Fortnite Creative 2.0 could change the game, but only moderation will decide if it's for the better

(Image credit: Epic)

I had to scrape my chin off the floor when I first clapped eyes on Fortnite Creative 2.0. The absurdly powerful set of mod tools, rolled out with Epic's new Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) last week, has already seen the battle royale morphed into glorious renditions of Dark Souls, Silent Hill, Call of Duty, and more. The creation suite – which will be PC-exclusive for at least six months – is jaw-dropping, and its current public beta phase is inspiring a wonderful boom of creativity among players determined to push the envelope in artistic and technical terms.  

For some players, that means reworking parts of their favorite games by virtue of the UEFN. For others, it means painstakingly recreating to-scale incarnations of popular game locations with meticulous care and precision. And for the most depraved among us, it means adding one of the most soul-crushing, griefer-delighting vehicles in video game history. If my jaw dropped upon seeing Fortnite Creative 2.0 for the first time, then my heart sank after scrolling past that one single image. Which is to say: Fortnite's new mod tools could change the face of gaming as we know it, but technological strides like this one are bound to coax some bad actors out of the woodwork at the same time.

Creative flair 

Fortnite Creative 2.0 UEFN

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite Creative has, of course, long been a hotbed for the creatively-minded. From Squid Game to Cyberpunk 2077 and Home Alone, I found myself hooked on some weird and wonderful Fortnite Creative servers for a spell last year, while also being totally wowed by this near 1:1 scale reinterpretation of the first Resident Evil's Spencer Mansion along the way. Playing Breath of the Wild in Fortnite fast became my new favorite way to explore Hyrule as means of giving new life to a world I know so well, while this KAWS x London's Serpentine Art Gallery collaboration illustrated the ways in which real-world spaces can be impressed on the Fortnite multiverse. 

At this early stage, it feels like Fortnite Creative 2.0 is straddling both of these camps – further blurring the boundaries of what Fortnite actually is. I've always been wary of marketing-speak infiltrating how we discuss video games, and as such I'm generally uncomfortable with describing games as 'experiences'. But when you consider everything linked above, everything players are crafting inside Fortnite Creative 2.0 currently, the in-game Travis Scott and Ariana Grande concerts of the last few years – not to mention what other games such as Dreams, Roblox, and Minecraft offer players elsewhere – and suddenly the word 'experience' is probably a closer fit than 'video game' is standalone. 

But, similar to those other games, there are always players out to spoil the party. The term 'griefer' has been around for some time, for example, but it appeared to become part of the shared gaming lexicon proper in the wake of Minecraft – when some players took it upon themselves to wreck the worlds of others, abusing the very sense of free-will that elevated Mojang's masterpiece from day one in the first place. The below image of a lone Pegassi Oppressor MK II hover bike rendered in Fortnite appears to have been made in jest, but adding the most irritating vehicle from GTA Online – one now totally synonymous with griefers – might offer a glimpse of what's to follow from the most mischievous Fortnite players hellbent on pissing others off.

"At this point, it feels like the sky's the limit. I just pray that sky is clear of griefing hover bikes."

On a more serious note, I've spotted mock-ups from trolls keen to "recreate historical events" that involve real-world tragedy that I'll choose not to link out to here. Naturally, the content moderators at Epic Games will have their work cut out for them as the game continues to widen its scope for creation, for better and, sadly, worse. 

On a brighter note, however, the concept of game preservation secured a nice win last week when it emerged Fortnite Creative players were to get special permission to recreate the game's original map. As reported by our own Hirun Cryer, recreating copyrighted material (such as previous versions of Fortnite) isn't allowed under the game's terms and conditions, but Epic is granting special permission to fans recreating the original Battle Royale map.

"We are as excited as you to relive the experiences we shared in the original Fortnite Battle Royale Chapter 1 map, and so we are granting a special and specific exception to allow creators to publish their own remakes of the Chapter 1 maps," Epic's announcement read last week, with the company reasserting that this is the only exception they'll be making for Unreal Editor creations.

All told, though, it's cool to see the game and its latest initiative being used in this way. How Fortnite Creative 2.0 grows in size and scope in the coming months will be exciting to watch – for PC players now, and, hopefully, console players at some point down the line. How other games choose to react will be equally intriguing – from the games already occupying this space, to those elsewhere and those still incoming. Build A Rocket Boy's Everywhere appears to be making similar promises with user-generated content in mind, and while that game remains an unproven entity, the powerhouse of Fortnite is likewise treading new ground. At this point, it feels like the sky's the limit. I just pray that sky is clear of griefing hover bikes. 

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Joe Donnelly
Features Editor, GamesRadar+

Joe is a Features Editor at GamesRadar+. With over seven years of experience working in specialist print and online journalism, Joe has written for a number of gaming, sport and entertainment publications including PC Gamer, Edge, Play and FourFourTwo. He is well-versed in all things Grand Theft Auto and spends much of his spare time swapping real-world Glasgow for GTA Online’s Los Santos. Joe is also a mental health advocate and has written a book about video games, mental health and their complex intersections. He is a regular expert contributor on both subjects for BBC radio. Many moons ago, he was a fully-qualified plumber which basically makes him Super Mario.