Even if you outright despise Ubisoft and their sometimes shady business practices, you have to admire that they know how to sell a game with an outrageous amount of hype. However, one of the most middle of the road games it’s ever produced, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, has one of the most underappreciated trailers ever.
Woodkid’s distinctive style is mixed perfectly with gorgeous visuals and gripping action as we see an aging Ezio track down his ancestor, Altair. It might not have convinced many neutrals to buy the game, but series fans were left rightfully frothing at the mouth.
Is the game any good, though? It was fine. Nothing spectacular.
4. Prey 2
One of the biggest missed opportunities in the history of gaming is Prey 2. Despite a strong following, no doubt bolstered by this sublime trailer, the game went AWOL during production before eventually being cancelled by Bethesda. The franchise was eventually rebooted with 2017’s Prey, which owed a debt of inspiration to System Shock and was fairly well-received. Sadly, we will probably never see what Prey 2 could have been, but Johnny Cash and bounty hunters in space? You can take my money right now.
Is the game any good, though? We’ll never know.
3. Star Wars: The Old Republic
Realistically, they shouldn’t have even bothered to release The Old Republic. Its CG trailer was so impressive that there’s no way the actual game could live up to it — there are undoubtedly some who’d prefer to watch more trailers like these than sit through the new trilogy. It’s everything you could ever want from a Star Wars trailer: lots of lightsabers and whole lot of world-building. The rest of the trailers and cinematics for the game are excellent, too.
Is the game any good, though? Eh, it’s okay. Not what it could or should have been.
Arguably the trailer that kicked off a wave of trailers as art, Gears of War’s success owes a lot to this beautiful bit of marketing. Many have tried to ape it, including later games in the series, but few have come close to creating such an emotional response from viewers.
Gary Jules’ now iconic cover of Mad World compliments the daunting task ahead of Marcus Fenix superbly well, making Gears one of biggest selling points for the Xbox 360 at the same time. It would remain the standard for emotive game trailers for many years before being dethroned by a haunting piano loop and family disaster in 2010.
Is the game any good, though? It was polarising, but four sequels later, it certainly carved itself a big audience.
1. Dead Island
It speaks volumes for how profound an effect this trailer has on me, and many others, that after so many years since my first watch, all it took was hearing the opening seconds of that damn piano again for the hairs on my arms to stand on end and my eyes to suddenly become lubricated. It’s emotionally manipulative and an absolute bastard, but it’s undeniably a magnificent three minutes.
Its critics have said that it’s false advertising considering how it barely resembles the finished product – they have a point. However, considering how many people it touched in so many different ways and how much it must have pushed sales for a relatively low-key zombie game, the Dead Island announcement trailer simply has to be the best game trailer of all time.
Is the game any good, though? Not really. It was average and buggy as all hell. Dead Island 2 has disappeared.
So, there you have it, my list for the best game trailers. Agree or disagree with my choices? Drop a comment below and let’s talk.
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