fall damage, as well as granting you the ability to "phase" through walls. I can understand why people think this ability is overpowered, but the fact that players can't use weapons in the 45 seconds they're invisible, on top of the slight delay when you come out of invisibility, makes me think these stones are a little more balanced than most think.

Floating Island

Fortnite floating island

Floating Island looks set to become the new Tilted Towers if the first few hours are anything to go by. Players are dropping here in droves, and it's clear to see why. The tornado surrounding the floating island, an elevated area with the Loot Lake house in the middle, has a lot more treasure than Loot Lake originally had and is a great hub for collecting eliminations before using the tornado to fly off into the distance. The area has shifted the importance of Tilted Towers, spreading out the player base a bit more and creating more variations in the flow of gameplay. This is especially important for casual matches (as opposed to pro scrims and competitive matches), where the majority of the player-base gravitate towards just two or three main areas. Over the weekend, the Floating Island has started to move. It now resides slightly south of Pleasant Park and doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon. My theory is that the tornado will span across the map destroying certain areas, ready for them to be rebuilt and changed up, freshening up the game further.

Vaulted items

Fortnite Impulse Grenade

With the introduction of Season 6, we've seen a handful of items vaulted (or, taken out of the game). Epic has removed the Impulse Grenade, Suppressed Submachine Gun, Light Machine Gun, Bouncer, and the Remote Explosive. Many of these can be justified; Remote Explosives were often used to take down entire builds and structures, diminishing the importance of building that continues to become ever-more extravagant in the game and separates Fortnite from its competitors. However, I question the removal of Impulse Grenades and Bouncers. They were a great way for players to reach opponents who had already built up a lot, levelling the playing field slightly. They also made for some incredible plays, but maybe that's me not looking at the bigger picture.

Wailing Woods

Wailing Woods bunker

In case you hadn't already noticed, Wailing Woods has undergone a pretty big change. But it's not visible at first glance. If you land at Wailing Woods now and head for the maze area, you can use your pickaxe to break down through the floor into a secret bunker, full of extra loot and adding even more layers to catch out your opponents. Though it doesn't greatly change the map, once more it gives incentive for players to spread out further across the map. The inclusion of a rift in the underground bunker also makes it a brilliant spot to land, loot up, and quickly move back into the action. Overall, I'm pretty impressed with season six. The changes made help better the flow of the game whilst keeping it fresh and giving players something new. As always, the extras that come with the Battle Pass offer players a great justification for putting some money in, with some really interesting skins and the newly-added pets making the visuals of the game even more fun. I'm not yet sure where I'll rank it in comparison to the previous five seasons, but I'm sure it'll be closer to the top than the bottom.