The lights are on
Publishers try a lot of things to get gamers excited for their upcoming offerings, but do they really know what their customers want? Join our reader discussion by sharing what you look for in a video game trailer.
For me, the best video game trailers try to inform viewers instead of entertain them; I like watching things explode as much as the next gamer, but if I'm going to watch what is effectively a commercial for your video game, I want to know what's special about it. Rockstar did an excellent job with its Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, and Max Payne 3 trailers, highlighting the unique mechanics and technology of each game.
Dev diaries are also informative, but they tend to be a bunch of talking heads, which brings up another important aspect: game trailers should show gameplay. Nothing tells me more about a game (or gets me excited for it) than seeing it in action.
Also, if you're going to put your trailer on television or before the start of a film, make it respectable. Nothing is worse than watching television with non-gamer friends and having a commercial come on that depicts us as obnoxious, boob-crazed losers. Even if your game has redeemable qualities, I'm not going to defend it against your own sucky advertising.
Last but not least, include a freaking release date. If I don't know when your game comes out, how am I supposed to buy it?
What do you want from a video game trailer? Share what you like and dislike in the comments section.
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What I want is for them to show a hook in the plot to get me interested, outline the basic information about the game, and if they are trying to hype a unique element in the game, then SHOW GAMEPLAY OF IT. Gameplay is key to a trailer, otherwise we are forced to imagine for ourselves how the game will play.
Just what I want from a movie trailer, be awesome, don't actually tell me a damn thing about the game. I want to be excited without spoilers.
Epicness is all that I ask. It can be explosive, it can be subtle, it can be slow, it can be fast, but it must be epic. If I don't come away thinking "that was pretty awesome" then you have failed.
Story snippets + non-deceitful, authentic gameplay + humble length= excellent trailer
Overall, I want to be hyped for the experience while being shown something indicative of that experience whether it is gameplay or cutscenes or something that fits the mood of the game. The Team Fortress 2 trailers were excellent at this. They may not have shown much gameplay, but they were cleverly written to convey the goofy nature of the game. Trailers that just show people standing around, pretty graphics, or the same shot of someone shooting through a sight are not enough and don't make for a good trailer to me.