You'd be forgiven for thinking Fortnite was a 'dead game' before the introduction of Season 7. While still as culturally relevant as the day it launched, the battle royale had become stale. It wasn't being spoken about with the same hype that it used to.
This slump in quality hit its lowest point during Season 6. The primal theme was a nice idea, but in reality it was a bit lame and didn't really give players the incentive to engage with the content like past themes.
So lets take a look at Fortnite Season 7 and how it's done more for the game in just a few weeks, than many Seasons managed to accomplish in their entirety.
Fortnite Season 7 Theme
Aliens. It's a simple concept that's easy for anyone to get on board with. Aliens are coming to the island and causing havoc. Are they friendly or are they the enemy? Everything about it engaged fans with the product once again.
Given that the theme for Season 7 was rumoured to be Medieval Food before the official reveal, we ended up getting a much better deal. Epic have taken this theme and been really creative with it, especially with the Cosmic Summer Celebration.
The way the theme as been rolled out and implemented in-game has ensured the subtle changes over time are more effective at setting the tone for the season.
Come Along For The Ride
In keeping with the final point make about the theme, Fortnite Season 7 has a story worth following and it's unravelling at a very thoughtful pace.
We're not constantly subject to big, overproduced but infrequent story trailers in Fortnite Season 7, instead, the story is unravelling slowly week-by-week through in game changes and challenges.
If this sounds like it's almost too simple, it kinda is, and that's exactly why it works. Taking the storytelling back to basics was just what Season 7 needed.
It was around the time of the transition from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2 that Fortnite almost got a little, obnoxious. It was the clear frontrunner for battle royale games, often leading the way with innovation. This innovation, however, was eventually the biggest disadvantage moving forward.
Epic clearly had a plan in mind for Chapter 2, but it wasn't landing with fans and no matter how many updates or content drops were offered. Fans of the game were suffering from Fortnite fatigue.
The slow rollout of Season 7's story is just what the Doctor ordered to counter this burnout and fatigue.
Back 2 Basics
Fortnite Season 7 came along and decided to start winding things back. Three changes in particular will probably be less recognized than others in the long run, but play a big part in Season 7's popularity.
Epic changed the way the battle pass works to put more choice back into player's hands. You now earn 5 stars for every battle pass level and you can use or save these stars towards items in the battle pass. No more content locked behind the level grind.
They also implemented less frequent major updates meaning it's easier for players to keep up with the changes. As of writing the first update has just taken place, 17.10, and we're already weeks into the season.
Map changes were also very minor in Season 7. Only two locations changed in name and minor visual changes were implemented across the island.
Yes, the slow story burn is great, but these three changes have helped the overall experience of Season 7 become much more enjoyable. I wouldn't be surprised if Epic kept this up going forward.
Content Is King
The last thing I'll touch on regarding Fortnite Season 7 is the content. I've talked about story, simplicity and the underrated changes, but lets talk about what's gone into Season 7 so far.
We have also had the return of Thanos, and not just in an LTM. Thanos returned in style with the Thanos Cup and has now been made available to purchase as an outfit from the store.
Speaking of Cups, we also had the Euro Cup and despite there being no DreamHack event for June, the competitive scene has been boosted with frequent competitions to tide players over in addition to FNCS.
The weapon additions have all been widely praised and suit the theme of the season nicely. While some weapons like the Rail Gun and Recon Scanner have been banned in competitive, they're still fun to mess around with in unranked games.
In summary, Fortnite Season 7 gets a lot right and almost nothing wrong. By taking a step back to assess the state of the game Epic may have completely saved Chapter 2 as a whole, and hopefully take the lessons they've learned here forward into Season 8. Only time will tell though.