It's the perfect storm: April Fools' Day and a Bank Holiday Monday. It's all but guaranteed that the only news to come out of developers or publishers today will be wrapped in japes and hijinks. Ah well, if you can't beat 'em, report 'em. That's what my nan used to say. She was a notorious snitch.
Read on for an ambitious Minecraft update, a surprising Starcraft balance patch, and the return of the most terrifying game of recent years. Everything you're about to read is a lie. Unless it isn't, and we're being meta-April fooled into thinking it is. Oh god, when will it end?
Deus Ex: Human Defiance
"Introducing Deus Ex: Human Defiance, the first adventures of Adam Jensen in full, glorious 8-bit. Human Revolution brought about the cyber-Renaissance, Human Defiance marks the beginning of a Digital Golden Age. Human Revolution was all about triangles. Now we're doubling down, flipping one over and revelling at its brand new form: the square... the pixel. It's a natural evolution!"
Very good guys. Now stop messing around and make this.
World of Tanks vs. Zombies
The scariest part of this update is the marriage of the words "zombie" and "escort" in one press release: "World of Tanks will feature the Zombie Escort survival mode, where players will have to navigate from point A to point B, while fighting their way through swarms of zombies. The new mode is aimed at a more hardcore audience, as it requires extra skills from tankmen. Among other tricks, the undead enemy will be able to infect the tank crew, damage external modules, and block the main gun." The horror.
In this revealing Dishonored commentary, co-creators Raf Colantonio and Harvey Smith explain just how deep Dishonored's simulation goes. Includes: "Many, many useless conversations."
Starcraft 2: The Warhound Returns
The Warhound - a Terran mech planned for release in Heart of the Swarm, but scrapped in multiplayer for being rubbish against Zerg - is back. The Blizzard post announcing their return is a beautiful lampooning of the community's more petulant complaints:
"After watching the MLG Winter Championship, we noticed that Life was able to beat Flash a little too easily in the finals. Had Flash been able to build Warhounds, our favorite race (Terran) may have won the tournament. As usual, we made a spur-of-the-moment decision based on this match and immediately set about rebalancing the game."
Load up the game, and you'll find the mechs have replaced every faction's standard worker unit. GG, Blizz.
Crusader Kings Z
A brief one from Paradox: the above screenshots were posted to the Crusader Kings 2 Facebook page announcing their zombie sequel. If you're listening Paradox, I would totally play this.
Europa Universalis: The Musical
Paradox also revealed the next step in grand strategy, courtesy of Europa Universalis: The Musical. Not only can you see a glimpse of its making in the video above, but you also get to download the ditties from their forums . They are ridiculously catchy, to a song.
Mojang not only announce a mammoth 2.0 update for Minecraft, but also give it to the community so they can make a plethora of update videos . The one I've embedded above isn't necessarily the best, but it is short - which makes it a winner in my book.
Also on the announcement page are the "planned" patch notes. Special commendation to Mojang for this tight layering of nonsense:
- "Overhauled fishing mechanics.
- "New special types of fish may be found in various different biomes.
- "Fish may become scared if too much noise is made nearby.
- "Added 28 new achievements for fishing.
- "Rare chance for extra items to drop when fishing, such as armor and maps.
- "Removed fishing.
- "Having a fish in your possession will drain your health by 1 each second, to help phase out fishing."
Football Manager 1888
Those screenshot mock-ups are sublime, and there are more available on this announcement page for Sports Interactive's Football Manager 1888.
"You will experience real life problems of the era, such as; players being called up to the army leaving you with a hole in your squad and players having to retire from football with immediate effect following a serious injury."
Again: I would absolutely buy this.
GOG Go Retro
GOG solve the problem of being a service called Good Old Games, yet hosting suspiciously recent looking titles in its catalogue. The RetroMeter 4000 imagines a world in which the Witcher 2 was a low-res, chunky UI'd classic.
Bonus points for a feature list that's full of light-hearted snark: "Eliminate the regenerating health/shields and limited weapon inventories from shooters. Add back in the other 8 gun slots that Carmack intended!"
Creepy Watson 2
The weird Watson AI in Sherlock Holmes Nemesis led to the original Creepy Watson back in 2008. In an admirably self-deprecating move, Focus Interactive have released a trailer for Creepy Watson: The Return. It may be a joke, but it's still ten times scarier than Slenderman.
Super Adventure Box
ArenaNet go the extra mile, with a full Guild Wars 2 update that adds a new 8-bit instance. Chris has the details here .
That's your lot... for now. Inevitably more will crop up throughout the day. Pop any good stunts you've seen in the comments, and I'll add in the best.