The start of Fortnite Season 10 was supposed to be a joyous occasion as Epic Games spoiled players with a slew of new content ranging from the progression of the battle royale’s ongoing environmental narrative and fresh challenges to the addition of new vehicles, skins and, weapons.
Things didn’t quite pan out, though, thanks to one new addition – the B.R.U.T.E mechs.
A Game-Breaking Addition To Fortnite
Seemingly pulled straight from Metal Gear Solid, these towering vehicles allow two players – one controlling movement and the other the mech’s powerful arsenal – to traipse across the map dishing out violent justice.
The active Fortnite player base regards the mechs as vastly over-powered and with good reason. Although less mobile than existing Fortnite vehicles, the mechs can dash and jump to reduce the distance to an opposing player quickly.
There’s also a stomp mechanic that crushes enemies, destroys structures, and banks precious building materials. Farming these to build structures – a core part of Fortnite’s gameplay loop – gets whittled down to the press of a single button versus the arduous task of pick-axing or shooting walls to gather them.
To boot, players can spend 200 of any material to deploy a five-second shield that protects the mech’s already tanky 1,000 HP.
However, the real problem centers on the B.R.U.T.E.’s weaponry. The missile launcher is particularly troublesome as it unleashes a ten-missile barrage that systematically results in the elimination of any player in the vicinity of the explosion. Faced with one of the four mechs spawning randomly during each match, there’s little else for players than a swift elimination.
Outcry & Calls For Boycott
Fans haven’t held back in voicing their discontent, spawning countless memes and fiery discussions across the Internet with demands the mech be «vaulted» (retired), as was done previously with a similarly-overpowered Infinity Blade item back in October 2018, or at least nerfed to mitigate the missile mechanic.
I woke up and it feels like I got coal.
— cloakzy (@cloakzy) August 1, 2019
Those on the competitive end of the player spectrum have been particularly vocal with several pushes to boycott Fortnite in favor of Apex Legends’ upcoming solo mode to prompt Epic into action. 100 Thieves pro player Ceice had this to say on Epic Games’ alleged disregard for the competitive scene:
Really hope this game continues to h1z1 itself so I can move onto a game where they care about a competitive community 😟
— 100T Ceice (@Ceice) August 6, 2019
In a more cynical take on the matter, other players feel that introducing a grossly overpowered B.R.U.T.E is a calculated marketing ploy on Epic’s part. Theories gravitate around the publisher reaping praise from fans when it eventually fixes the issue under the guise of listening to the community as this Reddit post posits.
On a lighter note, one fan suggests players enter a gentleman’s agreement to eradicate the scourge that is the mech by teaming up against any they see used in-game.
Fortnite personalities have also weighed in, including CouRage:
Ways to counter the mech in Fortnite:
-Leave the game
80% of my games have been ended due to mechs today.
— Jack “CouRage” Dunlop (@CouRageJD) August 2, 2019
Epic Finally Responds
Following sustained player outcry on Reddit and Twitter, a Fortnite Community Manager on Reddit finally posted the following response from Epic Games:
«Heya folks, Right now we’re evaluating B.R.U.T.E. gameplay, as well as observing how it performs across all modes and skill levels. We are also working to fix movement-related bugs with the B.R.U.T.E. to address exploits.
We will continue closely monitoring and keep you updated!»
Whether player rage spurred Epic Games’ sudden jump to action or if it’s the next step in a meticulously orchestrated PR move will likely remain a mystery. Regardless, Fortnite players should probably expect a welcome change to the B.R.U.T.E mechs before too long.
Thomas is a UK-based video game writer with an unhealthy obsession for everything weird and wonderful about the world of gaming. Email: tbardwellfreelance[at]gmail[dot]com