“Battle Royale,” a mode inspired by both the Japanese film of the same name as well as the recent success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, will be free on Tuesday, September 26 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. Go to your respective storefront and you will see an option to download the individual mode, rather than the full game.
“We launched a public test [for the mode] and it worked better than we expected,” Epic Games explained on its forums. “We want the game to reach as many players as possible, so we decided to release Battle Royale for free sooner than we anticipated.”
Much like Battlegrounds, the Battle Royale mode in Fortnite takes place on a single huge map, with 100 players attempting to murder each other, but Epic Games has also worked in its structure-building mechanics in order to make it a little more strategic. An elevated position in Battle Royale doesn’t guarantee success, as launch pads can be used to quickly reach sniper positions, and traps can be set for unsuspecting combatants. In the trailer, we see one player walk through a doorway only to be zapped to death by bolts of electricity.
Squads will also be added to Battle Royale, allowing players to team up and take down opponents together. More maps are planned for the future, and Epic is working on adding vehicles but isn’t sure how they will be implemented yet.
Epic Games stressed in its announcement that the mode won’t be “pay-to-win,” and at launch, it doesn’t appear that there will be microtransactions in the mode at all.
“At some point in the future, we will sell other things including cosmetics or compendium-like content,” the announcement added.
If you purchased Fortnite within the last week specifically to play Battle Royale, Epic Games will be offering refunds, as well. The “Save the World” campaign currently available through the paid version will become free to play at some point in 2018. Currently, there is no connection between the two modes, even for cosmetic items.
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