People have a thing for playing criminals in video games. Just look at the continued success of Grand Theft Auto, the Hitman series and the entire Super Mario Bros. lineup (alright, maybe that last one is a stretch, but surely there are some legal ramifications for assaulting countless Goombas and breaking a bunch of perfectly good bricks). Epic Games has decided to get in on the action with a new High Stakes event launched today and introducing a new game mode, cosmetic items and in-game utility to Fortnite with a heist-inspired aesthetic.
The primary focus of any battle royale game is to survive longer than anyone else in the lobby. It doesn't really matter how you manage to do that; hiding in a corner is just as viable a strategy as shooting at everyone you see. Epic is fond of experimenting with new objectives in Fortnite with Limited Time Modes (LTMs), though, and The Getaway LTM that debuted with patch 5.40 tasks players with collecting one of four Jewels scattered throughout the map and getting it to a floating Getaway Van before opposing squads can do the same. The first one to steal a Jewel wins.
Pulling off a successful heist is made even harder by the fact that other players are notified when someone picks up a Jewel. Carrying the Jewel will offer some health and shield bonuses, but it also makes the carrier move 10 percent slower, which means they'll have to waddle their way to victory. The hallmarks of a typical battle royale are still there--up to 100 players are still gunning for each other with permadeath enabled--but players have to actively work towards completing the heist instead of just hiding in a bush. It'll be interesting to see how many Fortnite players will like that.
Patch 5.40 also introduced some new cosmetic items. Epic technically only released one new skin, Wild Card, but it comes with four styles that represent different types of playing cards. A new Back Bling (essentially in-game backpacks that have no effect on gameplay) called the Cuff Case debuted alongside Wild Card. The new skin and Back Bling can both be purchased for 2,000 V-Bucks, which equals roughly $20. A new Glider called the Safecracker is also available; it costs 800 V-Bucks. That brings the total up to $25 if you buy the 2,500 V-Bucks bundle with 300 free V-Bucks.
The last heist-related addition made with patch 5.40 is an in-game utility called the Grappler, which you can shoot at structures. When its plunger hits something, it pulls the shooter in that direction. This makes it a lot easier to regain high ground if someone is building over you, rather than forcing you to either find a way to build yourself up or destroy the other person's structure. The Grappler has up to 15 uses and is discarded when the last plunger is shot. It can be found as floor loot and also appears in Treasure Chests, Supply Drops and Supply Llamas.
Patch 5.40 doesn't center on the High Stakes event only. Epic also made numerous changes to the game's weapons: the Revolver has been "vaulted" and thus removed from the game; the Dual Pistols, Bolt-action Sniper Rifle, Rocket Launcher, Suppressed SMG, Remote Explosive, Pistol, Port-a-Fort and Semi-Auto Sniper Rifle had their rarities adjusted; and Burst Action Rifles saw numerous buffs to their overall accuracy. Epic also made the moving storm that appears in the end-game destroy any structures at its edge when it settles on a new location.