Fortnite goes offline prior to Season 5, which starts late tonight

Fortnite season 4 wrapped up with a bang today—a literal bang in this case, which was powerful enough to open up a portal and send Galactus back to wherever he came from.

The action began a little after 4 pm ET, when the mighty planet-eater made his move on the Zero Point. But just as all appeared lost, the Avengers leapt into action. After Galactus knocked the helicarrier out of the sky, Iron Man hooked Ninja up with a jetpack (I was watching Ninja's stream, but you can catch it from Luke Games' perspective in the video above) and then, through the magic of "tinkering with your reality a bit," created a billion-battle-bus fleet and put him behind the wheel of one of them. 

And these weren't just your everyday battle buses, oh no: These big units were all filled with bombs and armed with laser cannons. The idea, Iron Max explained, was to make Galactus eat so many bombed-up buses that when they exploded, they'd open a portal and send him back to... well, wherever

Easier said than done, however: First, the battle bus fleet had to fight its way through a storm of defensive drones, and then, after a helping hand from Thor, pull off a daring, Death Star-style trench run. But finally, with assistance from the beclawed X-Man Wolverine, who was perched on the hood of the bus for some reason, the gauntlet was run, and the whole big she-bang went straight down Galactus' yaphole!

And then—it all went black. Tense moments passed. Then, with a gasp, sudden consciousness! And an ominous message: To be continued.

And now we've got this.

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If you log in now, all you see is a countdown, which ends tonight at 9 pm PT/12 am ET. That's not when Season 5 begins, though—that's when the server downtime begins. The downtime is expected to run for four hours, which means Fortnite Season 5 won't actually be playable until 1 am PT/4 am ET or so.

(Why have the countdown end when the downtime begins, and not later, when the game will be playable? Probably just a mistake. We asked Epic, and were assured that the timing in the tweet below is correct.)

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.