Fortnite, it’s fair to say, is a game built on other people’s ideas. At the height of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ success, in swooped Epic with its pristine, beautifully animated reinterpretation of the battle royale format. Since then, everything from Team Fortress 2's medical bazooka to BotW’s chickens to Among Us’ entire game have found their way into Fortnite’s features in one way or another. With the new season launched yesterday, it seems the latest target of Epic’s enormous gaming vacuum is Splatoon, Nintendo’s offbeat ink-based shooter.
“Paradise,” the name for Chapter 3, Season 4, sees the game going chrome. Which is to say, a parasitic metallic substance is taking over people’s bodies, allowing them to morph into other human forms, and good grief, yes, it’s blatantly Terminator 2. But there’s more.
In “Paradise,” with this new T-1000 infection, players are now able to walk through walls. But with Chrome Splash, they’re also able to blobbify themselves such that when they run, they’re a liquid goop racing across the floor. In a way uncannily similar to how you can turn into ink and glide Splatoon. The chrome is fired by...shooting neon paint across the game. Take a look at it all in the Battle Pass trailer:
Now, let’s be clear, there’s nothing wrong with copying. It’s how humans have evolved, and how all art has come to exist. Anyone who tried to copyright or prevent others from mimicking a game mode or feature would be the bad guy. At the same time, it’s become such a blatant trend, and without much public credit, which is arguably lame.
You know what else? It looks awesome! Fortnite is really good at taking ideas from other games, and implementing them in entertaining ways. They add their own twists (you don’t need to chromify the floor before glooping across it here), they make it look amazing, and they let you be Spider-Gwen while you’re doing it. Maybe Fortnite should be straight-celebrated for offering this sort of universal crossover, where every licence-able property meets every other game’s core idea, resulting in one game to rule them all.
It’d be daft to argue that Fortnite’s lifting of Splatoon’s movement and paint gun could negatively affect Nintendo’s game. And it’d be fair to wonder if Splatoon would ever have existed without Portal 2's paint splattering. This is, as I say, how art works. Still, it’s hard to keep one’s eyebrows fully un-arched with the revelations of every new Fortnite update.