Behold the Fortnite version of Echo Windwalker! Wait, sorry, Windwalker Echo. You know, the hero from last year’s Unreal Engine 5 demo? The one that was running on a PlayStation 5? Fortnite has been trying to convince me to add Windwalker Echo to my slowly growing collection of game skins since last night, but I just don’t know.
As Kotaku’s latest Fortnite convert, I’ve quickly come to terms with the weird-arse skins that show up in the in-game shop. I’m not talking about licensed fictional characters like Superman, Shang-Chi, or Ariana Grande. I’m talking about the Epic Games originals, like the weird cat thing my former co-worker Riley MacLeod liked. Or whatever a “Galaxy Grappler” is, aside from a thing I impulsively spent like $US10 ($14) on and still can’t figure out why.
Epic is building up this amazing stable of unique characters and selling them to players who desperately don’t want to look like everyone else playing the game. I get that. I understand it. It makes for some cool models and even cooler toys. But If Epic thinks I am going to spend 800 V-Bucks on a character that appeared twice in what were basically advertisements for the game engine the company makes millions on already, it is probably sorely mistaken.
For one, I only have 500 V-Bucks, having spent most of my monthly allowance on Galaxy Grappler. Although I appreciate Echo’s “Tattoos illuminate when opening Chests!” feature it’s just not worth dropping eight bucks for a virtual currency refill. Also, her description says Windwalker Echo is part of the “Wind Song” set, and I cannot hear those two words together without getting a perfume commercial from the 1970s stuck in my head.
Epic seems hell-bent on making this demo character a real thing that folks will spend fake money bought with real money on. The company has even tapped Mold3D Studio to produce a brand-new animation demo starring Windwalker Echo to coincide with the Fortnite skin’s release. Had Nvidia been as dedicated to its tech demos we’d be up to our necks in Nvidia fairies right now, and I would be eagerly digging into my V-Bucks wallet to purchase a Dawn skin.
But Windwalker Echo? I don’t know. As characters go, she’s fine. Her hair is brown. Her clothing is brown and blue. She does stuff. Just not 800 V-Bucks worth of stuff. Not yet, at least.