The lights are on
Video game commercials are sometimes the most exciting part of watching TV. They are a brief reminder during the breaks of terrible shows that there is another far more interesting and engaging type of entertainment only a few remote clicks away. They’re also handy reminders that the games you are looking forward to are nearing release.Some are great 30 second sizzle reels effective at hyping your favorite games, while others can be ambiguous head-scratching short films that represent very little of what make your favorite games exciting.The Legend of Zelda: Skyward SwordZelda is one of those franchises that don’t need a whole lot of explanation or background. It’s pretty clear what the commercial is for once you see the iconic sword and shield falling to the ground. People seem pretty calm about the odd hail falling from the sky, and some even pick up the weapons and start flailing them around, despite a ruined ceiling. I’m glad they opted to show someone actually playing the game too, as opposed to just showing gameplay. It lets people know what kind of physical activity they’re in for.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I like Skyrim, but I don’t like this commercial. Anytime gameplay footage isn't shown, I feel like there has been a disservice to the game. You don’t see commercials for films that don’t show footage from the movie, why should games be any different? If you’re familiar with Elder Scrolls, maybe this commercial gets you excited, but you probably were already, so there was really no need to make a commercial for you. The people who aren’t familiar with Elder Scrolls may think this looks interesting, but are they aware that this is actually a video game, and not a mediocre medieval fantasy film? Of course, the game has already sold 3.5 million copies so clearly, it really doesn’t matter what I think.
[PageBreak]Battlefield 3It’s a bold move to try and mix footage of your game with actual real world (albeit staged) military combat, but in this case I think it worked pretty well. No one is getting confused about what is real and what is gameplay, but they are close enough to make you take notice. It did a good job emphasizing one of the easiest selling points of the game: its graphics.
[PageBreak]Saints Row: The ThirdSaint’s Row: The Third is ridiculous, and despite having a cheerleader punching cars with gigantic fists, I still feel like the commercial didn’t quite go far enough. It spends most of its time highlighting character creation, which is neat, but ultimately a very small part of the game. I love the quick joke at the end with Professor Genki, though. It’s weird and easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.
[PageBreak]RageRage is a pretty game, and this basically shows off that aspect of the game. It's all in-game footage, which is appreciated, and it has a soundtrack that definitely appeals to the target audience. There's not much else to say really. It's a totally fine commercial.
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