Fortnite has pulled off its latest live event - typically spectacular in scope, technically ambitious in scale, and hugely important to the game's ongoing story. Tonight's The End event closed the book on its Chapter 2 map forever - and gave players a glimpse at what's next.
The End event began at the small fort built over the past week by Pleasant Park and, as players arrived, they were greeted by the welcome sight of the friendly Blue Cube teleporting into the location too. It was here players would make their last stand against the Cube Queen, head of the alien race which has now plagued Fortnite's reality for several seasons. Maybe, with the Blue Cube on side, she could be defeated?
She could not be defeated. The Queen's forces arrived and utterly overpowered players, in a tense section of gameplay where it became clear players were completely outgunned. Dozens of new motherships wheeled in overhead through an enormous hole in the sky and zapped away players' guns. The Blue Cube's protection was whittled away, even as it tried to help - before the poor thing was blown to pieces.
The event then shifted to a cut-scene as, far below the Island's surface, the Imagined Order organisation took to panic stations. Its leader Slone, now hugely-disliked by players after leaving them to die in last season's event, was shown finishing up some business with defector Agent Jones - until the seemingly heroic figure of The Foundation finally arrived to resume his unfinished business with Jones first.
Jones and The Foundation teamed up, leaving Slone behind - though not before she finally got a glimpse at The Foundation's face, revealing him at last to be portrayed by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. For fans, this was something which had long been suspected. The pair worked to disable the Island's "gyro controls" while, back on the surface, other members of The Seven, The Foundation's mysterious group, swooped in to save the day.
Back in gameplay, players dashed through new underground areas of the Island towards its core - previously glimpsed in Fortnite's DC Comics and the Imposters game mode - guided by Seven member The Scientist, last seen at the end of Fortnite Chapter 1. Here, we heard him speak at length - and it sounded a lot like Community's Joel McHale. The areas here - and Fortnite's island - were now tilting ominously.
Eventually players met up with Jones and The Foundation, but as things destabilised, all were presumably sucked out into the water surrounding the Island. Players then found themselves alone, some distance away, watching the Fortnite Island do its best Titanic impression. But instead of breaking up, the Island flipped right over onto its underside - crushing the Queen and her remaining forces - and exposing a fresh new Island surface for Chapter 3. We were treated to just a peek - but more has now been revealed.
Fortnite currently sits in downtime, with players left watching themselves clutching to a lone piece of driftwood, bobbing in the ocean:
Since the event's conclusion, Fortnite has kept its social accounts active and begun teasing the seemingly-imminent arrival of Chapter 3 - though we do not yet know when it will go live.
A social media campaign which flips fans' profile pictures is currently revealing the Chapter 3 map at a decent pace, and stands at 12 percent unveiled at time of writing. The north-west corner has been revealed to be a snowy biome, while a desert sits in the south-east, with a jungle to the north-east.
Flip your world and a new one will be revealed.— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) December 4, 2021
Use #FortniteFlipped, flip your social profile and posts, and work together to reveal the new Island.
Follow along at https://t.co/HBNJSvkMYl pic.twitter.com/c2CP3FeMFo
Meanwhile, in New York, an advert has gone live featuring the #FortniteFlipped branding and the letters "F" and "O" caught in a spider's web. This is, of course, a tease for the new season's big collaboration with Spider-Man.
When will Fortnite Chapter 3 launch? Xbox Support has an open ticket for Fortnite being down, and states that maintenance will conclude Sunday, 5th December at 3pm UK time. Reliable leakers such as Hypex and Shiina have suggested we'll see the game then too - and that a longer enforced downtime was scrapped following earlier leaks.