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Fortnite’s Avengers: Infinity War crossover hands-on: It’s very, very good

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Let’s jump into Fortnite and hunt for the Infinity Gauntlet

Thanos is here
Epic Games

Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives. Cross-brand marketing comes for us all.

Avengers: Infinity War’s unstoppable villain, Thanos, has arrived in the world of Fortnite Battle Royale for a special, limited time event and the result is ... actually pretty cool.

Things begin like a normal round — although you can only play solo — until the Infinity Gauntlet lands somewhere inside the white circle on the map. You won’t have to search for it, the Gauntlet will show up on the compass at the top of your screen, and it will also shoot a pillar of light into the sky. This isn’t an item that is trying to hide itself.

How to become Thanos in Fortnite

If you find the Infinity Gauntlet before anyone else, you become Thanos. If you manage to kill Thanos and grab the Gauntlet when he drops it, you become Thanos. And being Thanos comes with some very nice upgrades.

Here’s what Thanos can do, direct from the official patch notes:

  • Ability 1 — A mighty punch that knocks enemies back and destroys structures.
  • Ability 2 — Thanos flies towards the ground, hitting an area for knockback and damage.
  • Ability 3 — Harness the energy of the Power stone to fire a blast that deals damage over time.
  • Ability 4 — A super-jump that can vault Thanos over all but the largest obstructions.
  • Thanos has both shields and health. When he eliminates another player, his shields regenerate. His health never regenerates.
  • Thanos doesn’t take fall damage.
  • Thanos does not build, use weapons or things like launch pads. He has no need for such petty human devices.

You don’t have to worry about picking up guns or ammo, and smash straight through buildings if you’re in the mood. The super-jump sends Thanos far into the air; you’re incredibly mobile while you have the Infinity Gauntlet. And then Thanos leaps, find cover. His landing attack is very effective at crowd control.

I’m flying!
Epic Games

But Thanos is vulnerable in Fortnite

He may be a super-villain with objects that allow him to control all of existence, but that also means he’s going to draw a lot of attention — and fire. Being Thanos allows you to jump around the map while smashing everything you’d like, but your shields and health deplete quickly if a few players focus their fire on you. And your location is always going to be displayed on the map; there’s no hiding when you’re Thanos.

Everyone is shooting me!
Epic Games

Thanos can replenish his shields by killing another player, but there’s nothing he can do to replenish his health bar. Once that starts going down, the damage is permanent. Players seemed to naturally run toward Marvel’s big bad to finish him off, which means Thanos doesn’t seem to survive as long as you might expect.

It’s a neat aspect of this new game mode. Everyone is so focused on Thanos that it often feels like there’s the shakiest of ceasefires between players from time-to-time. It allows you to be a scoundrel, if you wish, and take out the players around you when they’re laser-focused on Thanos.

Thanos is just one more thing to deal with in this mode; the winner is still the last player standing. You don’t have to be Thanos to use his existence as an advantage, and his location is always visible on the server. No matter where he goes, violence is going to follow. The flow of each match shifts depending on what he does.

He’ll give up the Infinity Gauntlet easily enough. You just have to kill him
Epic Games

If this is how Fortnite is going to handle licensed content, I can’t wait to see more. This game mode completely changes how you tackle each round, and Thanos fits into the game’s aesthetic with ease.

It’s a crossover that works very well, and ushers in a new play style that’s fast-paced, chaotic and very enjoyable. You’ll even be able to fulfill your weekly challenges in these rounds, which is nice, but we were kinda hoping for Thanos-specific challenges this week.

Oh well, you can’t have everything. This is a free addition to an already great game, and it ties into the biggest movie of the year. There are no losers in this scenario, unless you’re Thanos and you happen to land near a bunch of snipers.

When all else fails, you can just smash your way through the nearest building, at least.

Epic Games