Even though Uncharted 4 stopped rolling their ads through youtube, I somehow still saw the advertisement that they were playing back when Naughty Dog released Uncharted. I remembered how much I loved that trailer, and so it got me thinking about other video game advertisements that I love. Their are only 4 that come to mind for me. It didn't matter to me whether the game was good or not, just that the trailer was good. Also, I know their are many great video game trailers out there, but these are the ones that resonated with me whenever I think of trailers. Finally, this list is in no order, so don't think that the numbers represent ranking.
1. ZombiU E3 2012 trailer
Like I said, the game doesn't have to be good, and even though I did enjoy this game, I know that this game isn't really loved. But I still did love this trailer. The trailer consists of multiple still frames that you travel through, and in between those are a short video of a cell being infected. All of this is being played while the British National Anthem is being played, starting with a single guitar and a guy singing the anthem in a solemn way and getting more intense with the song by the end.
This is a trailer that I loved for many reasons. For one, I am a sucker for these kind of trailers(as you will see in the other trailers that I have chosen.) Instead of being a fast-paced, rock-n-roll trailer, it plays slower. A great example is the Gears of War trailer, playing a quiet, peaceful song rather than metal.This trailer follows that path as well. the music starts slow, and the trailer has still frames instead of just showing me hardcore action. On top of that, this trailers shows me a world that is lost. It doesn't show me a fun zombie world full of zombies to kill and to have a blast while doing it. It shows a world of hopelessness, of death, and of the inevitability of your demise. This is shown by the cells, which were once happy and bright orange, are now black. the flower in the field in the beginning, just to show that it is an advertisement on the bus, to then show the bus crashing. The man killing himself. And the biggest part on top(which I didn't know until recently,) that the person you see in the previous still frame as human you see in the next still frame as a zombie. That sadness that Britain is lost mixed with the national anthem really made this trailer stick in my head.
2 . Dead Island: Official Announcement Trailer
Is this one really a surprise? This trailer has been considered by most to be one of the best video game trailers ever, and it's obvious to see why. The trailer consists of the journey of a little girl backwards and in slow motion as she is bitten by a zombie, saved by her parents in their hotel room, turns into a zombie, bites her dad, and is thrown out the window. Occasionally, the video plays forward and at normal speed her running through the hotel hallway. The entire time, peaceful piano music plays. The video ends with dad reaching out for his daughter in the hallway, which then cuts to the logo, and ends with what looks like footage from a video camera of the family enjoying their stay at the island. This trailer is easily on the best trailers I have ever seen across any media. The reverse video playing is brilliant. Starting off with a close-up shot of a dead girl's face and then telling us the short journey of what happened, ending with the father reaching for his daughter. The trailer showed its faced-paced action at a slow pace, showing that everything isn't all kick-some-ass, that some action is tolling on the body and the mind. The trailer also tugged on my heart strings, with its slow paced music, and showing a loving family meeting their bitter end, but also showing how an apocalypse could turn even a loving family against each other, with the dad throwing his daughter out the window. This trailer starts and ends with emotion. Also, similar to ZombiU, this trailer really wants to hammer home the idea of hopelessness. How even on a tropical island, the idea of killing zombies for fun is thrown out the window similar to the girl and how an apocalypse is a struggle of survival and whether or not you can live not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. Even though the game didn't follow on these ideas entirely, I did think that this trailer is one of the best of all time.
3. Dishonored Gameplay Trailer
The Dishonored trailer takes a darker approach than the others. In this trailer, you travel from one area to the next in Dunwall while a sinister 'Drunken Whaler' plays. The song waivers from a single vocal of a little girl to an electric guitar and a deeper voice singing with the little girl. The trailer also shows you the brutal ways to kill your enemies(some of which match with the lyrics of the song) and in the trailer you constantly see dead bodies and a industrial city with industrial machines. This trailer really got me with how dark the trailer is. The electric guitar and deeper vocals hit perfectly while the trailer is showing you either killing somebody or a large pile of corpses. The panning shots of the steel environment you call home showed me that this is a depressing area, not one of beauty. The machines used to kill showed me that this is an area ruled dictatorially. Showing you use your powers showed how skilled you are and how you use the ugliness of the world to your own will. This trailer hits home what this game is; a bleak world of industrial dictatorships where the weak die and the strong live. It shows how violent the world you are in is and how you are going to kill at great lengths to get what you want.
4.Uncharted 4: A Thief's End-Man Behind the Treasure
Of course, since I was talking about this trailer earlier, I had to include it on my list. The shortest trailer on this list, this Uncharted 4 trailer showed quite a scene in around 20 seconds(not counting the logo and review parts.) In this trailer, you see Nathan Drake in the middle of a gun fight in an ancient building diving and shooting in slow motion as the building crumbles and thugs are either falling or shooting. At first, Nathan looks like he is diving for a gold coin, but by the end you see him diving to save somebody else. While this is happening, you hear Nathan Drake saying some things while a piano version of 'Where is my Mind' is playing. In its 20 seconds, this trailer showed me and told me everything I need to know. Nathan's older appearance showed me that this Uncharted is more mature than the others. His verse of how people know him and how he is really followed by him saving his ally and not the treasure showed that he is a new Nathan. The destruction of the building around him and the name told me this is the end for Nathan Drake's career. The softer music shows a more emotional Uncharted and less of the swashbuckling, India Jones style of Uncharted. And all of this was displayed beautifully. the lines he was saying matched with action he was doing. He described the generalization of himself as a 'Two-bit thief' while seeing him dive for treasure, but then hear him say 'But that's not who I am' while diving to save another person. The slow motion destruction of the building while a soft piano song plays like two opposites. The ending shot of Drake and the other guy almost grabbing each other hands. This is a beautiful trailer that is short and sweet.
These are four great video game trailers that display a beautiful message about the world you will be thrown into if you play those games. These four trailers always come to mind for me when I think of video game trailers. I know their are many trailers that I missed, and their will be others down the line. In the end, a video game trailer conveys what a future product will be, and conveying a great trailer is very important to the video game industry.