With the release of the fantastic Resident Evil 2 remake last month came a similarly great live action trailer that made callbacks to the George Romero-directed tease for the 1998 original. What better excuse to reflect on the best video game trailers in history…
Gears Of War
When you look at Gears Of War, with its curb stomping finishing moves and chainsaw melee kills, you wouldn’t guess that a soppy Gary Jules cover of “Mad World” would make for a suitable soundtrack. And yet Microsoft’s exclusive shooter got one of the most memorable trailers ever thanks to the piano-plinking backing music.
Ah, Killzone 2. Never has an E3 trailer been so misrepresentative of the final game. Still, we fell for it and became absolutely enraptured by the graphical potential of the then yet unreleased PS3. You would’ve thought that it would be the end of game trailers that far overreach the boundaries of the final product, but future debacles like Watch Dogs and The Witcher 3 prove otherwise.
Absolutely one of the best trailers ever conceived. Masterfully edited and surprisingly emotional for a gory zombie romp in which the central character hacks to death a bikini-wearing holiday goer. Big shame that the final game was largely complete pump.
Grand Theft Auto V
While the reveal for GTA V surely goes down as the most anticipated game trailer in history, it’s the game’s second tease, with Stevie Wonder’s ‘Skeletons’, that is the better pick. From bank heists to car chases to therapy sessions to fighter jets, it showed off the mad potential of this enormous world.
After the Fallout 76 debacle it’s worth reminding ourselves just how good developer Bethesda can be. A tense build up with Max Von Sydow’s croaky tones leads into one of the most goosebump-inducing orchestral pieces in video games. It’s amazing to watch, even after seven years.
Set almost entirely from a first person perspective, BioShock’s trailer is one of the best depictions of tone and world that doesn’t spoil the overall game. From the body-altering powers of the game’s plasmid abilities to the hulking great big daddies, it captured the horrible world of Rapture. Add in some blood curdling authentic screams and a surprise death and you’ve got an all-time great.
Bungie stirred up a buzz for Halo that hasn’t really been recreated by any other first person shooter studio since. It topped out with Halo 3, and this particular trailer has the perfect blend of scale, scope and intimacy. Not to mention a musical motif that makes you want to punch the sky.
Almost no one understands what Death Stranding is, and yet its trailers have been some of the most captivating in recent memory. Babies in bottles, spectral corpses and lots of black goo – not to mention Mads Mikkelsen, Norman Reedus, Lea Seydoux and Guillermo Del Toro in starring roles – make for some bizarre horrors that you can’t look away from. And it’s eight minutes long!
The Witcher 3
The ‘Night To Remember’ trailer for The Witcher 3 might not have any actual gameplay footage in it, but it’s a wonderful microcosm of the desperate and scrappy nature of the game’s central monster hunting, which sees protagonist Geralt literally sacrificing his humanity in order to clean up the world’s filth.
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