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Season 8 of Fortnite is all about the cubes

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Fortnite’s island is now… full of cubes, thanks to the end of the alien invasion. Season 8 of the battle royale’s second chapter, simply titled “Cubed,” has just launched. The premise is odd: according to Epic, the cubes that once powered the giant alien mothership have now been released to cause havoc on the island. The update includes new characters, locations, weapons, and even portals that transport players to a monster-infested realm, as with all new seasons. The launch comes after an enthralling live event over the weekend.

First, here’s the basic story, via Epic:

The alien and IO war is over, but a new war has taken shape, one where you’re a combatant. After Slone double-crossed you and left you to perish on the Mothership, the cubes that powered it are now free. These things are a bigger threat to the island than those aliens could’ve ever been. They have no face, no speech, but they’re sentient and have six sides of malice.

If you think the corruption they’ve caused is bad now, you have no idea what can happen if we let them stomp all over the island. It doesn’t matter if you were pro-alien or pro-IO, it’ll take all the help we can get to keep the island from falling. It’s up to everybody — including you — so take my information below and put it to good use.

The cubes also appear to be sentient now, which is fun.

(Longtime Fortnite fans will remember that cubes have always been an important part of the game’s lore, dating back to when Kevin rolled around the original island in 2018 before, well, melting.)

The most significant change in Chapter 8 appears to be the introduction of a new element known as “The Sideways,” which is described as a “dark, malevolent, monster-filled reality” spread by the cubes. It will have an impact on different island locations and can be accessed via portals — in addition to monsters, it has low gravity and no buildings. These areas will provide players with a new crafting component that can be used to create superpowered “sideways” weapons. This season also sees the return of some classic weapons, such as the automatic sniper rifle and the harpoon gun.

There also appears to be a renewed emphasis on player collaboration, with players now able to work together to enforce the island’s rules. “Donate the bars you earn to construction sites where you want to see turret stations built up with fellow Loopers across the island,” Epic says. We’ll need you to come together in the future to decide which new weapons to develop, which ones to unvault, and other things.”

Finally, a new season means a new battle pass to buy, and this time around there are new characters to unlock, including Carnage, Torin, and J.B. Chimpanski, a monster hunter. There’s also Fabio Sparklemane, a buff unicorn. Take a look at this dude.

Season 7 originally kicked off in June, and aside from introducing aliens, it was pretty eventful, adding a new Among Us-style mode, an Ariana Grande concert, and characters ranging from Loki to LeBron James.

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