The Deception of Trailers.

Lets start out with why game tailors are so important, and there’s one word, marketing. If you make a game, your going to want to make it known, add hype, and increase overall sails, In most cases, if said game sells well, there will be a sequel, Equaling more of a fan base and even more profit. below is a video of what was acceptable in its time, full of wacky noises, kids cussing, and just having fun, appealing to the 90’s generation.

And now, lets get to business, and see what that wacky commercial has evolved into.

Many games use music as a way to enhance the emotional effect of whats happening on the screen.  Imagine some of your favorite games without the use of a well placed piece of music.  Likely, the impact isn’t nearly as profound. Sometimes, developers create these emotionally gripping/tasking trailers that draw us in and get us so ravenously waiting for a game that may not even be attempting to reach the lofty heights that it’s trailer has set out for it.  Let’s take a few examples.

Gears of War 3:

Let’s start with the famous “Ashes to Ashes” trailer for Gears of War 3.  This trailer had me wanting GoW3 Yesterday! (obviously that feeling was before the game was actually released.) The trailer set to Heron Blue by Sun Kills Moon depicts, like GoW2’s trailer featuring Madworld by Gary Jules, A melancholy and dark setting full of emotional overtones and a sense of inevitability of failure and mental breakdown.  It shows the game as a very salus event that is going to tug at your heart-strings and deeper feelings of remorse for what these characters are going to go through.

Did it deliver?:
I honestly don’t think it did…

Eventually, the game does build some sort of emotional pull.  But it doesn’t live up to it’s trailer in any fashion.  In a trailer that gives you this sense of overwhelming odds and a gloom that hangs over everything and everyone, the game is relatively bright and without much differing atmosphere from it’s previous installments.  The writing never gives the trailers feeling of mental fatigue or obvious sense of acceptance of dying as they did in the trailer.  The score  for the game never really reached the song of the trailer either.  Not saying the game was bad. (I’m saying the writing was though.) the game maintains the entertainment as the others and does end… well.  While I do wish it was way more in depth as the trailer, it wasn’t a complete disappointment.


Dead Island:

This trailer simply blew me away, and while the Gears of War 3 trailer didn’t lead me to believe that the series was going to change dramatically because, frankly, it’s Gears of War. A well established series  with a game style and play mechanism that they aren’t going to change. I was hoping for something a little different visually.  This trailer impacted me harder as there was NOTHING known of this game, then suddenly, a trailer appears and becomes famous for it’s cinematography, story, emotional impact, and of course it’s music.  The song by Composer Giles Lamb does an amazing job of gently building to a crescendo during the climax of the trailer. and fades back into a gentle exit as the trailer fades with a photo of the family as it’s final image.  Needless to say I was hooked and followed everything about the game as it became available.

Did it deliver?:
While I do enjoy the game… it simply did not deliver at all on the trailer in any aspect.  It was a huge letdown in that respect.  The trailer shows the story of a family that isn’t in the game at all.  only there bodies are shown in the hotel.  The game actually follows 4 boring, stereotyped and honestly ripped off from Left4Dead series, characters who you really get no emotional connection at all.  The game is gorgeous, but never really has that same feel as the trailer did.  And while the game attempts in numerous spots during play to pull at your emotions.  It only works when you remember back to that trailer, if you didn’t see the trailer you would just go “Wow, that’s a little messed up, I guess.”  Honestly, in more places then not, the game tugs at your homicidal tendencies by throwing characters at you who you’d rather shoot in the leg and leave behind as Zombie bait so you can get away unscathed than to actually help at all. Again, I did enjoy the game, it’s beautiful to view.  runs great on PC, has effective character RPG style progression and weapon creation.  it’s a good game.  The trailer made it seem like the next amazing event that really just hurt it more in the long run than it helped.  If the game was like the trailer, it would have made every Site “Best of” list.  I kindof believe if the trailer wasn’t around, the game may have hit a few “best of” lists as well.

When I think of the word “game trailer” I can imagine massive useless explosion, a catchy guitar rift, melodies everywhere you turn, epic set pieces, a few game play images, flashing words on the screen about gaming review magazines telling you how awesome the game is, alot has changed since before gaming was ever as big as it is now, going from simple commercials about the game, usually with adults acting wacky, making it appealing to kids, to absolute heart pounding music set on a large scale battlefield. Lets take a look at the what makes us gamers so eager to to play them.

Heavy rain:

When I first seen this trailer, the game looks unimpressive, not alot going on, no ambient music, and all together, Quite boring compared to other trailers that were coming out. It describes nothing about the game, What you see, is a happy family, shots of people clubbing,  hold ups, and everyone’s favorite, guns. All of this while being voiced over by a man talking about a killer on the loose, this was very deceiving, thinking I would not get much enjoyment out of this game what so ever.

Did it deliver?:
when I played this game, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I found myself awe struck.  Heavy rain is a very dark, depressing story, very emotional soundtrack that actually plays off your emotions and choices, such as a game called Indigo Prophesy, which is made by the same company. there are so many endings to this game, and what I also did not expect is that this game is crazy long! I’ve been playing it for 10+ hours, and I’m still only 70% in the game, what I thought would have been nothing, has become one of my favorite games to date. It is a shame however, this game did not sell alot of copies, which is upsetting because of how amazing this game truly is. I believe if it were given a better tailor, depicting the actions and story of the game it would have went on to be a huge hit!

Resident evil 5:

The room goes black as the announcer delivers the line “here is your look at resident evil 5” the crowd goes nuts, seeing returning beloved characters, Head shots, Gore, crazy scary scenario’s, explosions, pulsing musical scores, misleading conversations and gun shots! I know when I first seen this, I knew I had to go to my local gamestop and pre-order my copy asap! Being a huge fan of of resident evil series, I could not wait for this game. After the huge success of resident evil 4, I knew it in my heart that this was going to be one of my favorites.

Did it deliver?
However, I soon realized that I was terribly wrong. When I did play it, all I could think of was “If the title of the game wasn’t resident evil, it would be a decent.” Bceause honestly, the game had nothing to do with resident evil, yes there were characters from previous games in it, but other then that, I see no relations. taking the hectic, horror based zombie killing game i use to love is no more, been whipped clean and replaced by what is “resident evil 5.” The game had good mechanics, and an OK story line, certainly not worthy of the RE title it so proudly wears. The trailer made me believe I was going to play an awesome beloved  game series, This game was one of my biggest flops, going from high hopes, to none at all.


Deception in trailers is a known fact these days, for me having loads of time browsing sites for trailers of upcoming games is a everyday thing I do to pass time with. I remember some of the games that from the first time watching them, I was compelled to purchase those games day one. So let’s get this over with and go back to finish what I’m supposed to do a week ago…


Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X

A group of Modern day soldiers as depicted in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon try to blow up a tank but instead tag it with a laser. A plane comes out of no where and blows it up, I remember this trailer in Ubisoft’s developers conference back in E3 ’08 saying it is the ultimate flight combat simulator to come on any console. It was directed toward the Ace Combat series and they wanted to take them down a notch or two. Using actual images from GeoEye to enhance the gaming experience and to see actual buildings that are based in real life. I was sold back then.

Did It Deliver?

Nope, Nada, Niet. The trailer and actual in-game footage looks so different, I was shocked at how the High-Quality images in the trailer was but then again, it was pre-rendered and I should’ve known that it was too good to be true. It was supposed to be the game that takes down Ace Combat (which I hated back then because there was only support for the 360 but no PS3), Nothing was as they showed in that trailer and even the gameplay was so stupid. To have full manual control of your plane, you must exit to Third Person View to kill to initiate Dog Fight Mode. That was disappointing.


Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

August ’10, I remember being at the beach in Brussels, sweltering in the heat, I turned on my iPad and went on YouTube to find out a trailer called “Ace Combat: Assault Horizon”. My heart stopped, I felt a cold chill run down my back and all of a sudden, jumped up and ran back to the  hotel as fast as I can. I turned on my laptop and starting watching the trailer, It struck me so hard I was literally crying (Finally An Ace Combat game!). With tags like “Make Metal Bleed” & “Call Of Duty In The Sky” I was (again) sold on the concept. I mean they had the very same awesome composers that did the original soundtracks, what more do I need to say?

Did It Deliver?
For me? No! I was seriously pissed off again, duped twice by awesome footage and deceived by trailers again. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! Promises of having a whole new Rebirth of the series was a complete lie, it’s not even an Ace Combat game anymore. If they named it “Flight Simulator Arcade Style Warfare” I would be happy, but to lie to fans of the series and making a game that’s so easy and targeted at kids is pathetic. If you want to win then you must go into DogFight Mode over and over and over again. I kid you not you might keep doing that 20-40 times per stage and that’s how you win, there is nothing there that resembles the awesome game that is Ace Combat.  The reason for the hate is even trying Expert mode made the game unbearable to play, After the third stage I just stopped caring and threw my disc in the storage, it was not that bad and most of the hate comes from being disappointed in the franchise. Alas I shall never believe game trailers anymore and actually just believe everyone out there is a lie waiting to happen.

Leave a Comment