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We All Lift Together

This is technically old news, but Warframe came out with a new expansion of sorts.

Accompanying this expansion is perhaps one of the best game trailers ever made:

While the video is a delight itself, I am mainly referring to the song. Luckily, someone created an hour-long loop version so that I don’t have to keep clicking the Repeat button and/or fend off auto-playing “recommended” videos.

Listening to this on loop got me thinking… what even are the other contenders for best game trailers ever made? I had to go through several Top 10 lists to reacquaint myself with a few of them. My own list includes, in no particular order:

I’m a sucker for orchestra and choir and Inception noises, apparently.

If you need me, I’ll be listening to a trailer song of an expansion to a game I don’t even play.

That Panda Trailer


Why must you make it so difficult?

From a technical perspective, the Mists of Pandaria trailer was good. I even laughed when the human handed the orc the spear. But like Rohan, I was left confused as to its purpose. The Pandaren are not a third faction, and all the Pandaren that would be joining the Alliance or Horde are obviously not fighting for “harmony.” I am already sold on the idea of the expansion and the lack of a unifying, spotlight villain. But this trailer… does not excite me in any way.

Just take a few minutes and watch the original WoW trailer again:

I have not watched that in 3+ years and I still got chills from it. Same with the TBC trailer, especially with the WotLK cinematic, and… well, it is still kinda cool how the Cataclysm trailer presented the whole “welding plates on a dragon” thing, even though I cared not for Deathwing himself.

I dunno. As mentioned before, I have nothing against pandas, Pet Combat systems, or anything that comes across as overtly “childish.” I mean, c’mon: gnomes.

But I am also acutely aware that MoP is going to be fighting an image battle for its entire duration, regardless of the merits of the actual game itself. And more to the point, people playing MoP are going to be the ones fighting that image battle alone, if this cinematic trailer is any indication. This expansion is going to be filled with bloody, Horde vs Alliance massacres and betrayals, and Blizzard reinforces the stereotypes at the tips of everyone’s tongues the moment they hear the words “panda” and “monk.”

This is either going to be a long two years, or a short one.

Spared Expense

If you have not seen it yet, the 4.3 Patch trailer is one of the worst trailers Blizzard has ever made. Why? No voice over. I was originally sympathetic to the argument that “Hey, they’re just patch trailers.” But after watching this week’s episode of Legendary, I was inspired to see if Youtube had a collection of the old ones. As it turns out, they do.

To be clear, not all of them are good. Most of them seemed way cooler at the time. But out of all of them, the only other patch trailer with no voice over was 3.2, Call of the Crusade. As in the most phoned-in raiding content patch in the history of the game. Is that really the comparison Blizzard should be going for, nearly two million subscribers down, with the LAST patch of an expansion and ultimate show-down with Deathwing, aka “I am the Cataclysm?”

It becomes even worse when you consider this fan-made revision:

This is what the fan says in the Youtube description:

After seeing the slightly disappointing 4.3 trailer from Blizzard I had a thought that it was simply lacking voiceovers, so I downloaded their trailer and voiceovers from the Dragon Soul raid and played around with it in iMovie for about an hour and this is the result.

Do note I have almost no video editing experience.

You know that tingling sensation, accompanied by your nipples getting hard? That’s (probably) due to proper voice work. And the goddamn height of Blizzard’s absurdity in this is that these voice clips already exist in the game files. It is not as though they can even hide behind the “expense” of getting Metzen to read the inactive ingredients label on a bottle of shampoo over Skype, or whatever passes as content creation in Blizzard offices these days. They had all the pieces already, but chose NOT to spend the one extra hour making a presentably badass trailer for the ultimate, world-destroying boss. Instead, they chose to dust off the 3.2 trailer generator, and cut & paste new video while changing the text in the “delayed left-to-right lens flare” field.

If Titan does not end up being the best videogame in the history of the medium, I hope to god that we see a VH1 Behind the Scenes special, five years down the road, detailing the descent into drugs and madness that was the dev team during this time period. I would rather know that they were booting black tar heroin than to accept that a team of gamer designers sat around a table and approved garbage like the original trailer. I would rather them say “let the casuals eat cake” and return to TBC 2.0, than to know they said “good enough” while rubber-stamping an inferior product. Design directions, even if I disagree with them, at least indicate a modicum of seriousness. This shit… if they stop caring, why should I? Or anyone?

The little things matter.

Dead Island

Probably old news, but this is by far the best zombie apocalypse game trailer I have ever seen:

There were parts of that video that looked like live-action. That aside, I was not entirely sure there was space in the game market for another Left 4 Dead game, but… according to this Joystiq preview it is apparently a Borderlands-esque RPG complete with “stat boosting shouts,” tank-melee-rogue-ranged party dynamic, quests, XP, and items with stats on them. Obviously that article mentions some issues with the game that may or may have been solved by the time it is released next week, so who knows.

I typically believe myself immune to marketing, but damn. Not going to buy the game until a Steam deal comes along, although I shall be easgerly following its progress in the Metacritic space.