Festive Feature #1 - Top 5 Game Trailers of 2010
Written Monday, December 20, 2010 By Dan WebbView author's profile
If there’s one reason to love Christmas... apart from the gifts, the time with the family, the good food and copious amounts of alcohol, then surely it has to be the fact that we prep a load of amazing content for you to read through. This year is no different of course, and as we always do in the run up to the big day itself, we’ve prepped five ‘Top 5s’ of 2010 for you to agree with, call us massive tossers that we got them “wrong” or the more preferable of the three, enjoy them for what they are.
X360A stalwarts will know that we don’t have any set topics for our Top 5s, so anything goes – although you might find one that returns... again! – and first up this year, we’re going to try something totally new... and that’s lump praise onto this year’s best game trailers. And boy, has it been a good year for game trailers!
What were we looking for then when we devised this list? Well, we were looking for the usual sexy visuals, high production values, an impressive use of cinematography and buckets full of awesome. That’s buckets and not bucket, so trailers with only one bucket of awesome were immediately axed. Let’s get on with the show.
Here’s a mini spoiler for you... Numero 5, AKA the Red Dead Redemption launch trailer, is the only trailer in this here Top 5 where the game is actually already out. Why did we pick it? Easy. Launch trailers recently for a lot of publishers have simply become exercises of reminding the consumer that their product is out, rather than selling it to them. Sure, there are the exceptions (Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead for instance), but for the most part, that’s all they seem to have become.
Red Dead Redemption’s launch trailer though – using the in-game engine like everything Rockstar does – has everything you want from a launch trailer: plenty of emotion, a smidgen of mystery, oodles of drama, great cinematography, a small but non-spoilerific insight into the game, it introduces some rather quirky characters to the viewer, has John Marston’s gruff voice narrating it and has lots of shooting and explosions. What more could you ask for? It’s the sort of trailer that wouldn’t be out of place when compared with Hollywood’s best... which is a testament to how impressive it really is.
Good game trailers are trailers that get the general masses out there talking. Trailers that reveal a little something about the game, while wowing the viewer, but never revealing too much. Arkham City’s latest Hugo Strange reveal trailer - which saw the light of day at this year’s VGAs - did all of that and more.
There has been much debate amongst various members of the staff here at X360A as to what part of that trailer was live-action and what part of it was CGI. The general consensus is that we don’t honestly know – the chap being interrogated looks live-action, while Hugo Strange himself looks like CGI – but we usually come out agreeing a few things... Batman is the man, Rocksteady is doing great things for the franchise’s name and we can’t bloody wait for Arkham City next year. I’d say that was mission accomplished if you ask me.
Irrational Games’ BioShock is widely heralded as one of this generation’s greatest games. A true masterpiece some call it... and by some, I mean me. BioShock 2 on the other hand though is rarely held in the same light as its step brother, so when Irrational announced it was back on development duties with BioShock Infinite and did so with the release of a pretty stunning announcement trailer, we couldn’t help but get a little bit excited.
Say what you want about CGI trailers, but we frickin’ love em – in fact, 4 of the 5 best trailers this year are stunning CGI pieces – and BioShock Infinite’s trailer didn’t only delight us for a few minutes, but it also revealed a fair bit about the game as well, including its new location, time period, how wacky it was, and more importantly, that although it looks totally different to BioShock, it carries a lot of the franchise’s staples. Why announce a game two years before it comes out though? Why the hell not?
Anyone around here who knows me, knows that I almost shit bricks for anything Mass Effect. The whole franchise for me is definitely the highlight of my gaming life. It’s that simple. The world, the characters, the attention to detail... everything is almost perfectly done in my eyes... except maybe the mineral mining, but let’s not go there... again!
So when the VGAs rolled around and BioWare’s mysterious game turned out to be Mass Effect 3, I had kittens... not literally of course. Sure, we all knew it was coming, but actually hearing it’s coming in 2011, that we’re going to Earth and that BioWare still has Blur on trailer creation duties (well it looked like it was their work), we were very happy bunnies.
Now compare the Mass Effect 3 announcement trailer to Mass Effect 2’s, and you’ll see why we were over the moon to get CGI Shepard in all his glory, prepping for the biggest battle of his life, rather than some dupe to say he was dead again. Now that would have sucked.
When I brought up the topic of best game trailers with a few of the staff, there was one trailer alone that stood out for more than a few and it was the one trailer that people stated without any hesitation. It’s one trailer that has continually wowed and still wows us to date and that’s the Deus Ex: Human Revolution “Icarus” trailer, which was the game’s debut CGI trailer.
Picture our joy this month when Square Enix only went and released an extended version of said trailer. One that has about 5 minutes of beautiful CGI included, which is a couple of minutes more than the original. So... that’s more action – like punching through walls and stuff – more Blade Runner-esque goodness and just a hell of a lot more awesome than usual. It’s as close to porn that you’ll get on a video game website. Actually... don’t respond to that, just do yourself a favour and watch the trailer again.
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for our second "Festive Feature" when we take a look at this year’s top 5 video game characters.