Fortnite's new Tilted Taxis mode is an enjoyable Crazy Taxi clone
Gears of war.
Crazy Taxi is no stranger to clones. I will freely admit enjoying the rather shameless The Simpsons: Road Rage back in the day, and to spending countless hours crashing around Springfield in a hovercar as Professor Frink. Fortnite's new Tilted Taxis mode feels similar, familiar fare.
The launch of Tilted Taxis as a limited-time mode follows the rather muted arrival of drivable cars in Fortnite at the rear end of last season. Within Fortnite's main playlists, they appeared and... did not seem to leave a huge impression in day-to-day gameplay. Ever since the game's machine gun-toting aeroplanes, which Epic Games was forced to repeatedly nerf out of existance, Fortnite has seemed ultra wary of adding any movement option which overly affects the game's meta.
So fans have been waiting for specific vehicle modes such as this one to really enjoy Fortnite's cars - and Tilted Taxis has been a while coming. (It was first spotted in the game's code over a month ago, alongside another possible future addition - a Mario Kart style option.)
Tilted Taxis is, a little oddly, designed as two-player mode - though it is really better played solo. Sometimes you'll get matched with another player, sometimes not. Sometimes your co-driver will decide to get out and just go try to shoot things on foot, because Fortnite, but sometimes not. The general idea is one of you shoots while the other drives, though honestly the mode is at its best when you're behind the wheel, meter running, playing it straight.
Passengers appear dotted around the towns on Fortnite's island, with star rankings based on how far they want to travel. Three star passengers want to travel further, which means you'll have to spend longer to get there, but will give you more stars in reward. You're competing with a dozen other players all after the same fares and rewards as you, to hit a points total before anyone else.
Secondary objectives reward further star bonuses, with each passenger character having their own requests. Bushranger - Fortnite's proto-Groot - asks you travel a certain distance off-road. Other characters might want you to slam into rivals, smash objects, or get air time. Finally, you can also find stars dotted around the map in hard to reach spots, to try and tempt you off the beaten road.
Taxis are not robust vehicles, it turns out, and you'll likely spend a bit of time left upside down. This requires you excuse yourself from the vehicle to flip it (and your passenger) back the right side up. It's an annoyance to driving in Fortnite, which still isn't the most tuned of experiences, but one which makes you drive carefully to avoid being a target standing by the side of the road, hitting X to rotate your car up the right way.
Overall, Tilted Taxis is an enjoyable diversion from Fortnite's main playlists, but one which feels something of a passing attraction due to the ultra low amount of XP it awards. Each Fortnite season relies on churning through XP to unlock battle pass tiers and further rewards (this season asks players to hit 220 to unlock every cosmetic variant, something many fans are already trying to charge towards). Simply put, if it doesn't offer a path to more XP, many players will simply ignore it. But perhaps, in the end, that is best. Without the XP grind, Tilted Taxis sits alongside Air Royale as one of the more inventive Fortnite side-attractions to date - and likely the closest we'll get to real Crazy Taxi until the next clone comes along instead.