Written by Rick Warren / Gfn2112
I don’t think any form of media does trailers better than gaming. Entire conferences are held that are packed with them, and the trailers themselves can offer so much more due to the interactivity of the medium. Sure, this may cause some games to be shown too early and some games may become overhyped, but it’s still something that I love so much about the gaming industry. Good trailers bring so much genuine excitement, and this week, I’ll be sharing the five that excited me the most.
5.) MGSV: The Phantom Pain – E3 2014 Trailer
Here I go again. Yes, I’ve shared my thoughts on this game in detail once before, and in passing many times, but I’d be lying to myself if I left this trailer off my list. It was genuinely perfect, from the song choice to the dialogue and editing. It built genuine hype and prepared me for what I thought was going to be the best Metal Gear Solid ever. We all know how that turned out (hell, this trailer showed every notable story moment in the game), but the game’s problems don’t make the “Nuclear” trailer any less great.
Next up... more Kojima!
4.) Death Stranding - Reveal Trailer
The second Kojima trailer on the list is a truly special one. The reveal came out of nowhere, and the reaction was incredible. Seeing Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus working together again, despite the abrupt and disappointing shutdown of Silent Hills, was incredibly reassuring. The song choice, Low Roar’s “Easy Way Out”, fit perfectly with the mysterious tone of Kojima’s new world. Best of all, though, is the longevity of this four-minute tease. To this day it is still being incorporated into theories and mashed up with the newer trailers, and it works as both a standalone preview and as a piece of a larger puzzle.
In the third spot, a trailer so strong it helped win me over on the game...
3.) Final Fantasy XV - Omen
Based on the amazing soundtrack and early gameplay, I was pretty certain I would pick up Final Fantasy XV on launch day. This incredible trailer was the dagger, though. Gorgeous, action-packed, and interesting, when it ended I immediately started it again. This cycle continued for a few days, and I watched this trailer way more often than necessary. It had accomplished the purpose of a trailer. I pre-ordered the deluxe edition of the game, watched Kingsglaive, and freed up launch day. I’m glad this trailer exists, because it was the tipping point to me having one of my favorite experiences with a game this generation.
In the second spot, a trailer for one of favorite games ever...
The Witcher 3 - A Night to Remember
I don’t know if there is a trailer out there that perfectly captures a universe like this one. In a few short minutes, viewers get an idea of Geralt as a character, the world around him, and, of course, the monsters he faces. The CGI here is incredible, only outdone by the fight itself and strong conclusion. Like the Omen trailer for XV, it does more than just sell the game: it tells a story of its own. The involvement of this trailer’s director (along with the awesome social media activity of the lead writer) makes me extremely excited for the upcoming Netflix series. Witcher fan or not, it’s something to be excited for, because if it’s anything like this trailer it will be phenomenal.
In the top spot, the trailer nobody expected at the time...
The Last of Us Part 2 - Reveal Trailer
How did this happen? The reveal of The Last of Us 2 itself wasn’t particularly crazy, as the original was a masterpiece, but the choice to show the game at PSX is something that I’m still amazed by. Literally nobody expected it to happen, yet Naughty Dog chose to blow people away once again. Ellie singing was genuinely beautiful, and the slow-moving shot of the dead fireflies was the perfect reminder of the game’s world. Joel walking through the door brought genuine excitement, as did Ellie’s promise in the trailer’s final moments. If anyone was worried about a sequel damaging the legacy of the original, this was the perfect piece of proof that Neil Druckmann knows what he’s doing. To this day, one of my favorite Level Up Network moments is the reaction to this trailer, and honestly, I think it’s my favorite moment from any gaming conference ever held.
That’s all for this week! Check back next week for another top five, and head to the comments for some honorable mentions!