April Fools' round-up: the year's best (completely fake) announcements

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With Goat Simulator out in just a few hours, it feels like the year's biggest April Fool's joke has been months in the making. While no-one else has gone as far as making a real game, plenty are joining in on the jovial japes of this most news-unfriendly of days.

Here's your round-up of PC gaming's best April Fool's announcements: from the continuation of Blizzard's now serial acronym, to the unexpected return of Phil Fish.

Titanfall updates matchmaking to address player skill imbalances

Patrick Carlson at

Titanfall is rolling out some matchmaking changes to try pit more and different kinds of players together, according to an update from developer Respawn Entertainment. The hybrid infantry/mech shooter has added a new beta game mode to test out a solution to what it calls "a problem of a lack of variety" in how the game is assembling opposing teams.

Titanfall now forces cheaters to play with other cheaters

Emanuel Maiberg at

Respawn Entertainment thinks that cheaters deserve each other. The developer recently announced that it’s been collecting data since Titanfall launched, but that as of March 21, it has started enforcing bans using FairFight, which Battlefield and other Electronic Arts games use as well. Interestingly, rather than just locking cheaters out of the game, Respawn is forcing them to play with other banned cheaters.

Titanfall's future game modes will be free, Zampella confirms

Phil Savage at

With Titanfall now out (and good), the Respawn team are working on the next updates for their pilot-'n-robot buddy war game. Some of those updates will form DLC, but not all of the planned future content will be hiding behind a paid mini-pack. Last night, Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella confirmed that future multiplayer modes will be released for free, and not tied up as part of expansions.

Titanfall to support 4K displays, TXAA and SLI, Nvidia announce (and then unannounce)

Phil Savage at

Well, this is strange. Nvidia published a blog post this week, detailing some of the upcoming technological improvements they're hoping to help Respawn bring to Titanfall. It included sexy graphical jargon, like TXAA, 4K and HBAO+, and also some less enticing, more expected terms like SLI-support. They then deleted that post. What that means for these supposedly incoming improvements is unclear, but - as of writing - you can access the ghost of the post through Google's webcache.

Titanfall review

Chris Thursten at

Our final Titanfall review has been produced following a week of testing on the game's live servers. The following is the finished version of the 'review in progress' that we posted last week - so if large parts of it feel familiar, that's why.

Titanfall is the last place you'd expect to find restraint. This is a big money multiplayer shooter where robots called titans are summoned from space, where jetpack-equipped 'pilots' dash over, alongside and through sci-fi cityscapes. It's a game where you'll run up a wall, jet into the air, lock onto a platoon of grunts with your smart pistol and eliminate them all as you land. It's a game where you'll drop a 40-foot titan onto another 40-foot titan just to see if you can.

Titanfall config guide: the best settings to maximize your effectiveness

PC Gamer at

Titanfall is out and thus begins the pursuit of finding best possible experience it can offer. This configuration and tweak guide will help you optimize the game for a better overall experience and to improve your competitive advantage. Bear in mind, users currently have no access to the developer console as Respawn likely intends to limit tweaking to create a similar experience for all users, so our ability to customize and optimize is more limited than with other Source games. Even so, there are lots of useful in-game and system tweaks that beat the default settings.

PC Gamer Podcast #375 - Alright 'n' All...

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In this week's episode, Evan and Tyler discuss their criticisms of Titanfall and their mutual love of hanging out on Titan heads, Wes gives a report on his time in Heroes of the Storm, Grey Goo consumes the room with RTS discussion, and the crew looks into a crystal ball to determine what games they'll be talking about five years into the future.

The week's highs and lows in PC Gaming

PC Gamer at

Welcome to a new weekly feature in which we cup the week that was and ask it to cough gently. Here you’ll find the PC Gamer team reflecting on the best and worst moments of the past seven days.

Watch Tyler stream Titanfall at 4:15 p.m. PDT (It's over!)

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While Chris finalizes his Titanfall review, the rest of the staff has also been enjoying the acrobatic war for extraterrestrial concrete (or whatever space drama it is that necessitates stomping on people with mechs). Today, Tyler will bravely livestream what will either be a series of glorious victories, or the embarrassing tale of a Call of Duty dropout with dulling reflexes trying to make it on the new frontier.

Every map in Titanfall: maxed settings at 2560x1440 on LPC

Evan Lahti at

This week we've reviewed Titanfall, evaluated Titanfall's server status, snapped some Titanfall GIFs, and complained about Titanfall's absurd hard drive footprint. Now we turn our attention to the game's 15 maps, rendered at high-res on the LPC.

Titanfall's PC servers experiencing "unexpected downtime" [Updated]

Phil Savage at

Update: According to EA, the Titanfall downtime is now resolved.

Original: Titanfall hasn't finished its worldwide roll-out yet - although there are ways to get around that issue. Even with a staggered launch in place, it's popularity is seemingly too much for the game's servers. EA have released a service update, stating that users may experience connection problems that would prevent them from playing the multiplayer mech shooter.

Titanfall's titanic 48GB install "almost all audio," Respawn says

Omri Petitte at

Titanfall is upon us, and that means Respawn's fast-paced FPS has high-fived Spyglass for luck before dropping onto many a hard drive with a 48GB shockwave. That's a staggering size for a strictly multiplayer shooter, and many pilots want to know the reasons behind the significant storage chunk. Speaking to Eurogamer, Respawn Lead Engineer Richard Baker provides an answer: uncompressed audio.

Titanfall early unlock: here's how to bypass the regional launch restrictions

Phil Savage at

Yesterday, we posted the deployment times for Titanfall's staggered international launch. If you're in a zone that's on the right side of this arbitrary line, congratulations! I hope you enjoy ripping off some robo-arms. If you're not, then - even if the game's pre-loaded - Origin won't allow you into its many gigabytes of goodness. Well, it won't unless you engage in some magic internet trickery.

The good news is that Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella has confirmed over Twitter that, as long as they're playing on legitimately purchased copies, users bypassing regional restrictions won't be banned. Given that, there seems little harm in providing an easy to follow, step-by-step guide to getting into the game. Stand by for Titanfall.

Titanfall in motion: gifs from the final version

Chris Thursten at

Titanfall is one of those games that looks better in motion. Its attractiveness is owed to animation more than texture resolution or lighting. Here are a selection of moments from my time with the review version of the game that show off why this is one of the most exciting new shooters in years.

Titanfall review in progress

Chris Thursten at

Don't skip to the score just yet, folks, because you won't find one. We're not finalising our review of Titanfall until we've had a chance to test it properly on live servers. The following represents my thoughts on the game after ten hours of play at an EA-run event last week. The version I played was final, and I've seen the entirety of the campaign as both factions as well as every mode, map, and weapon - but until we know for sure that EA's servers are capable of handling the stress of launch, the game doesn't get PC Gamer's endorsement. As ever, it's worth waiting to hear launch-day impressions before you commit your cash.

Titanfall is the last place you'd expect to find restraint. This is a bombastic, big money multiplayer shooter where robots fall from space; where jetpack-equipped 'pilots' dash over, alongside and through sci-fi cityscapes; where AI-controlled minions are shot, trampled, kicked and blown up by the squadload. It's a game where you'll run up a wall, jet into the air, lock onto a platoon of grunts with your smart pistol and eliminate them all as you land. It's a game where you'll drop a forty-foot robot titan onto another forty-foot robot titan just to see if you can.

It's a game where you will do all of these things - and more - constantly, thanks to lean, intelligent multiplayer design. Titanfall is silly on the surface and clever underneath, and this cleverness is characterised, somewhat counter-intuitively, by restraint.

Titanfall pre-load now available, global release times announced

Phil Savage at

It's a lot of work to transport electronic data. To get Titanfall to the UK, Respawn will presumably have to manually print every line of code, pack it into a secure, waterproof crate, and then sail it over the Atlantic. Once it arrives, all that data must then be typed into the UK's internet, probably by Johnny Lee Miller's fictional character from the movie Hackers.

At least, that's the only sensible scenario for having staggered international release dates. And yet, Titanfall pre-loading is now available for pre-ordered digital copies. It suggests that, rather than some tricky infrastructural hurdle, the reason many countries won't be able to play the game until later this week is down to the usual prioritisation of physical media, and the unwillingness of brick and mortar stores to deviate from their traditional release window.

Titanfall's Zampella confirms paid DLC and season pass

Phil Savage at

It's 2014, which means an announcement that a game will contain DLC is almost as inevitable as news that a game will contain a "restore power to the elevator" section. In most cases, it's a given. In Titanfall's case, though, there's been a lot of speculation as to Respawn and EA's post-release content plan. The confusion was mostly caused when the official Titanfall twitter account mistook the term "Season Pass" for "Online Pass", claiming the game wouldn't have the former, when in fact it meant the latter.

In an interview with Gamespot, Respawn's Vince Zampella has clarified the situation. He explains that the game will receive paid DLC, and that Respawn will also release a season pass to bundle that content before release.

Titanfall prepares to launch into battle with new gameplay trailer

Emanuel Maiberg at

With only a week before it’s is upon us, Respawn released a “Titanfall gameplay launch trailer.” Made up entirely of Xbox One gameplay footage, it shows us the usual shots of pilots running along walls and Titans falling out of the sky, but also gives us a taste of the game’s universe, which Respawn has been unusually quiet about.

Titanfall leaked screenshots show maps, monsters and "Generations" mode

Phil Savage at

"I have a reliable source with information on Titanfall." That's according to Reddit user FallenFusion, who has supplied a series of supposedly leaked images showing new aspects of the upcoming shooter. Through them we see a collection of nine or the game's fifteen or so maps, a shot of a ziplining pilot player, and a intriguing tease of a mysterious monster - previously hinted at through the game's art book.