It's become clear over the last few years that game trailers follow a fairly standard outline, with publishers and developers seeming to agree on the few important points to get across. A cool voice-over, some interesting script referring to events in the game that don't really make sense out of context, and a climactic swell in music and some badassery. End it with a cliffhanger, and you're in business.
Perhaps we've been underestimating just how strictly the guidelines are followed, since this YouTube mash-up of the Spike VGA trailers for Mass Effect 3 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim works for either title.
Both games put players into the role of a unique protagonist with special abilities to stop an impending conflict, with the same slow start capped off by a triumphant reveal at the end. The trailer works even better if you have an intimidating enemy to show off, or an ancient prophecy to end on.
For those of you who have always preferred the fantasy genre over science-fiction, maybe hearing the soothing voice of Max von Sydow laid over the reveal of Commander Shepard will change your mind.
On the other hand, maybe those who got suckered into the RPG genre by the laser-shooting, force-pushing Shepard will realize just how deeply Mass Effect is rooted in role-playing. BioWare is one of the best producers of RPGs around today, and the injection of some of Skyrim's teaser into this trailer definitely shows just how close it keeps to its roots.
Check out the mash-up trailer below, created by YouTube user 'Solgineer':
It was evident to anyone who tuned into the Spike Video Game Awards that there wasn't going to be much variation in announcement trailers. After a few reveals, it became clear that almost all of the trailers would be following the standard layout even more closely than in previous years. Whether it's a case of a lack of creativity or simply not fixing what isn't broken is open to interpretation but this video is the best example of how great trailers can be while still keeping to industry norms.
Hearing a bit more mythology added to the Mass Effect franchise may get fans even more impatient for the third installment, still a year away. However, PS3 owners will get a dose of Shepard a little earlier, with the demo for Mass Effect 2 arriving at the PlayStation store next week. No such luck for fans of Elder Scrolls V, although Bethesda has promised a brand-new engine when Skyrim is released next year.
Allow us to ask the obvious question: why has no game like the one apparently being advertised in the trailer been created yet? If nothing else, the video is a clear endorsement of just how great an idea it is to see dragons and dragon-slayers do battle in a futuristic London. They could even give it a title that combines the rule of the English monarchy with that of fire-breathing dragons, something like Reign of Fi-...
You know what, nevermind.