When a movie is first introduced to us, we're often given a short peak at what the movie is about. A few snippets of people talking, an action scene, and then something profound to wrap it up. In film class, these things all had names that I totally forgot, but it's a formula and it's designed to give you the information you need about the movie to get excited without specifically clarifying what the movie is about. Extended trailers, near a film's launch, provide more details and more snippets of what the plot is about, to draw you and engage you. If you want to know what happens next, the trailer was a success, and you'll now go view the film. 

In video games, the trailers are now nothing remotely to do with a game. To pick the easiest target at E3, Ion, the trailer has nothing at all to do with the game. It's some vague CGI that has nothing about gameplay on it, for a game where the gameplay is going to have to be stellar to get past the developer stigma attached to it. A little more controversial, but Final Fantasy 7's trailer is literally CGI and that's it.  

In contrast, Mirror's Edge at least provides some gameplay footage. Something for us to know what the game is going to look like, play like, or an idea of what we're going to be walking into. Kingdom Heart's trailer goes over actual gameplay without revealing too much, like the worlds you'll visit, and more. This lets fan speculate on the worlds (like is that Hercule's world?) and at least showcase what the game is going to shape up to be, even if it's not final production.

I honestly understand the need to hype a game before you even got some code down or even during phases that you can't really showcase what you have because it's not all together. At the same time, when I see a trailer, and I spend my time watching it, I want to know what I'm getting into. I want some gameplay or I want some discussion about how it plays. I love a great story, but to pick on Ion again, I have no clue at all other than I assume they sous vide Humans in the future. 

You don't have to have gameplay, you can talk about it though, you can describe how it is. For instance, picking on Ion again, I know it's like a really awesome game called Space Station 13, which I have played. I know about SS13, it's neat, and I believe this is like DayZ meets SS13, but again, if I watch just the trailer, I'd assume this is about the new way to sous vide clones. 

I feel like these trailers are misleading and while cute, aren't specifically helpful to gamers. Again - I know some companies use them well, like FFXIV where the trailer is the introduction movie to the game and clarifies and highlights story issues, but there is tons of other information about the game and the game exists as a known quantity. Whereas a lot of these games at E3 aren't specifically known yet, they're concepts. 

I'd like to highlight another trailer that did it well: Destiny. Destiny did a jamming job on this trailer, which mixes CGI with gameplay. I know what the game is going to look like already, but I also know what the expansion is going to look like more. You can watch it below to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

I do hope that we do reach a point that gamers find these trailers to be insufficient and begin speaking out against it, but I doubt that will happen when they're normally pushed forward during high energy events where the good and the bad can be lost in the noise of the hype behind AAA games and flagship properties that are far more mainstream than the rest.


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Destiny Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.

Comments