These days, it’s usually not enough for a AAA game to announce its arrival with just a series of gameplay trailers or even CG cinematic TV spots. With games like Destiny taking live-action filmmaking quite seriously in their marketing, the developers of Sunset Overdrive faced a dilemma. Audiences can now feast their eyes not on Insomniac Games‘ next shooter made real in a live-action trailer of its own, but how the team came to learn – the hard way – that some games are best left as fantasy.
The new promotional trailer(?) is not too much of a break from the tone of marketing seen for Sunset Overdrive already. The minds behind the energy-drink-fueled carnage of Sunset know that the over-the-top and absurd level of carnage is their biggest selling point, and while the new video features only a handful of glances at gameplay, it’s sure to convince those already sold on the idea that it will be a one-of-a-kind experience.
Skeptics will claim that this video is simply Microsoft putting their money behind one of their new console’s most promising exclusives – that the humor is all meant as a tongue-in-cheek shot at other games (whose gameplay can be recreated in real life), and Insomniac doesn’t have much left to show besides what’s been released already.
But at the end of the day, marketing for major games from well-funded developers is becoming less and less about explaining exactly who the game is intended for, and more about selling the mere idea of the experiences it makes possible.
That’s certainly the case for Forza Horizon 2‘s own lice-action trailer. Since joining forces with BBC’s Top Gear, the developers have made capturing real-world motorsport a priority. The lengthy trailer for Horizon 2 (potentially a sneak peek at the game’s opening cinematic) keeps that trend alive, showing the game’s many supercars in the wild. And as with the game itself, they aren’t restricted to the pavement.
If that video has you itching to get behind the wheel of Horizon 2 already (as the developer no doubt hopes), then you’ll be pleased to know that at this point, it seems like the backlash over Forza Motorsport 5 has been heard loud and clear by developer Playground Games. To avoid the issue of microtransactions and balancing entirely, Horizon 2 will apparently be launching without microtransactions of any kind.
If you don’t have an Xbox One already, then there will also be the chance to feel the passion of motorsport on Xbox 360 as well. It will be a different game entirely, but one the developer claims is “inspired by the same idea.”
How do you like your trailers: made of real gameplay you can expect to play yourselves, or a live-action, cinematic adaptation meant to show you what it just might feel like? Sound off in the comments.
Forza Horizon 2 releases September 30 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, with Sunset Overdrive coming to the Xbox One on October 28, 2014.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.