With launch trailers tasked with the dual goals of giving one last dose of marketing hype, while beginning to celebrate the game’s reception among fans, this week holds two very different releases. The boasts made in the launch trailer for Splinter Cell: Blacklist are fair, since the game has already received positive reviews prior to launch (read our own review as proof). As such, the team at Ubisoft saw fit to honor Blacklist with one more musically-infused trailer so common for the company these days.

Meanwhile, 2K Marin‘s long-awaited – and since renamed – The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is also preparing for launch. The pros and cons of The Bureau have been kept close to the chest by the publisher, but the final trailer for the game once again emphasizes the game’s strengths: a well-developed 1960s era setting, and more shadowy, censored government ops than you can shake a black marker at.

By contrast, there’s very little about Blacklist that prospective buyers don’t know; both the singleplayer improvements in varying gameplay and the multiplayer ‘Spies vs. Mercs’ have been extensively previewed, and the story trailers have promised a new Sam Fisher that is deadlier than ever.

With so much substance detailed and revealed so far, it seems appropriate to bring a sense of drama and occasion to what Ubisoft is clearly hoping will be yet another tentpole in their mass-market franchises. And to celebrate the occasion, Fisher (and Hawkins) is placed smack in the middle of a stylish launch trailer that, whether it convinces consumers to pick up a copy of Blacklist or not, is an interesting idea well-executed.

Now, for some good old-fashioned, secret alien warfare. Take a look at The Bureau‘s launch trailer:

We’re happy to see that the Cold War setting – one surprisingly under-utilized in the video game space, in our estimation – of The Bureau seems to be used effectively, and has always been one aspect of the XCOM universe we’d hoped to see explored further. The most recent developer diary highlighted the team’s commitment to telling a ‘secret war’ story befitting the era of Cold War paranoia and UFO conspiracy theories – but will it be enough to keep players from comparing it to Firaxis’ recent success?

How The Bureau will help or hinder the momentum created by Enemy Unknown remains to be seen, but from the trailer, it’s clear the two games are treading very different ground. Even if the environments and combat share some strong similarities.

Which of these games will you be picking up this week? A sci-fi shooter, or a stealth-action adventure? Leave your picks in the comments.


Splinter Cell Blacklist will be available on PC, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 from August 20, 2013.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will be released on August 20 for the PS3, Xbox 360 & PC.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.