The new John Lewis Christmas advert is out! And everyone is loving it apparently. For those of you in the US, or indeed anywhere else in the world, John Lewis is a large chain store that releases a Christmas advert each year that fills people with emotions and stuff. It’s practically an annual event nowadays. Here it is if you’re interested.
So I decided that rather than go all Christmassy (it’s a word!) I’d take a look at a bunch of video game adverts that I remember from the past few years. Back when I was a youngster, televised adverts for video games were few and far between (in this country anyway), so don’t expect to see many from such a long time ago. But here are 5 memorable adverts for video games.
The release of Halo 3 for Xbox 360 was something of a major event for Microsoft. The final part of Master Chief’s battle against the Covenant and the Flood. Apart from it wasn’t, but we weren’t to know that at the time. Plus all that lovely multiplayer fun that came with it. They advertised this big release rather well to my mind, with a scene of a battle between the humans and the Covenant frozen in time. It looked like something constructed from action figures. We see Master Chief held up by the throat, seemingly defeated, before he raises his head and we’re met with the word “Believe”. The frozen visuals paired up with the almost peaceful piano piece works brilliantly.
Dead Space 2
No, I’m not talking about that stupid “Your mum would hate it” (or whatever it was) advert that suggested EA were aiming the incredibly violent Dead Space 2 at kids. I’m talking about the fun, action packed advert backed by Smashing Pumpkins. I don’t think it’s an advert on the same level as some of the others on here, but I find it very memorable. Again, its a great pairing of music and visuals that had anyone who was invested in the series after the game excited for more.
Watching this back reminds me of how much I enjoyed this game, and makes me dislike the direction the series went in all the more.
Team Fortress 2
This is less to do with a single advert and more to do with how it’s been advertised over time. Valve pulled off something rather special with their (now) free to play multiplayer shooter/hat simulator. Rather than focus on the gameplay, they promoted the game’s character and sense of humour. Over time they released a trailer for each of the Team Fortress 2’s classes and gave them a larger than life personality. They’ve kept up this sense of fun in trailers for the games various events that have been released since. The one below is my personal favourite.
I’m cheating with this one a little I suppose as it’s not a TV advert. But it’s my list and I didn’t set any rules at the start! Anarchy!
Gears of War
Gears of War has quite a record of action packed video paired with gentle music, and this is the one that started it all. Scenes of battle between Locust and COG soldiers, helicopters exploding backed by Gary Jules’ cover of Tears for Fears’ Mad world. It implies a certain amount of emotion would be present in the final game, rather than it just being about CHAINSAWING MONSTERS IN THE FACE! Still though, it was a very memorable advert, and certainly not the worst culprit for using a trailer to suggest a game was more serious than it actually was.
This is a redo of the original for the “Ultimate Edition” Xbox One remake.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Genesis Advert
I think I’ve mentioned in the past that Sega are bonkers. If you didn’t think so before, then this advert may well convince you. Again, this is a bit of a cheat as it’s technically for a console as well as the game, but I don’t care. You need to see this lunacy.
Some honourable mentions as ever! Bioshock Infinite had an excellent advert. Even though the scene shown wasn’t in the game, it still gave a taste of what the game would be like. The Call of Duty “There’s a soldier in all of us” set of adverts are great fun and show that the marketing team know exactly what they are aiming for with the multiplayer side of the game. Finally, a dishonourable mention: Dead Island for its trailer that had absolutely nothing to do with the game whatsoever whilst still being an exceptionally good mini movie of sorts. If that trailer represented what the final game actually was, then it would be nigh on perfect. As it stands it sticks out as an abject lie to my mind. It’s almost as egregious as No Man’s Sky.
How about you? Any adverts you remember for games you loved? With the YouTube being as huge as it is, it’s much easier to see trailers for games than ever before so I bet there are a few you like. Let me know below!