Friday, June 3, 2011

The Alien Lord's Top Epic Game Trailers

(This blog was originally posted by Chris McCormick, our resident Alien Lord, on his personal blog. It is a list of some of his favorite Video Game Trailers. He thought you might find them interesting, so I am posting it here as well. Enjoy! - Alex Brown)

Taking a small break from my novel, I thought I'd shove at you a ton of Youtube videos. While the temptation remains to throw tons of seemingly random and unrelated videos at you, I am resisting in order to provide a blog that is more enjoyable to read since everyone of you is capable of finding your own random videos. Most are video game trailers, and to be fair, have provided inspiration for my novel. However, beyond providing me with a giddy feeling, the most common thread between these videos is I believe them to be epic.

What makes them epic? A dictionary definition would serve great here: heroic; majestic; impressively great. While not all of them are heroic or majestic, I do find them all impressively great. Though to add to that definition, I want to add that these trailers give me chills or have made me extremely excited.

My Top Epic Trailers

Dragon Age 2

Why Epic
Dragon Age 2 played great and the plot contained many epic elements. The trailer here with Kate Mulgrew (Flemeth in the game or better known as the incredible Captain Janeway) voiceover, doesn't reveal much about the story except that your character, Hawke, portrayed here as the dude kicking the horned guy's ass is a bamf.

So what makes it epic to me? The character is wailing on the guy but the feel gives you this majestic feeling. Your character is going to embrace his destiny. The fight sequences are evenly balanced between power, speed and abilities on both ends. Equally epic is the character's weapon, a sword staff. This gave me the idea to change in my novel the character's weapon to it.

Best moment: The crown rolling to the feet of Hawke and his initial stance before the sword drag.

Resistance 3

Why Epic
This isn't epic in the way things are portrayed. Far from it in fact. A ragged group of survivors riding a train that is very reminiscent of a Depression era U.S. accentuated by the music. For those who have played the games, they already aware of facts portrayed in the trailer. Those who aren't aware are brought in more by the sights of the bodies and destroyed buildings. When the music cuts and the Chimera attack the train in the tunnel, thats when the true tone comes out.

The pure epicness of the trailer comes through with the overall tone: desparate group of survivors; defeated America; and The St. Louis Arch in ruins. Very well made live action that climaxes and leaves the viewer hanging as to the fate of those on the train. The music choice of the blues song envokes the right mood of what is portrayed.

Best Moment:The sights of the American country side in ruin and changed, up until the Chimera attack. Viewers new to the franchise wonder what caused the devastion, getting only bits and pieces with the bodies and an occasional glimpse of a Chimera.

Halo 3

Why Epic
Honestly, finding the most epic Halo 3 trailer was a bit of a challenge for me. For those who ever went to the believe site I'd list that as a perfect emotion and visual experience. However, it no longer exists. Much like the Resistance 3 trailer, this one gives a feeling of hopelessness. Master Chief without his helmet for a bit and then getting back in the action.

Why is it epic? Again the hopelessness. The background chatter of coms being frantic. The plasma mortar smashing into the bubble shield. Just having the Master Chief in the trailer makes this epic to me.

Best Moment: The switch from the boy to the helmet. It catches the viewer off guard but you instantly recognizes it as the Chief's but wonder where is the rest. The change of the background with the helmet the same position again leaves the viewer confused. Coming together once you see the hand reaching for it and attached to rest of the armor you know he is still there.

Mass Effect 3

Why Epic
A person new to the series and not knowing anything about the game would be piqued by the voiceover of the British soldier. Showing him holed up in a tower with the sniper rifle while the voice over continues, bandaged and hurt makes the viewer wonder what is going on. The view of the scope doesn't answer any questions until the floodlight shines on him, and the camera pulls out to show the entire British River Thames area engulfed in battle with the giant ships.

The pure epicness of the trailer is how the fight goes from a small incident to the entire London Skyline as a warzone. A shiver runs up my spine as you see the fight before everyone and pulls out to see the familiar silhouette of Shepherd.

Best Moment:Zooming from the soldier in Big Ben to the London Skyline to show the full scale of the Reaper invasion. The voiceover line of how if Shepherd doesn't hurry, there won't be an Earth left to save. It lets the viewer know that the stakes are high in this game and as a player you can't fail.

Halo ODST Live3
Why Epic
Starting at the funeral with the focus on the teenage boy growing up and following in what I assume is his father's steps. The harshness of the training with the jumping cutting to the in pod view of the same person. The fight as the pod crashes into the ground is one of luck and life and death. The music in the background provides a haunting reminder of what is at stake.

What makes this trailer epic is the music. Yes the training and battle are impressive but the haunting music never leaving the viewer's side is a reminder of dangers of loss inherent in any war. I have loved the ODSTs since their first appearance in Halo 2. This particular trailer is absolute proof of why they could have a Halo movie or show and it would be a great visual and emotional experience.

Best Moment:The pod falling and fight. You can sense the3 soldier's fear and trepidation as it descends up until the hatch blows off. The battle complete with wounded soldiers and explosions makes the viewer aware of the dangers and often fruitlessness of the fights in the Halo universe. Just being able to see ODST in a live action setting is cool enough for me too.

The Old Republic: Hope
Why Epic
Set on Alderaan, the trailer focus on a soldier's fight against the Sith Empire's army after the defeat. Things look good until lightsaber wielding sith come out and start taking down the troopers. A jedi comes and takes on Darth Malgus. Combining strength of the trooper and the force, together they when the battle. Complete this with some nice voice overs, the viewer gets a feeling of hope.

Unlike the trailers that thrive on little hope or the feeling of hopelessness, this particular trailer's feeling of epic comes from the idea that hope can start small and grow. I love the focus of the trailer on a soldier, as compared to a jedi which often make the best soldier appear useless. The trooper in this appears just as capable as any jedi and just as tough.

Best Moment:The trooper's imminent execution. That hope seems lost until the jedi arrives and pulls him from the clutches of oblivion. Together, they pull what could be a loss to a victory. The voiceover reminds everyone watching that sacrifices may be heavy but those lost did not die in vain.

Some Honorable mentions

While not as epic as the others to me, I want to make a shout out to these games for being cool.
Gears of War

Force Unleashed 1

A lot of these games influence my novel in ways. Some are simple like character design and armor and some are more complex like decision making and events in the novel. I do recommend that everyone play these games or at least check out the trailer.

- Chris McCormick

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