Fortnite’s new virtual concert might be its trippiest yet

Ever since Marshmello first took the virtual stage in Fortnite, developer Epic Video games has experimented with other ways to convey music into the sport. That might imply a gigantic Travis Scott stomping around the battle royale island and even building a separate space dedicated explicitly to live performances. This week’s musical expertise that includes English band Straightforward Life is yet one other new method: an odd world inbuilt Fortnite’s artistic mode. It might be the trippiest virtual concert yet.

It begins out regular sufficient. Gamers are ushered right into a virtual re-creation of The O2 Area in London, the place the band welcomes you by way of gigantic display. From there, issues get progressively weirder. First, you’re pushed right into a room that slowly fills with water earlier than you’re flushed down a huge rest room right into a surreal desert crammed with huge tube TVs. It’s a bit like a pop artwork tackle Salvador Dalí. Subsequent areas are simply as odd: you’ll dance contained in the corpse of an enormous monster, trip a hoverboard throughout a twisted metropolis straight out of Inception, after which float amid the celebrities.

Every space can also be outfitted with heaps and plenty of screens the place you possibly can watch the band. There are TVs floating within the sky and even some wedged between the ribs of the deceased monster. It’s sort of like watching a collection of music movies whereas hanging out in a bunch of bizarre virtual areas. You possibly can dance, run, and bounce, however there aren’t any weapons or methods to mess with different gamers. The movies additionally match the theme of the areas: while you’re within the desert, as an illustration, the entire band are buried to their necks in sand. On the finish, a way of normalcy resumes, with gamers transported to a luxurious field again on the area, such as you’re waking up from a dream. The entire thing lasts about 20 minutes.

The Straightforward Life occasion, which runs till 7PM ET on June twenty seventh, presents an attention-grabbing center floor for Fortnite live shows. The Travis Scott and Marshmello exhibits have been spectacular however have been additionally large undertakings; all the battle royale sport involves a halt with a purpose to accommodate them. (That’s possible the explanation there have solely been two since 2019.) In the meantime, live shows in occasion royale — a violence-free social space that debuted in 2020 — are comparatively easy, as gamers can collect collectively to look at a efficiency on a giant display. Straightforward Life’s present, in the meantime, has the very best of each worlds. It was inbuilt Fortnite’s Minecraft-like artistic mode, so it exists in its personal house distinct from the primary sport, nevertheless it’s additionally a lot stranger and extra interactive than the occasion royale occasions.

Music is clearly a giant a part of Fortnite’s plans as it continues to shift into something much more ambitious than a multiplayer shooter. “Our lofty aim is to create the leisure expertise of the long run,” Epic’s chief creative officer Donald Mustard told me in March. And using the artistic looks like a great way to make these experiences each extra attention-grabbing and extra common. On the very least, it’s an opportunity to hearken to an up-and-coming band whereas using a hoverboard throughout some skyscrapers.

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