Good morning, hello and welcome to the absolute worst day of the year to try to be a news writer about games. It's April 1st, the day of japes, jokes, highjinks and press releases that don't make any sense. We're thankful only that we can ignore anything related to reverse toilets, dumb watches, Twitter for dogs and Facebook for mice and focus purely on PC games, but there is still going to be a lot of things. To avoid the front page becoming a mess of things you're not sure are real, we'll be posting everything we find - the good, the bad and the hilarious - into this story, rather than scattering them. We've even got a couple from the usual suspects to kick off with.
Update, 7pm BST: Dark Souls 3 is heading to VHS and Outlast 2 will be fun for all the family in our final update of the night.
The best gaming April Fools we've (n)ever been told.
Dark Souls 3 Coming To VHS On April 12
Okay, this one is actually brilliant and I would watch it. You got me, April 1... You got me. It's just a really well made trailer for an imaginary film that's actually a game. If a Dark Souls movie ever was made, it probably would come out on VHS. Hell, I'm surprised the soundtrack in special editions isn't a vinyl record. Bloody Dark Souls hipsters. Be aware, though, that the video does show off some major locations from the game. Don't come crying to me about spoilers.
Outlast 2 Will Be Family Friendly
Remember Outlast? You know, that game set in the abandoned asylum where you're relentlessly hunted by two naked dudes, their wangs flapping about. Well, its sequel is getting an E 10+ ESRB rating, which means it'll be suitable for anyone over ten-years-old. Watch out for that comic mischief. Red Barrels revealed this totally real news on Outlast's Facebook page, delivering this statement: "Due to the considerable amount of backlash we received from concerned parental groups following the release of Outlast and Outlast: Whistleblower, Red Barrels have made the decision to release Outlast 2 under an ESRB rating of E. We will have more information to share in the coming weeks about how this will affect our production schedule. Thank you for your support!"
Black Desert Online Brings Sexy Back
Those pesky social justice warriors may have convinced Blizzard to take Tracer's backside out of Overwatch - literally scooping it out of her character model and leaving a horrifying concave behind - but they can never take our butts completely. You may take one butt, but millions of others will twerk in their place: legions of arses rising from the horizon, thrusting out of the ocean as if Rapture itself had risen from the depths; thousands of fleshy domes protruding like meaty molehills. Black Desert Online is fighting the good fight and is adding special butt pose victory animations in the new Crimson Battlefield PvP mode, added as part of the Mediah Expansion earlier this week. As we all know, there's no better way to celebrate a victory than to peer back over your shoulder with an arched back, your arse hanging majestically in center view. Your first butt pose will be free, but others are coming to the cash shop at a later date, according to the press release. Vote with your wallet. Vote butt.
League of Legends Australia/New Zealand Localisation Pack
Riot games have either gone completely troppo - to use some Aussie slang - or this is one of those hilarious April Fools pranks you've heard stories about. In one of those official announcements on this, the only day when people actually question national news headlines, Riot revealed that Australian/New Zealand localisation was coming to League of Legends in the next patch cycle. Rather than switching up the in-game mobs for exotic animals that carry their offspring in meat pouches, this changes the names of champions so they're more relevant to the southern hemisphere. Garen, for example, will now be known as Gazza. There's a full list over on that link up there, but my favourite has to be Alistar being changed to 'Big Al'.
StarCraft 2 Balance Manager 2016
Oh no. I would so play this. Blizzard have 'announced' a management game that focuses on trying to balance StarCraft II's global scene. I've posted endlessly today about how I'd like all these things to be real, but this one I actually would 100% buy at any price. The best joke in here is it abbreviating to BM 2016, everything else I just actually want. Just look at this UI screenshot and tell me you don't want to get fiddling with David Kim's nobs. You can't, can you? Exactly. I want to live in a world "where every minor change you make is endlessly criticized and loved at the same time" as advertised. Make it happen, Blizzard.
Minecraft Goes Full 2016
The wonderful world of wearables is coming to Minecraft, apparently. Based on the above image, that means a smart watch for your blocky first, AR glasses for your blocky head and the brand new "USB Charger Block" to keep them all powered. They'll spout noise at you constantly, always keep you aware of the weather everywhere but your actual location and make sure Mojang know exactly where you are at all times. They're tracking you. Blip. Blip. Blip. BLIP. BLIPBLIPBLIP - the sounds of a dozen, ever-hungry swedes devouring the walls comes ever closer. Run.
World of Warcraft's April Fools ft. Frostdoge
Blizzard always go whole-hog on April Fools, so it's not exactly surprising that the Hearthstone MMO from earlier isn't all they have. I'm gonna split it by game to stay sane, as they have absolutely no mercy on releasing story after story. World of Warcraft's April Fools 2016 goes like this.
The Frostdoge Clan is the best thing I've seen so far, mostly for the big of art you see above. They're enigmatic, mysterious and have only come out of hiding to hunt for dogestone. That's exactly what they want you to collect in their classically-styled daily quests of getting all the things. They're not without rewards though, giving you one ridable doge as well as various doge-themed accessories. There's even a Glyph of Positive Emotion, which I think we could all use. As always, requests have come in for this to be real - even without the meme flavour, surely some dog-based quests wouldn't be too much to ask?
Also coming Soon™, Azeroth TV. It's a collection of (fake, do I need to keep pointing out things are fake?) television shows featuring the people of Azeroth. I think my favourite is Cleaved, a cooking show, but mostly because of this laughing Orc, who is so very pleased about killing that fish. One day, I aspire to be as amused as Laughing Chef Orc. Best name definitely goes to "The Ambulatory Dead" however. They're speedy buggers in WoW, it's true.
Finally (for our round-up anyway, have a look on WoW's main page for more), there's the now-regular fake patch notes. They've been doing these for years and they are legitimately hilarious, though maybe only if you've been playing WoW for ten years. Anyway, here's some personal highlights:
- Signs have been placed over many mailboxes with the words “Dance Studio,” to promote awareness of this feature which has existed in the game for over a decade.
- We’ve removed the “Tormenting the Softknuckles” quest from Sholazar Basin, because… well, we saw the Overwatch animated short and… we’re just feeling really sensitive about apes right now, okay?
- Followers who are currently active on a mission will now take S.E.L.F.I.E.s of their adventures, and send them to you via Twitter.
- Typing “LFG” or “LFM” into trade chat will now cause you to just open the Group Finder instead.
- Dampening no longer applies to Restoration Shaman, as their healing spells are already pretty moist.
- Arathi Basin: The Lumber Mill, Blacksmith, and Farm flags have all been moved to the road connecting the three points, because apparently that’s where you all want to be anyway.
- The /laugh voiceover audio for all races has been replaced with a recording of Ben Brode. Including the Gnome Female. Especially the Gnome Female.
- Demon Hunters are now immune to Blind. We’re not sure how it was working before. They’re wearing blindfolds, for pete’s sake.
Okay, there are far too many brilliant ones. Full list over here.
The Truth About Witcher 3's Roach
Finally, it's what we've been waiting for. CD Projekt RED reveal the horrifying, electrifying secrets that went into the creation of Geralt's most faithful and least sexed companion, Roach the horse. They're right about bugs you know, they're vital to games, giving us everything from the Street Fighter combo to that one funny video on YouTube. You know the one. Yeah.
Reddit informs me that the proposed voice of Roach - who, incidentally, sounds fantastic and should 100% be added to the game in this form as at least a trippy dream sequence - is quite a famous Polish radio presenter and music journalist. That's definitely the sort of man I'd have voice my mighty steed.
ARMA III's Eau De Combat Perfume
Apparently comes with the "scent of battle." What Bohemia are saying here is that, for a majority of gamers, the smell of rotting corpses, gunpowder, splattered brain matter, exploded innards, evacuated bowels and general death, destruction and the end of human life is an upgrade on their regular BO. It's hard to disagree.
They've gone as far as a pre-order page on their official site, which sadly is sold out. Given some of the tat I've seen for wargames over the years, a nice aftershave with "fresh notes of wood, mosses, and dirt" wouldn't be that out of the ordinary. As always, I'm left wanting by the cruel fates of April Fools.
Heat Signature Looks Way Better Now
With the caveats that "I'm lying" and "It's lying day" Tom Francis presents his new vision for Heat Signature, a wholly solo effort by him on art, music, programming and everything else. I think he might have missed his calling getting first into games journalism and then the coding side of games-making. He's got an incredible singing voice for sure, and this art is better than anything I could do. He's also embracing the need for more hugs in games. Looks ready to me, ship it Tom and let the 10/10s roll in.
Rocket League Rage Quits
Sick of having to quit yourself? Tired of feeling the need to stay in the game despite difficulties? Know you're better than everyone you play with, if only you could get the right team? What you need is the Rocket League Rage Quit bot. It's available for free, right now on the official site. There is actually a download there, so this might actually work, but equally might replace all in-game instructions with the poop emoji once you've gone two down. The fun of April Fool's is even when you're told something exists, what can you really trust?
Nothing and nobody, that's who. They're all out to get you.
War Thunder Is About Pirates Now
What do you want in your World War 2 battle-sim? Is it British galleons duling it out on the high seas with cannon fire, rigging, pirate catchphrases and no filthy landlubbers? Gaijin really, really hope so because that's exactly what they've introduced today. As well as the above trailer it's an actual game mode you can play right now in-game. Unlike most of this list, it's also going to continue to receive support, though why exactly they're dedicating themselves to the 'Golden Age of Sail' and not WW2 battlecruisers is anyone's guess. Still, cannons and such, eh? Sweet.
Hearthstone: The MMO
Oh-ho, it's a classic meme, one the kids might even call dank. Imagine if instead of a card game with curiously intricate designs and backstories for all its cards, those characters inhabited a 3D world of swords, sorcery, questing and endless, barely-legal fanfiction. Some sort of massively multiplayer, online, role-playing game. That's what Blizzard have just announced, on the oddly already quite populated YouTube channel for their upcoming "World of Warcraft." I don't think it will ever catch on.
Wargaming Have Completely Lost It
Well, at least somebody is taking today seriously. Between the above addition to World of Tanks titled Moon Mayhem, running April 1-5 and involving giant rolling spheres, obviously, they're also adding a Bathtub map to World of Warships. To be honest, it looks fairly ace. In the sadly not actually happening camp there's World of Wartrains, which honestly I would play every day if it were a real game. Like Fury Road on rails, scooting around maps on pre-defined paths, blowing up mid-sections and sending train cars crashing into other train cars.
Make this game, Wargaming. Do it now.
League of Draven
Riot have announced, revealed and implemented the League of Draven, dedicating the next week to everyone's favourite axe-throwing homicidal maniac. It includes various new skins, including Draven Draven, which is Draven wearing a massive bobble head of his own face. All the minions and every champion will also be wearing a similar visage until Sunday in normal and ARAM games - Ranked doesn't allow comedy. There's also the above login screen, various April Fools bundles on discount and the usual holiday mystery gifting rewards. Have a read all about it on the official site.
That is far from Riot's only input today. The Australian side decided it was time to change all the names of champions to be more Oceania-localised. Bard will now be Brad, and so on. They also made this screensaver application, which isn't really an April Fool but is quite nice. Obviously the community isn't to be out-done, with Azubu announcing the forming of SK Telecom Lee 1, a Korean League of Legends team made up only of clones of Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, the game's best player.
And so on.
Every Subreddit Is Unusable
Hope you weren't planning on visiting any of the communities for games you like today because they're going to be totally useless. The above is what r/wow have decided to use as a massive page header, tricking half their users into thinking the sub is gone before they remember to scroll down. Including me. Meanwhile r/Hearthstone has its usual Yu-Gi-Oh theme, and r/dota2 has added Twitch emotes. Because they hate me personally.
The common addon Reddit Enhancement Suite also does, well, something when you enter the Konami code by pressing ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A and enter on your keyboard, but goodness knows what. Something about bacon, I think? Terrifying. It'll all be gone in 24 hours.
Obviously, we'll continue to update this post as the memes flood in. Let us know below if you think we've missed some.