April 2, 2012 at 4:03 PM ET
Every April 1, numerous game makers attempt to get in on the fun, and the results usually miss the mark. The best April Fools pranks are the ones you wish were either real, like the 8-bit version of Google Maps, or entirely plausible, like Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed: Kinect."
Ubisoft produced the following parody spot, which features a modified version of "Assassin's Creed" for the controller-less, motion-based Xbox 360 peripheral:
Clearly, everything past the 55 second mark, when the player is curled up, pretending to hide in a pile of hay, is done for laughs. Especially the cute little girl promoting the Wii version. But everything that comes before that, and the concept? Hardly seems like a joke.
Just take a look at this trailer for the Kinect version of "Ghost Recon: Future Soldier," unveiled last year at E3 by the same publisher:
What are the differences between the make believe game and an actual product? Very little.
If anything, “Assassin's Creed: Kinect" is slightly superior since the player commands appear to makes more sense. Also, your friends may have more fun watching you controlling an imaginary parachute than blowing away virtual soldiers.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.