April Fools Day is sort of like Christmas for jerks. Or would be, were Christmas not already such an incredible breeding ground for jerk behaviour. Case in point: my otherwise awesome grandmother buying me a plain black t-shirt for Christmas every year. What the hell, Grandma.
Anyway, we're all gamers, and gamers have a tendency to get their hopes up. I'M LOOKING AT YOU, GABE NEWELL. But each year, there are several (obviously fake) brilliant gaming related April Fools pranks, and I thought I'd compile the best for you right here. If one you liked is missing, please link to it below. Unless you want a black t-shirt in your stocking.
Reddit claimed that they bought Team Fortress 2. They summed up their 'acquisition' thusly: "Starting today, you'll be able to customise your account with hundreds of weapons, hats, and more. Tweak your reddit account to suit your style and personal taste. Best of all, virtually all of the items can be acquired from normal site surfing via random drop. You don't need to pay to win. (But it certainly couldn't hurt!)"
Look, I love Team Fortress 2, and I use Reddit a lot. But their 'cutting commentary' on paying for digital hats is LONG overdue. Having said that, I'm not ashamed (read: quite ashamed) to say that as of today, I've now spent well over thirty dollars on TF2 hats. Shut up. Nothing says 'enjoy being corpsified' like a fleeting glimpse of a fictional bowler.
Next, we have something of a crushing disappointment: Deus Ex Human Defiance. For days, this was being teased as a potentially legit sequel announcement. Maybe the sequel would let Jensen take off those stupid glasses, or let you stay in third person mode the whole time. WHO KNOWS. What we got instead was this fantastic little slap in the face.
Again, wonderfully done, and heartbreaking for fans.
Here's one that I enjoyed a great deal, given that I'd just finished my second replay of the game (it gets better with age, it really does): a bogus chunk of audio commentary for Dishonored. The commentary is provided by the game directors, Raf Colantonio and Harvey Smith.
(And as a quick aside, The Knife of Dunwall is going to rock. I got to play the first mission: TASTY.)
Finally, an April Fools that could be legit. There have been stills for it floating around, the name has been out there a week or so, and Ubisoft even got it rated by the Australian Classification Board. But it's touch and go. I mean, does this look real to you?
Because if wanting Far Cry 3 to have an expansion that seems like Tron, Vice City and about three miles of pixellated cocaine had a big, fleshy, creepy baby, then I don't wanna be right.
Like I said, if you saw any April Fools pranks that were aimed squarely at gamers, share it. I for one plan to wallow in these pranks for the next six hours. At LEAST.
By Paul Verhoeven
Paul Verhoeven is the host of Steam Punks on ABC3, a gaming critic for TheVine.com.au, and a comedian. He enjoys writing slash fiction about himself and Garrus Vakarian, and as such is banned from visiting Bioware HQ. He enjoys oyster sauce.
What was the best and worst April Fools prank you saw?