Have you ever been suckered by a trailer?

Published Wednesday 7 Jul 2010 10:20am | 13
Tags: trailer, dark, theft, naughty, bear, fish oil, disgrace

I very nearly was just this Monday past.

EB are running a sale... as usual, it seems the stores are constantly in a state of "up to 50% off." I will let you in on a secret, which you may very well already be aware of. Those top games, like Uncharted 2 and such, when the price gets slashed to 50%, it's usually because the Platinum is about to be released, $10 cheaper. But I am off topic...

Trailer lies. Movies have been doing it for years. Modern cinema puts the very best parts of the movie into the trailer, and in an era of mass producing some of the shallowest films ever to grace a screen, this skill is a requirement.

But videogames have previously not been quite so dodgy in the use of the 'trailer sales' medium. Historically, I believe 'gamers' really want to see the game running. I know I want to see heads up displays, I want to see action without clipping, and smooth frame rates. However, more frequently games are just building trailers out of cut scenes. Metal Gear, GTA4, Red Dead... I dare say in these cases can afford to. They come from trusted sources, and they are selling us on an aspect of gaming they are developing- story driven, movie like experiences.

This babble brings us to Monday. A brand new title, it's price reduced by $20, sat on the shelf and caught my eye. I had seen some comical trailers, and I was just about sold on the concept, the $20 price drop was just the motivation I needed to shift into buy mode. As I reached toward the case, a chill came over me, and I snapped back to my senses.

"Why is this brand new title already $20 off, what horrors may be stored on that disc."

I left the store quickly, for fear someone may have seen my blunder, embarressed that I may have been seen reaching for the thing. Once I got home, the computer loaded up and I googled a review of:

'Naughty Bear'

With an average review score of 4.2, (which after reading a couple of reviews, I decided was generous) this game comes across as one of those shockers which should never have been finished. If you brought the game knowing what it was, you would likely not be surprised to find on opening the case, the disc smeared with fish oil and the instruction booklet crusted with dry bloody finger prints.

The trailers told a different story. Constructed in such a way as to make you think a wind of change was coming to the action gaming genre. They boasted a dark humour stalking game for the next gen. The reviews of this rancid piece of plastic paint a different picture.

I know I'm not alone in my mistake. Who else has been suckered in by a trailer, shelling out for something sub-par?


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Comments Comments (13)

Posted by vanke499
On Saturday 10 Jul 2010 11:54 AM
I totally agree with you, marketing is often the only thing that allows sh*tty games to be rush produced and sold. I havent been duped into buying one myself, however it highlights the need for gamer reviews and informative buying. But seriously Naughty Bear?? i would have chopped off your arm if i saw you reaching for it . . .
Posted by Gazza22
On Saturday 10 Jul 2010 9:33 PM
Yeah, it kinda pisses me off how the marketing team puts all the best bits in the trailer. It seems to ruin those moments when they occur in the actual game.

I now try to avoid most trailers for this reason these days.
Posted by proGENE
On Monday 12 Jul 2010 11:05 AM
Modern Warfare 2 has got to be the greatest offender. I mean, looking at the official one, EVERY single cool explosion in the game was captured in the trailer leaving the story an exercise in the in-between filler bits between the climaxes that you've already seen. Boo.
Posted by djkicks
On Monday 12 Jul 2010 12:29 PM
This is why I always check out the main trailer and then the game play trailer, gives a better overall picture about how the game is going to be like.
Posted by leopardsqueezy
On Tuesday 13 Jul 2010 2:37 PM
Ha, occassionally I'm swayed by a trailer but Naughty Bear just looked sh*te right from the outset. A weak premise rarely results in anything other than a weak finished product.

Best thing is to buy the game from some place that does exchanges, like EB in Lower Hutt are pretty reasonable about doing that, and get rid of it if it ends up being a turd.
Posted by Solid-Snake
On Tuesday 13 Jul 2010 9:24 PM
Happens more and more often where trailers provide “a promise of hope” that a soon-to-be-released game will be worth shelling out some coin for.

To be fair though, that’s what marketing’s supposed to do.

I imagine there are as many of us who have (wisely) not purchased a dud, as there have been those who have – and furthermore, I have no doubt that for those who have, many would either grin and bare the fact they’ve just parted money for a lemon and not taken the game back to exchange – if they even have this option (piracy makes it extremely difficult now to take a game back for any reason).

My ‘close to dud’ purchase has been ANY of the last 4-5 NBA Live games.

The promise of stellar graphics and uber-realistic AI and player movement would make you think you were going to actually feel the sweat pouring off D-Wade’s forehead! … truth be told, even with EA’s seemingly endless amount of money, resources, and experience … the last 4-5 NBA Live games have been cake!

Like you, I think reviews are definitely the way to go.

I’d rather have a game two or three days after release knowing I’ve made a wise financial choice, than to make a purchase on day one - of nothing more than a nice new shiny blu-ray coaster! … times are way too tight for that carry-on!

Good read– cheers!
Posted by littlenick
On Saturday 17 Jul 2010 8:51 AM
Just about pre-ordered APB, in fact I had and then pulled the pre-order after reading and realising that, beyond the character customisation and the (failed!) dream of an open world MMOGTA, there really isn't much too it, and really, when you look at all the trailers all they show off is the how cool the characters look, and the customisation.

I think the Final Fantasy series has been notorious for using cinematic clippings to sell their games, "it looks so pretty!" amirite? And anyone remember ( I think it was...) Killzone 2? The PS3 game, which got slammed for looking prettier in the trailers which then delayed the game by a whole lot while they fixed their PR problem.

As previously stated, the marketting companies are essentially paid to lie, or exaggerate, y'know find a selling point and push that. You can (and this is Mythbuster proven) polish a turd.
Posted by Chewer_of_Hats
On Saturday 17 Jul 2010 2:18 PM
Halo Wars. Enough said
Posted by Chewer_of_Hats
On Saturday 17 Jul 2010 2:21 PM
Also im going to make a note that sometimes it is the other way around. The trailer makes the game look crap, but the game is actually brilliant. For me Alan Wake was a prime example of this.
Posted by RebeccaG
On Friday 23 Jul 2010 3:53 PM
Terminator Salvation - Dog! Army of Two: 40 Days - Bigger Dog!
Posted by SpawnSeekSlay
On Wednesday 28 Jul 2010 8:58 PM
1)Watch trailer
2)then make sure I see a gameplay trailer
3)wait for reviews...
4)then either buy or if not sure .. rent it.

The trailer is just part of the process of me buying a game, certainly not the 'be-all-and-end-all' of my decision making.
Posted by sakura3889
On Wednesday 18 Aug 2010 8:09 PM
lots of things do go into people that "fall" for their advertisement.

there are courses you can take on psychology and marketing after all.

it's the whole point but yeah, I also avoid most trailers unless I am dead set on buying it and can't wait for the game to come out!
Posted by KapaiZombie
On Friday 1 Oct 2010 11:32 PM
I have recently been suckered by the new Enslaved trailer, but I'm still reserving judgement until the review comes out.