One of my favorite game trailers of all time is the trailer for the original Left 4 Dead. I’m fond of this particular trailer mostly because of how effectively it uses an action packed narrative to show off the features and chaos of the game. Firstly, we are introduced to the unique personalities of the characters, and through their interaction we are shown how vital team effort, quick thinking, and strategy is to the players’ success. Secondly, we are shown key features to the game like the weaponry and “special” infected in a way that flows with the story in the trailer. The audience is discovering the special infected along with the characters. One particularly strong example of this is the siren-sobs of the witch luring the characters into her trap, this choice was a great way to make the audience aware of how dangerous that cry can be.
Another great aspect of this trailer is that even though it is a cinematic trailer and shows no actual game play it still feels like a realistic representation of the action and graphics within the game. So often you see trailers that severely misrepresent either the game’s graphics, the scope of the world, or even what you can actually do within the game that it’s nice to see an honest representation.
I feel this trailer is successful on both a storytelling and marketing level. The fast pace is perfect for getting people to pay attention and stick through to the end. Leaving the viewer on somewhat of a cliff hanger right where the actual beginning of the game picks up is a great marketing device to get people to pick up the game. You know you’ll find out what happens next once you purchase the game and because the trailer was so action packed and left you wanting more you’re likely to feel more compelled to buy the game.