Everything wrong with modern trailers


Ben Kuchera, Polygon:

A trailer has one job: To sell you on the game. Its sole purpose is to move you closer to making a purchasing decision. It may ditch the game’s actual visuals for pre-rendered or even live-action footage, or live-action with so many special effects that it may as well be CG. It’s not there to give an accurate representation about the game, it’s there to get you to buy something. That’s it.

That’s what a trailer does from the point of view of the publisher, but as a player I want to learn something about the game. I don’t particularly care if the trailer uses in-game footage or not, a live-action trailer can just as easily tell us something about the tone and setting of the game using other means. Some of the Halo trailers, for instance, did a great job of setting up the scale of upcoming games and the sense of loss without showing much of the battles themselves. The “Believe” ad was a great trailer, as it told me something about the game. It got me interested because it made me feel something.

Unlike those on Twitter (referenced in the main article), I found the Wiz Khalifa track a breath of fresh air from the dub-step action epics and juxtaposed warm-and-fuzzy shooter reels. I also enjoyed watching a simple (mostly) side-shot mano-a-mano CG(?) fight in lieu of an over the top action sequence packed with cameo after cameo.

However, where the teaser is refreshing under the lens of style, it lacks the substance necessary to elicit excitement for this game. Grumpy Kuchera wins again.