Over recent years, video game trailers have become as prominent as movie trailers, if not more so. And just like movie trailers, video game trailers can get us gamers super hyped up, often leading to us pre-ordering games on the spot since we were blown away by the awesome gameplay footage on display. Of course, this doesn’t always work to our advantage since often times a game trailer might make what ends up being a lousy game look totally awesome. So again, much like with movie trailers, video game trailers can be misleading as to what we should expect from the game’s they’re advertising. The main advantage video game trailers have over movie trailers is that they can be much longer since they can show extended gameplay footage and give us a very good idea of what the games in question entail (which is certainly preferable over most cinematic teaser trailers that show no gameplay and are meant just to grab our attention). Suffice it to say, video game trailers are deeply ingrained within the video game industry and aren’t going anywhere, so we might as well enjoy them. On that note, us Gaming Respawners have reflected on which video game trailers got us more excited for certain games than any others in recent (or not so recent) memory. Join us in “Gaming Respawn’s Game Trailers That Got Us Super Hyped”. Yours truly will be kicking things off this time. Enjoy!
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Back in the day, I absolutely devoured the games based off The Lord of the Rings during the PS2 era, namely The Fellowship of the Ring game that more closely followed the events of the first book and the 2 movie licensed games that followed the events of Peter Jackson’s phenomenal trilogy (interestingly, these last two games were developed by EA back when they were actually beloved by gamers. How times have changed, huh?). I also played the turn-based RPG game The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, which to this day remains one of the few games I played that I never got to beat, but let’s not get into that immense disappointment. I played these games repeatedly for years to the point where I grew tired of them and traded them in, and to be honest, those games haven’t aged all that well. Other than those games, there weren’t many other games based off the LOTR IP that really interested me since they were mostly (not all but mostly) MMORPGs.
Years went by in which the LOTR gaming scene went ignored by me. But at some point as I was browsing YouTube for all things video games, I kept noticing the thumbnail of a gameplay trailer for yet another LOTR game called Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Given the title, I immediately assumed it was just some other MMORPG or RTS game where you send armies of Elves, Dwarves, and what have you against the forces of Mordor, so I ignored this trailer and didn’t give it a second thought. Some time went by, and I found myself browsing YouTube again, only this time I was bored out of my mind and looking for ANYTHING to occupy my attention. Yet again, the thumbnail for that Middle-earth game popped up in the list of recommended videos, and since it was one of the few recommended videos I hadn’t watched, I decided it couldn’t hurt to take a look at the trailer and snort derisively at whatever boring RTS gameplay I was about to watch (I mean no offense to any gamers who enjoy these types of games, but they are simply not for me). But when I clicked on the link to the video, I found myself completely HOOKED on the footage I was shown just thirty seconds in, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t blink for the rest of the 8-minute gameplay trailer.
(trailer courtesy of WBGamesUK)
That up there is how you make a trailer, ladies and gentlemen. Draw in viewers with a quick synopsis describing the main character and his mission, then jump right into the gameplay while providing some extra background info. The way this trailer was edited made it so that the viewer was engaged at all times, and they cut out all the fluff so we could see all the interesting gameplay mechanics without any moments of aimless wandering about. Hell, even the narrator with his intense yet soothing voice was great. The way he summarized what was occurring on-screen was informative and somehow non-intrusive. And the gameplay this trailer showcased…holy crap. This trailer alone sold me 100% on Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which very rarely happens with me since I normally need to see multiple gameplay trailers, read reviews, and watch some gameplay videos before I decide for certain if I’m going to get a game or not. Within 8 minutes, I had gone from not even caring about this game to NEEDING it to be part of my beloved video game collection (needless to say, I was not disappointed since the game kicked ass). Even after playing this game and its sequel, I’ve still re-watched this trailer a few times just because it’s that entertaining and gripping, and the ending STILL gives me goosebumps.
Just as my beloved Dreamcast started to lose its way, I saw a trailer for the new PlayStation 2 and the subsequent launch titles on BBC Breakfast News. Yeah, I’m that cool. There was a small segment about how the new PlayStation 2 was a powerhouse, featuring a built-in DVD player, and the graphics were so good that it would threaten the future of actors. We all know how that worked out (or didn’t), but at that time in history, I genuinely was blown away.
I recall there being a teaser for Onimusha: Warlords in the compilation that was shown, but it was the trailer for Kessen that made me late for work and ruined my bowl of cornflakes. From the trailer, it looked like a full war zone from the 1600s. There were charging horses, one-on-one sword fights with samurai wearing full battle gear and cutscenes indicating that there was an underlying story pushing the game forward. This was the future. Well, it was feudal Japan, but that’s not the point.
As this was a compilation showing the technology and upcoming games, the gameplay wasn’t actually shown. In the official trailer, you see the real-time battles, but it was the action scenes that got me. My experience though was what the BBC had cut together, so I was expecting to play an interactive movie. A few months later, I was at a wedding overseas, and in true pre-marital celebration, I took a detour to the local super mall and bought an import PS2 with my first game, Kessen. I played it back in the hotel soon after and was never disappointed.
As I write this, I have the same PS2 connected in the lounge and still own the same disc. In fact, I think it’s time to give it a go again. That’s genuine and not for the sake of this piece.
(trailer courtesy of cosmaty)
There have been so many occasions where I have seen a game trailer and said to myself, “Oh my god! That looks so good! I can’t wait to play that game!”. When trying to remember which one has been my favourite, it was an extremely hard decision.
There is one game, however, that stands out for me. Tomb Raider. Over the years, Tomb Raider has turned into an incredibly huge franchise. There have been many films, comic books and multiple games. There have been many actresses playing as the famous Lara Croft as well. So, when I say that my favourite trailer is for Tomb Raider, I think I need to be a bit more specific. The Tomb Raider I am referring to is the reboot game released on March 5th, 2013 that allows us to see how she became a survivor.
When I first saw the trailer for Tomb Raider, I got chills. I felt like I had been waiting for the game all my life but hadn’t realised it until I saw the trailer. When the beginning of the trailer starts, and Lara Croft is speaking, I remember feeling shocked to hear her voice. I instantly knew it was her and that this was going to be a trailer for a new Tomb Raider game. I even remember jumping up and down because I was overcome with excitement and happiness.
(trailer courtesy of Tomb Raider)
The whole trailer is absolutely gripping. The way she speaks, the way she looks, the script, the cinematography, the graphics and just the trailer as a whole make you feel like you want more. I was absolutely bursting to play the game. Since I was a little girl, I have always loved the Tomb Raider games and the whole franchise. During the trailer there is one line that stuck with me, and that line is: “In our darkest moments, when life flashes before us, we find something; something that keeps us going”. When I heard that line for the first time, I actually shouted, “Oh, hell yeah!”. This line sets the whole game up and lets the player know that she is going to be facing some horrifying and testing moments. Lara Croft is a strong, confident, amazing woman whom I have always looked up to. This game, however, teaches us how she becomes just that. She goes through so much during the game to become the survivor she is.
Gears of War
Video game trailers are powerful things. They have the ability to get us super hyped up for an upcoming release or make us dread the day it finally comes out. Whether it’s the cringe-inducing awfulness of the “Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2” campaign or the frankly bewildering attempts at advertising that Acclaim tried to pull, a trailer can be truly memorable.
If I had to pick one that really stuck in my mind, I guess it would have to be the ‘Mad World’ trailer for the first Gears of War. While recently replaying through the series to be caught up in time for Gears 5 (I had missed 3 and 4 because…well, I forgot the series existed, if I’m honest), I found my mind drifting back to that first trailer. The haunting melody, the feeling of isolation, the huge monster apparently killing the protagonist at the end. It’s all just stunning.
(trailer courtesy of Xbox On)
One of the weirdest things about the trailer for me is that while it is great, it’s also sort of misleading. While Gears of War is certainly grim, the tone in the trailer is more somber and solitary than co-op, action-packed, chest-high-wall tour. Regardless of how it might have slightly mis-sold Gears of War, the Mad World trailer is one I won’t forget any time soon.
Final Fantasy VII (Remake)
The game trailer that was memorable, got me hyped and made me want to pre-order a game right away was the trailer for the Final Fantasy VII remake. I remember it like it was yesterday, watching E3 and the music that started playing, oh my God. I knew it was Final Fantasy VII right away, and then the trailer showed a back view of Cloud walking through Midgard. That first trailer and the announcement that Square Enix was making a Final Fantasy VII remake just blew my mind, and I knew no matter what that I was going to get it. I tried to stay up to date and see all the news about the game that I could, especially so I could find out the release date and if there was going to be a special edition.
(trailer courtesy of PlayStation)
The first thing that grabbed my attention right away was the beautiful high-resolution graphics and how stunning the game looked. It looked like a better high-quality version of the Final Fantasy: Advent Children movie. Midgar looked so gorgeous, all the NPCs and just everything about it looked so mesmerizing. I knew right after the short trailer ended that I was going to get the Final Fantasy VII remake. Not only because I’m a huge fan but also because Square was talking about how the remake was going to make Final Fantasy VII better than ever before.
Yes, there have been more trailers and news about the Final Fantasy VII remake, but for me nothing was like that moment when I saw that first ever trailer for the remake. It was the same excitement that I had felt when I was younger and first playing the original Final Fantasy VII, as well as The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. The original Final Fantasy VII was actually the first RPG that made me fall in love with the genre.
Since the release date was announced at E3 2019, I’ve tried my best to avoid all the latest news on the game since I want to experience everything about the game firsthand when I eventually start playing it, just like how I did back in the days before the internet. I love the feeling of experiencing everything while I complete my favorite games.
And that wraps up our list of video game trailers that got us super hyped up for the games they were selling to us. Do share with us in the comments below any memorable trailers that got you excited for a game, whether it was years ago or just last week.