#1 Posted by Letter11 (29 posts) -

I just watched the trailer for The Bureau: XCOM Declassifed, and it was okay I guess. I think they should have cut that kids hair though, it looked a bit modern to me.

Live action trailers are appearing more often these days, and I've heard that the reason is to make them more appealing to people who don't play games as often as we do. Seems like a pretty valid argument. I enjoyed the Halo and Mass Effect shorts, but I still prefer CG like say CyberPunk 2077, or the Witcher 2.

What do you bombheads think?

#2 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

I think the only live action video game trailers I really like are the Halo ones. I know what halo is by now, so yeah, give me an awesome live-action trailer.

For a game like The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. Well shit, give me a gameplay trailer so i know what the game actually is, because i still don't know at this point. Though the CG trailers don't bother me in the same way for some reason.

Online
#3 Edited by Yummylee (21498 posts) -

They're alright, all depends on how they're directed, but I'm not opposed to the mere concept of live-action trailers. They can sometimes act as a decent entry point into showing you what the tone of the game will be before they're actually at the stage to show it in-game, like The Evil Within's.

Sometimes there's situations like Darksiders II, though, where it can feel like overkill when its marketing was comprised primarily with nothing but CG and live-action trailers. Plus it doesn't give off a very good sign about how the game's looking if the publisher's being so reluctant to show it off.

#4 Edited by DarthOrange (3858 posts) -

Sometimes they are really cool, like with Resistance 3.

#5 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I find live action trailers a waste. There's rarely anything there to make a connection with, in regards to what the game will end up being. A pointless pitch really.

CG trailers I can get behind. Just thinking of what Blur and the animation buffs at Blizzard come up with - yeah, nice CG trailers can really be something. I guess a combination of the two can be okay, if it feels like a vertical slice of a high budget summer blockbuster - like some of those Halo live action trailers.

However, my favorite type of trailer is quick cut in-game footage in a montage set to some nice piece of fitting music. For example this sweet tailer for Dark Souls...

Now that's my trailer preference. Introduce me to a great game, as well as a great piece of music.

#6 Posted by StarvingGamer (8146 posts) -

Like anything, they're fine when done well.

#7 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

I like them. Obviously it doesn't replace gameplay footage, but it's neat to see them do it. It's funny. They always make those look so awesome and it makes me sad that they can never take that same look and feel and stretch it out to a full length movie.

#8 Posted by Rorie (2857 posts) -

Fun fact: very few trailers see much involvement by the developers involved, which is why so many games go for CGI or live-action trailers. (Developers will usually get to review a trailer and give feedback, but in the end it'll be the publisher's marketing people who get to decide what kind of message they want to send, even if that message isn't entirely accurate.) Most of the time these trailers are farmed out to companies that specialize in them, and when a game doesn't have support for stuff like detachable cameras and slowing/freezing time (which is usually the last thing on a developer's mind while making a game), it's easier to just visualize the cool stuff in CGI or go for something atmospheric in live-action.

Generally I'm much more of a fan of stuff done in-engine, obviously, but I'll accept relatively close CGI trailers. Live-action is probably my least preferred, and I think the Bureau stuff seemed a bit risky in all the ways that three-minute voiceless trailers usually are.

Staff
#9 Edited by JouselDelka (967 posts) -

@letter11 said:

Live action trailers are appearing more often these days, and I've heard that the reason is to make them more appealing to people who don't play games as often as we do. Seems like a pretty valid argument.

Yeah that is a valid argument and I always use live action trailers to get people or friends more interested in games, they're very cool.

I watch them and find them entertaining but they don't change my opinion a bit about a game. I need to see gameplay, what I, the player, will be doing during the 5 or 50 hour experience, not see a live action pitch by the creator. It's very fun and sometimes impressive but in my head it's a good looking cutscene of the game, nothing else.

#10 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10898 posts) -

If there is actually FMV in a game, then I'm all for it. If not, then it's just marketing being marketing, and trying to sell a game without actually showing a game.

Honestly though, I think I prefer live action trailers to pre-rendered trailers that look way better than the actual game does. I'm forever telling my dad (who sees a lot of commercials for games on TV) that those commercials use stuff that looks way better than the actual game, which he doesn't really know as he doesn't keep up with stuff. But he can still tell the difference between games and live action stuff.

Moderator
#11 Posted by Zeik (2362 posts) -

Live action trailers are awesome, but only when they're intentionally super dumb. Super serious soldiers being super serious are lame.

#12 Edited by Letter11 (29 posts) -

@darthorange: I hadn't seen that one. Pretty solid. The atmosphere really gives that sense of dread you would expect in the aftermath of the invasion.

@seppli: Nice pick. I remember that trailer really got me hype for the game. You might like this one for Metro Last Light. It's one of my favorites.

@rorie said:

Fun fact: very few trailers see much involvement by the developers involved, which is why so many games go for CGI or live-action trailers. (Developers will usually get to review a trailer and give feedback, but in the end it'll be the publisher's marketing people who get to decide what kind of message they want to send, even if that message isn't entirely accurate.) Most of the time these trailers are farmed out to companies that specialize in them, and when a game doesn't have support for stuff like detachable cameras and slowing/freezing time (which is usually the last thing on a developer's mind while making a game), it's easier to just visualize the cool stuff in CGI or go for something atmospheric in live-action.

Generally I'm much more of a fan of stuff done in-engine, obviously, but I'll accept relatively close CGI trailers. Live-action is probably my least preferred, and I think the Bureau stuff seemed a bit risky in all the ways that three-minute voiceless trailers usually are.

That's right, I totally forgot about this thanks. It really explains the disparity sometimes with a trailer and its subsequent game. I guess the most egregious example would be the infamous Dead Island trailer. It was so intense it was hard for me to watch. And the game well... It was so unbelievbly cornball, and it was made worse by the fact that they didn't embrace the silliness. They really wanted you to take Dead Island seriously. Which I found impossible.

So yeah I agree. I mostly prefer in-engine, CG comes second and live-action last. But as @starvinggamer put it simply, anything is fine as long as it's done well.

#13 Posted by SomberOwl (652 posts) -

I prefer to see actual gameplay from trailers, initially at least. When a game is close to release a live action trailer is good for building hype and excitement. But when a game is revealed I want some actual in game footage and gameplay. Not just some dumb CGI trailer or live action. Those can come later on after we've seen the actual game and don't have to go all crazy speculating about what the game could be or might be like.

So yeah they can be cool, just I don't like them as the initial reveal I suppose is what I'm saying.

#14 Edited by Glottery (1220 posts) -

Back with PS2 there used to be some pretty crazy ones, though a bunch of those advertised the console itself. But guess when you hire David Lynch to direct...

Third one's not really live-action, but it's still such a favourite of mine...anyhoo, like already mentioned, I like them when they're done well.

#15 Posted by Animasta (14673 posts) -

my favorite:

damned down low ding of gaems.

#16 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2216 posts) -

I don't much care for them much like I don't care for CG trailers, I prefer to see the real thing.

#17 Edited by BeachThunder (11832 posts) -

They do nothing for me, even though some of them are very well made.

Online
#18 Edited by Demoskinos (14763 posts) -

I like them for announcement trailers they are fun to watch if done right and can set the tone of the game early on. I think the recent trailer for "The Evil Within" did a good job of setting tone and letting you know they are serious about being a damn horror game.

#19 Edited by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

They suck.

#20 Posted by MiniPato (2732 posts) -

Unless they are humorous (like the Ratchet and Clank commercials) or have well directed action (like that live action Halo 3 trailer by Neil Blomkamp), I think they generally super suck.

#22 Edited by VirtuaGrant (52 posts) -

While it probably isn't the case, live action trailers always make it seem to me that developers or publishers have little confidence in game-play/in-engine footage to sell the game. There are examples of when that isn't the case obviously (the aforementioned Halo and Mass effect trailers) but for something new, something I've not seen any game-play from, it immediately makes the thing seem a bit suspect to me. Paranoid? Probably, but that's the impression I always get.

#23 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@animasta: That's pretty great.

That's about the only one I thought was good in any way really. They generally don't give any idea of the actual game. I was really pissed to see the Xcom shooter's trailer was live action.

CG is okay because CG tends to be more exciting than "dudes walking around and/or talking" but I generally prefer in game.

#24 Posted by indieslaw (341 posts) -

@rorie Hmm, that's really interesting. Do the bigger publisher's marketing teams often have video teams in-house, or is it typically more outside/contract work, do you happen to know?

#25 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Waste of time

#26 Posted by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

The best trailers are the ones that communicate aspects of the game to me. I think that live action trailers have the most difficulty doing this, about the only thing a live action trailer is capable of communicating is tone and narrative, and who knows if they're even doing that. There is something to be said for looking at trailers as their own self contained art pieces however, and in that context live action trailers are fine I suppose.