Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Five Effective Video Game Teaser Images

by Kyle Hilliard on May 17, 2014 at 01:35 PM

Recently, the creator of Flappy Bird tweeted out an image from his new game. It was a tease for what's to come and it got me thinking about still image teasers of the past that worked to get me excited about upcoming games.

Final Fantasy XII
Following the release of Final Fantasy X and armed with the knowledge that Final Fantasy XI would not be a traditional single-player Final Fantasy game, Square Enix released the image above. It gave us a good look at the world and its visual direction, but in terms of story and character, there were very few assumptions that could be made. This image was all we knew about Final Fantasy XII for quite some time, and it led to some enjoyable speculation.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
A year before Nintnendo officially unveiled Skyward Sword, it released the image you see above. It's a straightforward image showcasing Link, who nobody doubted would appear in the game, but it left enough room open for interpretation. Where was Link's sword, and who is this blue creature standing behind him? It did a good job at opening the door for questions and revealing an art direction, but not at the cost of showing too much about the game too early.

The next game from PlayDead
PlayDead is the studio behind Limbo, and when this image surfaced as being related to its next project, the Internet quickly assigned it as belonging to Limbo 2. The name of the game and its relation to Limbo is unclear, but there are some obvious parallels that can be drawn between the two projects. It's dark, eery, and mysterious, and what are those lights in the background? car headlights? Eyes? This image has me absolutely fascinated reagrding what could be coming next from PlayDead, and I can't wait to learn more.

Cyberpunk 2077
We've learned a little bit more thanks to a teaser trailer, but the mohawked man above was our first idea of what was in store for CD Projekt RED's Cyberpunk 2077. The studio is known for The Witcher series, a story firmly rooted in fantasy. To see a future-punk with Google Glass and a gun from a studio that usually works with swords and spells was surprising and continues to be exciting.

You could argue that this is actually the opposite of an effective teaser considering no one gave it much thought until after Destiny was announced, but that's the reason I enjoy this tease so much. It went nearly unnoticed, importance unrealized for years. We spoke with art director Chris Barrett, the man responsible for sneaking the tease into Halo 3: ODST about putting it into the game when we featured Destiny on our cover. You can read that interview here.


Bonus: an intentionally ineffective teaser image

Gears of War 4(?)
On a recent video podcast for Black Tusk Studios – the developer currently in charge of the Gears of War franchise – studio manager Rod Fergusson shared the first piece of concept art for the next Gears of War. Apparently, the next Gears of War will be played out of focus. I'm guessing you play as a nerdy kid who loses his glasses in the game's opening moments and you spend the rest of the game accidentally killing and defeating the Locust through a series of mishaps and coincidences like Mr. Magoo as you try to find your lost eye-wear.

Are there any teaser images of the present or past that you felt have been particularly effective at building excitement?