Fortnite is coming to Australia.
The latest map to hit the popular Fortnite Creative Mode is Lands Down Under, a custom-made museum of Australian and New Zealand wildlife and assorted kitsch.
Despite feeling a bit like a Fortnite campaign by Tourism Australia, it’s actually in support of official Fornite ANZ social channels going live.
The mode’s central hub is a touristy visitor’s centre. Inside you’ll find several small areas, including a multi-level wildlife exhibit and aquarium. The wildlife exhibit was actually quite cool and recreates Australian and New Zealand fauna in a way that’s stylised but handmade. I’m honestly surprised that, among all the models Epic has made for Fortnite over the years, it doesn’t at least have a kangaroo model on hand. Local flourishes are everywhere, from videos of Melbourne trams playing on TV’s to flocks of ibis huddled around a bin near the front door.
Throughout the hub are a roadside cafe, an upstairs function room and a gift shop. Gold coins are littered around the zone and if you hoover them all up, you’ll unlock six time-limited sprays.
The sprays, designed by Melbourne artist George Rose, have featured in the game before, but have since been vaulted. They’re only going to be available in limited quantities, with a new spray unlocking each day for the next six days. Basically, get in early if you want them. I’m certainly cocking an eyebrow at Epic for putting a hard number on how many people can unlock the sprays, but maybe that’s just me being an old fuddy-duddy.
Beyond the visitor’s centre, there’s a series of ANZ themed mini-games as well. There’s the Sydney Surf Spectacular at a recreation of Bondi, a cooking game called Bake vs Batter, a treasure hunt called Kiwi Hideout, and a building game set outside a giant building that resembles (but is legally distinct from) a Bunnings.
It’s a good time, and clearly an awful lot of work has gone into it. There are things that could be improved — for instance, the mode does not appear to include much about the First Nations or Maori people, or their history. However, the team behind it made it clear that they consider Lands Down Under a work in progress, so hopefully there’s more to come in that regard.
The mode was created by popular ANZ Creative Mode builders Alliance Studios and Zen Creative. It comes online today, November 25. Though the sprays are time-limited, the mode itself is not. It’ll remain available in Creative Mode, for good, following its release.