When video games release trailers, their intent is to build excitement or hype for the game. Many of these trailers gives hints of the plot, show gameplay footage or give details about the world or characters in the game. With every trailer, the excitement builds for the release of the game and the hype train gets a little more steam.
However, what happens when a trailer lies?
It is not unheard of for a game to release a trailer to lie to, or mislead, its audience. One infamous case was the first “Dead Island” trailer. It was a slow motion trailer of a family getting murdered by zombies while vacationing at an exotic beach. It played atmospheric music and was effective in getting people to feel an emotional impact.
“Dead Island” was not like that at all. It was a game that was more action-packed and less atmospheric. When a game features a rap called “Who Do You Voodoo?,” it is not going to be down-to-earth and revel in the pain of losing people in a zombie apocalypse.
Trailers can lie in other ways. In the example of “Killzone 2,” the game was shown to support graphics that were revolutionary for its time. This proved to be false as the footage was not actual gameplay. Another lying trailer was the ones announcing “Aliens: Colonial Marines.” Those trailers showed an atmospheric game with the iconic Aliens stalking the players. Instead, players got worse graphics, almost broken gameplay and missing game elements.
This year even sported trailers that were not faithful to players. In the example of “Watch_Dogs,” the introductory trailer that announced the game sported graphics that was unseen in a console game. It was constantly praised and had gamers excited for the possibilities of console gaming.
When the game released, however, the graphics were not as good as the trailer showed, and the developers at Ubisoft Montreal were called out on this. When “Watch_Dogs” was released on PC, players found a way to boost the graphics, meaning that Ubisoft could have enhanced the graphics but decided not to.
However, until a game releases, we don’t know if a trailer is lying to us or not. We simply stand at the station and board the hype train until we either crash at the end of the line or get off, having had an amazing experience. It isn’t wrong to be excited for a game, but gamers should be skeptical of a game prior to release. The hype train is a developer’s marketing tool, but the ride can be a fun one.