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Is anyone actually interested in cinematic trailers for videogames?


Eighthours
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I'm not, I think they're mostly pointless.

 

Take the new cinematic trailer for Fall Guys Season 2:

 

 

A lot of effort clearly went into this, but it makes me so much less interested in the season than if they had posted a gameplay video of the new modes and levels. Just little cuts of gameplay is fine, it doesn't have to be a full walkthrough or anything.

 

Remember how they originally showed off the game a few months before its launch, by showing... er... how it might play?

 

 

That got us excited, right?

 

So what say you to cinematic trailers? Are they worth the effort? Do they make you hyped for the game? Or would you always rather see gameplay?

 

 

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No, they’re mostly bollocks. Although, if they’re done in-engine and running in real-time then I’m happy enough. 
 

That opening sequence for Killzone on the PS4 remains pretty damn extraordinary. Plus, it’s the only bit you need to see of the game, so you could all save money too.

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No.

 

Any trailer that isn't 75%+ gameplay is a waste of everyone's time.

 

And "in engine" is no better. Be it cinematics or gameplay from angles I cannot play they're all just as pointless.

 

Show me the fucking game or shut up.

 

Other things that are turds:

 

  • logo announce trailers
  • any trailer for a game not out in the next 12 months.

 

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1 minute ago, Simmy said:

The cinematic trailer for battlefield 2042 was brilliant in total contrast to the final game.

 

So much promise :(

 

 

There is no promise in a cinematic trailer. They deserve nothing more than a laugh from the viewer before moving on.

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Trouble is you see some of the reaction to these cinematic trailers elsewhere and people lose their minds with hype, so they must be worth doing even if massive cynics like us can't stand them. You may get the occasional one where they get a hugely negative response (hence no Dislike count on Youtube), but comments are usually of the "I can't wait for this! Take my money!!!1!" variety, and that's half the PR done. 

 

I wouldn't be surprised if there's some element of keeping shareholders happy or some other market-related reason for them especially if a game is over a year away from launch. It probably has an impact on a share price or investment for bigger publishers. 

 

Personally I think they're pointless for actual players. Imagine a film trailer where none of the footage was from the actual film, just inspired by it. Wouldn't happen. 

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If it’s a certain theme or setting that looks intriguing then I’ll keep an eye on it, but if the trailer doesn’t hint at a genre then I can’t really get hyped for anything. I remember the earliest trailers for 13 Sentinels were “just” montages of backgrounds, character art and walking animations - the art and music looked nice, but I didn’t know what genre I was looking at. And how many people expected Catherine to be a puzzle game after its debut trailer?

 

I guess if it’s for an entry in an established series or franchise it could get away with being vague - people already have a general idea what to expect - but gameplay definitely helps.

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19 minutes ago, SMD said:

they're mostly shite


can you name a single one that isn’t? I can’t think of one. Halo 2 had a cool one but I’d argue it was ultimately shit because it gave us unrealistic expectations.

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5 minutes ago, Timmo said:


can you name a single one that isn’t? I can’t think of one. Halo 2 had a cool one but I’d argue it was ultimately shit because it gave us unrealistic expectations.

 

dead island's trailer is better than the game

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Nope, not interested. They're here to stay a they are much easier to produce than in game/engine footage.

 

Cinematic trailer - hand your design document and expectations to an outside studio (to name one example, BLUR Studios). It's a controlled environment where the animation studio fully controls the scene, camera, furniture placement, light, interactions, animations.

In game/engine trailer - can the engine handle a free roaming camera? How does texture quality behave when camera moves around? Is that walking NPC going to block the camera, do the characters look remotely good from up close? Many variables to consider and deal with which is more time consuming.

 

 

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Like >20 years ago when CG was still kind of new and notable and the only place you saw it was the movies they were kind of impressive, most people probably have some memory of staring at some trailer playing on a Gamestation CRT slack-jawed as an impressionable teen.

 

Nowadays, it's lost all wow-factor, CG skills and tools are democratised to the point where CG is available in everything and even single animators can put out seriously impressive shorts like Astartes on Youtube. The only reason I think they still exist is 1) they got a lot cheaper and 2) they don't disrupt the dev team by requiring them to work on some scripted gameplay sequence for marketing, you can just contract them out to some external studio.

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I think they're also still in place because game journalists and sites fail to stick the knife in. They are the primary conduit of the overly optimistic expectations set by devs and publishers when publicising their games.

 

CG trailers are the modern Molyneux. Journalists failed to apply any critical thinking to the bullshit he was spouting and they do the same today with other developers and their pointless trailers.

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They can sometimes work on the level of a short film, be it something amusing or exciting or simply 'well done', and if it's to do with something I already like I can get a kick out of them. I always used to love Blizzard's cinematics for Diablo, Starcraft and World of Warcraft for example. 

 

But a non-engine, no gameplay cinematic trailer for something entirely new hardly ever piques my interest about the game itself. Mostly because I'm already so cynical about the end product. The sizzle reels they play at E3 and whatnot are the worst. No context, no gameplay. Just a flurry of short cinematics and titles. I really don't get that.

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Most “cinematic trailers” are just not very competently or interestingly edited and are usually for stories that you would never actually want to sit down and watch outside of the game. Hideo Kojima does the odd well-produced cinematic teaser for a game’s first announcement but even Mr Movies generally focuses on tightly-edited gameplay demos.

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