Trailer Trash: Go Play A Video Game
The VGA’s apparently occurred over this past weekend and while they might not have the same cultural impact as other medium’s award ceremonies the organisers certainly know how to make their event relevant to consumers: by interspersing nomination categories with exclusive ads, with trailers. It’s been an almost silent year for me on the video game front but among the many familiar franchises ( Tomb Raider, Halo, Gears of War; none of which I have ever played a second of) there were a few titles that fascinated me and their trailers, plus my thioughts on the same, will follow.
The first, Bioshock Infinite – a bonkers combination of constitutional reverence, cyber punk and the occult – released a relatively uninspiring trailer that focused on the action instead of the story; as if simply watching someone play a game is exciting enough. It deserves this honorary mention though simply because all of its past previews have been so strong; check them out instead. Dark Souls 2 falls under this same banner.
The next to catch my eye was for a ‘new’ IP called Phantom Pain by the heretofore unheard of Moby Dick Studio’s. It’s a remarkably strange trailer that shows a soldier, recently wounded, waking up in a remote VA hospital and finding that he now has only one arm, one eye and very little control of what body is left. Rather than proceeding as a rehab simulator Pain then puts its protagonist in a traditional Shooter situation; the special forces attack, a squad descending on the hospital with some sinister purpose that involves slaughtering the other patients. Then things start to get really precarious. Check it out:
What has made the movie such a sensation though is the fact that the main character appears almost identical to the one in the recent announcement trailer for Metal Gear Solid V. Are they connected? Here is that Ground Zeroes trailer I mentioned, just for fun: it’s really long, beautiful and almost utterly banal but it sold me on whatever the hell the game is to be.
Lastly there is the most recent trailer for The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic actioner that appears to be equal parts Uncharted and Telltale’s recent Walking Dead game ( which, although barely a game, took home the big prize at these awards. It was also the best thing that I played this year, but again more of a book than a game). The dirt, the desolation and the Western-like grit all appeal to me; I just hope that there is as much a focus on character and story as this trailer suggests.
Looking forward to any of these? Any I missed?