When the BRUTE came into Fortnite in Season X, it was widely considered the most broken item Epic had ever added to the game.
There's no denying how powerful the BRUTE was during the early days of the season. Epic even added it to competitive modes, meaning pro players were using it to troll other teams in scrimmages before the FNCS.
Epic eventually nerfed the BRUTE to a more reasonable spot, but it still seemed like an insanely broken item. Now, years later, we're hearing news that the BRUTE could make a return in Season 8 or 9, leaving some players worried about what's to come.
I'm here to pose the question: was the post-nerf BRUTE really so broken? Or was our view colored by the lens through which we were looking?
Out of left field
The BRUTE was the first wild and crazy item that Epic added to Fortnite. It was busted on launch - I'm not saying it wasn't - but part of the community backlash undoubtedly had to do with the fact that it was the first of its kind.
Since the BRUTE, we've seen cars, lightsabers, UFOs, superhero abilities, Mythic and Exotic weapons, and more come into Fortnite. The UFOs, in particular, had many of the same issues as the BRUTE, and they flew through the air.
If the post-nerf BRUTE came to Fortnite right now, it probably wouldn't be received in the same way. We now have precedents for strong, wacky, casual-friendly additions to Fortnite. To me, the BRUTE doesn't sound so crazy in retrospect.
Even Slipstreams, which have returned to the game in Season 8, feel like they have more of a home in the new landscape than they did in Chapter 1.
All signs point to the return of the BRUTE in Chapter 2. For some reason, it seems like they play an integral role in the story - whatever that role ends up being.
Personally, I rolled my eyes when I heard the news, but have been changing my tune after playing Fortnite with the BRUTE in mind. Look at the map. Is it really so crazy to imagine BRUTEs coming to a shark-infested, raptor-ridden map that just got over an alien invasion that included Parasites that locked onto your face and gave you a speed buff?
I think not. The Chapter 2 BRUTE won't ruin the game the way it did in Chapter 1.