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Fortnite devs are tinkering with the look of Battle Royale

New character models are a far cry from Pixar-friendly

Epic Games
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Fortnite’s art style is a conspicuous departure from other zombie games, with its cartoony proportions and bright colors. But the developers seem to be going in a new direction with its free-to-play cousin, Fortnite: Battle Royale.

When Fortnite was released into early access over the summer, I remarked how it seemed to resemble an episode of The Walking Dead done by Pixar. It seems that’s about to change in Battle Royale. In a recent post, the team said it’s in the process of changing the character models, and the example given is more military inspired than ever.

A man in a modern tactical ensemble, featuring knee pads, a bandolier and a full-face balaclava.
One of the new character models on the drawing board for Fortnite: Battle Royale.
Epic Games

“There is a desire for variations with strong personality, uniqueness, and a sense of cool and beautiful detail. Basically badass stuff,” said Epic. “We’re working on full remodels for gliders, pickaxes, and characters that achieve this vision; please keep checking the store for updates.”

The post also outlined many other changes coming to Battle Royale, including a revamped inventory system and new shooting mechanics. Here’s a quick roundup of what they’ve got planned:

  • The ability to form twosomes and squads with your friends more easily.
  • Better enforcement of the anti-team killing rules.
  • A new shooting model that will “remove random bullet spread while aiming down sights,” a holdover from vanilla Fortnite.
  • More granularity in post-match statistics.
  • Filling in the empty parts of the map with points of interest.
  • Revamped audio, including more granular sound for footsteps as well as improving spatial sound.

First and foremost, however, the team is prioritizing raw performance.

“Our near term focus,” Epic said, “is providing a rock solid 30 FPS experience on consoles.”

Both Fortnite and Fortnite: Battle Royale remain in early access. You can read the entire post here.