Looking at trailers

There have been a lot of games going through open beta events recently (Aion, Champions Online, Gatheryn, lots of others which I haven’t been following) or releasing trailers to keep fans excited about releases that are yet to be dated (Cataclysm, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2, etc.)

Aside from being bowled over with the excitement of it all, what sort of information do you look for from a trailer, or from playing a beta? Is it mostly to get a feel for what the game is about? What the lore is like? Whether it’s a virtual world you might want to be a part of? How the graphics look? Just enough to decide if you want to buy the box and see more?

Or are you more interested in the gameplay? Do you want to see how the combat plays? How grouping might work?

The Star Wars trailer boasts 20 minutes of developer walkthrough with actual gameplay. They sold the vision with the last trailer, this time they’re showing off how it might look when you play it. (I have to say though, I was momentarily distracted by the Wolfenstein trailer at the beginning. Nice voice work on that but you can’t really go wrong with undead nazis.)

I enjoyed the trailer, I like the sense that they’re willing to sit back and let the game speak for itself. It isn’t as exciting as some of the others but it looks real. I also noticed that none of the characters were female or non-human other than some NPCs. Presumably they haven’t finished those models and animations yet. I also loved, “I’m just going to wave to someone, that’s what you do in multi player games.”

Check it out, especially if you’re interested in some of the thinking that goes on behind the scenes and want to see the Sith Warrior in action. Unlike the WAR trailers, I think showing real in game footage lends the devs some extra credibility.

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10 thoughts on “Looking at trailers

  1. Cinematic trailers are very nice to look at. Fun eye-candy shorts. They offer no gameplay information though, which is the crux.

    I always note my first impression when I watch gameplay trailers. Even though we are rational beings, the unconscious and emotional realms of our mind play a big role in our enjoyment of some activity. If I become excited while watching, I will typically investigate the game more. Otherwise, I might skip it until a friend asks me to look into the game.

    I usually will try my hardest not to judge a game too harshly during testing phases, but keep in mind that official trailers are the BEST this game has to offer at this moment. The marketing people aren’t going to show you average or poor quality work in a promotional advertisement…

  2. I’m in the “if it ain’t got gameplay, I’ll watch it, but won’t look at it as an actual ad for the game” camp. The SWTOR trailer with the Jedi Temple being attacked was a nice film clip, but it wasn’t an ad for the game, as far as I’m concerned.

    I loved the gameplay trailer, and will most likely be taking out a sith warrior for a spin once the game comes out based on what they showed. I hadn’t planned on that at all, initially, figuring everyone and their dog would have one and I’d want to go a different route. . .but after seeing the gameplay. . . I want a Sith!

    • I know what you mean. The sith warrior really reminds me of my warrior in WoW — the epic combat moves, leap into battle, dual wielding. Which means I’ll probably want to play one :)

  3. I tend to analyze those trailers pretty hardcore though, because I play games pretty hard-I usually just play one at a time with a lot of time investment, so game trailers have a higher standard to live up to for me. Cinematic ones tend to be more of seeing the general concept, so I tend to give them a pass and not judge games based on it.

  4. I am always most interested in actual gameplay footage and tend to analyze what I see. Jumping chars in the Guild Wars 2 trailer and the day/night cycle were some nice hints for GW geeks. :)

  5. I thoroughly enjoy trailers and the general hype train. And it probably does influence my gaming choices.

    I guess I’m just the type of advertising victim person that keeps marketing people in work.

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