In its newest holiday update, Operation Snowdown, Fortnite has brought back a controversial feature, but made some changes in the process.
The phrase “what’s old is new again” is often thrown around in gaming, but for Fortnite, it couldn’t be more true. Since its earliest days, the massively popular battle royale has been in the business of removing and bringing back features, most of the time with tweaks in the form of nerfs or buffs.
Chapter 2 Season 5 of Fortnite is well underway now, as Week 3 has brought along the game’s 2020 Holiday-themed update, Operation Snowdown. One of the first challenges as part of the holiday update is for players to visit Snowmando outposts, where, to much surprise, players could find the return of planes, but with a twist.
In Fortnite, planes allow players to quickly traverse the game’s massive map and even fire some powerful shots straight from the vehicle. Although the return of planes was leaked a bit early, it seems that Epic Games is focused on bringing some balance to the vehicle in the new holiday update, as a fuel gauge has been added to planes upon their reintroduction to the game, perhaps even further dividing fans on the matter.
The planes in fortnite feel different, it has fuel like cars and it just feels smaller
I’m still very happy that it’s back but just feels weird :/
— eeveewings🦉 (@eeveewings) December 18, 2020
It’s worth noting that planes have been quite controversial in the realm of Fortnite, heavily dividing the game’s fanbase between those who loved them and those who thought they were overpowered. This past August, the game added cars, including sports cars, pickup trucks, and even semi trucks as drivable vehicles, but in order to prevent players from roaming the map as much as they pleased, the vehicles came with a fuel gauge that would need to be constantly filled for players to continue driving. It seems that for now, adding a fuel gauge to planes is Epic Games’ attempt at bringing balance to the airborne vehicles, keeping them in line with cars, though, as Twitter user SlyngBlayd points out, it does beg the question as to why helicopters didn’t require fuel and why boats still don’t require fuel either.
While planes continue to be a hotly debated topic and many are disappointed to see the addition of a fuel gauge, some are still happy to see them return regardless as they continue to enjoy Season 5. It seems as fitting a time as ever to reintroduce planes to Fortnite, as the vehicles were first introduced to the game in December of 2018, but were then swiftly removed in the next season’s update.
With regular weekly challenges, the new Operation Snowdown event, and challenges for The Spy Within limited-time mode, players certainly have a lot of Fortnite content on their hands this holiday season. It will be interesting to see what else Epic Games has planned for the battle royale game as 2020 comes to a close.
Fortnite is free-to-play for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
2021 in Video Games Calendar