I know it sounds super dumb, but one of the things I look forward to the most each E3 are the cinematic trailers. Yes, I genuinely mean that – I look forward to some good old fashioned CGI footage, even though it’s misleading and shows zero gameplay half the time. This year’s show was no different, providing some really spectacular cut scenes that are highly enjoyable to watch. Are the final products going to reflect the trailers though? Probably not… at least, not all of them.
From the past
First off, let me show you some of my highlights from yesteryear. These are announcement trailers that I sometimes go back to watch simply for their brilliant execution, and to remember how much hype they created for myself and millions of others. Here they are in no particular order…
Final Fantasy XIII
Back in 2006, the Xbox 360 has been launched, and the Playstation 3 was on the horizon. It was an exciting time for gaming, as visuals and potential had really been ramped up exponentially thanks to the incredible power of these two new consoles.
One franchise many had their eyes on was Final Fantasy. How would Square Enix utilise all this new processing power? They unveiled Final Fantasy XIII, and it blew people’s socks off.
Keep in mind that cinematics of that quality were scarce back then. This trailer was pure eye candy! It even had moments of gameplay, teasing fans with what they could expect when it finally launched.
When it did release, it received mixed reviews. Final Fantasy XIII was not what people expected, myself included.
Assassins Creed Unity
Last year, Ubisoft unveiled Assassins Creed Unity which was set during the French Revolution. That era provided the perfect backdrop for this gorgeous trailer.
Unfortunately, as great as the cinematic was, the game turned out to be pile of MEH.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Also at last year’s E3 was Valiant Hearts. This trailer took me, and I’m sure, many others by surprise with it’s cartoonish, yet hellishly realistic glimpse at World War I. I still struggle to believe that a 2 minute trailer can come packed with that many feels!
Thankfully, Valiant Hearts, while not a stellar title, proved to be awesome nonetheless.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Finally, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. To this day, this remains my favourite gaming trailer. We never asked for it, but man, did we get something special.
Human Revolution turned out to be a fantastic game. The only thing the trailer did completely wrong was allude to the fact that the boss fights were going to be epic. They weren’t, not on any level. Still – great trailer, great game.
This E3 has some stellar reveals. That being said, I personally found many of the cinematic trailers weren’t WOW, except for maybe these:
Horizon Zero Dawn
The first half of the trailer for the new IP from Sony is purely cinematic, while the other showcases some gameplay. Honestly, even if the latter were left out, I would’ve still hopped onto the hype train.
I really hope Horizon is good. I really like the world that is being portrayed!
Final Fantasy VII
I confess I may be a bit biased by including this video here. While covering the Sony conference, this unknown trailer came on. As soon as I saw the slide in the playground, at around 00:25 in, I knew what was being revealed, and I got goosebumps immediately.
There is no gameplay shown here whatsoever, but the trailer has just enough familiarity in it that fans of Final Fantasy VII around the world got up and danced around the room. That closing shot showing Cloud and his Buster Sword? Pure magic!
Last, but most certainly not least, I liked the ReCore trailer. This new Microsoft IP, from the makers of Metroid Prime, has a human surviving a harsh looking world with her robot companions.
It shows nothing of gameplay. As a good trailer does though, it has me longing for more.
The above are just my personal favourites. I’ve excluded the likes of Unravel because that trailer was pure gameplay. What are your favourite all time trailers, if any, and what were your favourites from this years E3?.
Last Updated: June 19, 2015