Saturday, May 28

Cinematic Prose, Gaming Woes

There’s nothing worse than having your expectations taken to great heights, only to have them come crashing down.

You may recall my post last week where I was looking forward to playing the newly released Brink. From all the pre-release material I found, it promised to be an interesting take on the modern FPS by incorporating parkour and delivering an outstanding multiplayer offering.

This combined with the brilliant and action packed trailer I posted last week, I was sold and ready to give it a good crack. And then I read the post release reviews…

My regular gaming consults, Metacritic and Good Game, both gave it average, mid range scores. Within Metacritic, whilst Escapist and Machinima rated it 80, IGN and Game Spot gave it a mere 60.

The complaints all seem to be the same – borrowed ideas talked up to be something new, clunky controls and more of a good idea that’s not quite ready to be a completed game.

Although a Metascore of 68 probably isn’t all that bad, it’s frustrating based on the level of hype and that fantastic video. I, like many others, base much of my anticipation on videos and trailers. As a marketer I should realize that’s what developers do to capture your attention, but when it’s really good, I can’t help but ignore my better instincts.

The same thing happened when I saw the Fallout 3 trailer – cinematic, captivating and highly entertaining. Although it ended up being highly acclaimed, I was relatively new to the franchise and ultimately bored the whole time I played it. I tried – I really tried – to like it but the style of the game just wasn’t for me. The best thing about Fallout 3, in my opinion, was trading it in at EB for a wifi adaptor.

On a positive note, thankfully some games actually do live up to the hype created by beautiful trailers. The cinematic small film for Gears of War (so cinematic that I actually saw it at the cinema) really changed my view of the Xbox 360, it’s capabilities and exclusive titles.

Trailers for Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, Spinter Cell Conviction and PGR 4 also successfully captured my attention and managed to keep me entertained with solid gameplay.        

With the recently released Modern Warfare 3 trailer exploding over YouTube, will it prove to live up to the hype in November, or just be another great trailer for a game in a strong series?

Do you have any favourite trailers? Have you ever been a little too excited based on pre-release material only to be let down?


  1. I can remember when I first played Fallout 3. I thought it was ugly and unwieldy, I was allergic to it. So it sat at the bottom of my collection for about 3 months and then my brother told me he bought it and it was the best game he'd played in ages.

    I booted it up again and found myself forgiving a lot of its flaws. I genuinely enjoyed it, and saw it all the way through to the end. It was no Oblivion or anything, but it was worth the second go.

    Brink just arrived at my place and I'm yet to give it a try. Almost tempted to wait for the first lot of free DLC before I get into it.

    The MW3 trailer did what I thought impossible: it reinvigorated my interest in this flogged horse of a franchise. Hopefully they learned some lessons from the backlash of MW2. Only time will tell.

  2. Speaking of Modern Warfare 2 - the bit in the trailer where the guy in space gets blow to smithereens. I was disappointed that it was just a cutscene and not a playable space level.