GameFront 2010: The Year in Live-Action Game Ads
Live-action games ads are the best ads because they’re amazingly evasive. They sorta tell you about the game without really telling you about the game. They’re like those movie teasers that just has dramatic music and a person talking over a black screen before a logo slowly creates itself or rolls onto the screen. There’s no content there, but it’s f**king cool. Anyway, since it’s December, and this is the time in which we look back on year before forgetting about it forever in a few weeks, here are the highlights of The Year in Live-Action Game Advertising.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
This one works because it’s all grey and s**t, which means it looks less cheesy than it would otherwise. It also works because the Future Ghosts do cool things. That’s why we’re so obsessed with the future, right? We wanna do cool things, and this gameplay- and story-free trailer gives you a taste of what the game is going for.
Tony Hawk Shred
Yeah, the game was complete s**t, but this ad sure isn’t. While it may sound like faint praise to say watching this video is far more fun than playing the game is, it really is not. I love this ad because it makes fake skateboarding feel like a joyous and exciting endeavor, and also because it’s about pushing your house down a hill, something I never really imagined before but which I really, really wanna do now.
Metroid: The Other M
I like this one because it has a sexy lady in it. I also like it because the team behind it did a solid job of blending said sexy lady and other real people in with some fake things. That’s always important to ads for outlandishly sci-fi games like this one, at least if you’re that determined to betray to the public how nerdy your game is.
This is exactly what the Metroid ad is not because it definitely hides its (sparse anyway) nerdiness. Yeah, it’s about people fighting aliens in the 50s, but you don’t really think of, say, AMC’s The Walking Dead being nerdy, right? Now that sci-fi is a mainstream genre, restrained nerdiness is the name of the game, and that’s what this ad is. It also seemingly perfectly captures the feel of post-Chimaera USA (I say “seemingly” because I don’t know what it feels like to live in a place occupied by evil foreign forces), and it makes you feel a little more invested in the setting and plot than you otherwise might be. That’s the hallmark of the Halo live-action ads, and Insomniac does it pretty well here. Speaking of Halo…
Nothing really happens in this trailer; it’s just people talking, and none of them really know what’s about to happen. It sets the stage for what is to come exceedingly well.
DJ Hero 2
We arrive again at an ad I have viewed hundreds of times. Now that I’m bringing it up again, I’ll probably watch it a couple hundred more times tonight. I should probably do some work instead, but that’s just how it is. This ad’s got everything: attractive people dancing, cool visual tricks, racial harmony* and a really hot mix playing above it all. It’s the feel-good video game ad of the year, for sure.