A little late to be sure, but I figured there's no better time than now. E3 2009 unveiled A LOT of great games to us and quite a few great trailers. I myself am a huge fan of trailers for games and movies since I find it an art form unto itself. With the right trailer, you can either build up just the right hype to make people curious enough to want the product or completely cement the fact your product will be awesome. Some trailers don't always work (especially when they tell you too much about the product), but then sometimes you get those rare trailers that just completely floor you for one reason or another. So without further ado, here's my opinion on the best of the best from E3 2009:
Alpha Protocol- A surprise for me since my interest in the game has fluctuated since it was announced. I was really excited at first but the previous gameplay demos were less than thrilling. This trailer gives us potential for what the game could be (kind of Mass Effect meets The Bourne Identity) so that's a start. My major complaint is the end of the trailer when they threw in that corny line and just the continued confusion on how good the game will be.
Crackdown 2- Looks more or less like a slightly more polished version of the first game. This could still mean it may be a lot of fun, but nothing about it is revolutionary. The trailer itself is the same way. Kind of entertaining, but nothing remarkable.
Dante's Inferno- So pretty much Dead Space meets God of War. That's not a complaint at all, but looking at the trailer it seems pretty obvious. This trailer almost made the top 10 actually. The trailer is impressive visually and is a lot of fun, but it just lacks that flow of the scene that makes the trailer feel complete. We'll just have to wait to see if the game is as good.
Heavy Rain- One of my most anticipated games! The gameplay looks awesome already and it's still a solid trailer, but I guess I expected a bit more. Another trailer that just barely missed the Top 10.
Lost Planet 2- Mostly gameplay but it looks to improve a lot of what the first game lacked. Better visuals, switched story perspective, improved vehicle combat and just overall better quality. This could just lead to a game slightly better than the first, but that isn't always a bad thing.
Mafia 2- Not bad though nothing spectacular. Some good visuals and I was interested the entire time, and yet nothing made me go wow. Still a good video though.
No More Heroes 2- Suda 51 doing what he does best: CRAZY S***! This was another potential for the Top 10 but didn't make it only because it didn't entice me like the promos for the first game did back in the day. Although, it does have the best payoff gag of almost any other trailer at the end!
Rogue Warrior- A surprisingly engaging trailer. It follows a traditional scene arc more or less and nothing about it is extraordinary but it's entertaining and pretty well shot in terms of camera placement.
The Saboteur- A very interesting concept that has the potential to be a sleeper hit. The trailer visuals and action are entertaining, but the bland music choice really hurt it.
Splinter Cell Conviction- I just adore the new artistic style the game has received in terms of visuals and storytelling. The integration of mission objectives and flashbacks into the actual world is genius IMO. The trailer is entertaining too, but nowhere near as impressive as the actual gameplay demo was.
10. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves- Feels just like a solid action movie trailer. Lots of thrilling moments, a competent story line from what is shown and probably the best technical visuals of the entire show make this trailer a blast!
9. Wet- Something about how it throughly steals the style and narrator of the Grindhouse trailers really struck me with this game. I still have no idea what it's really about, but this trailer just totally made me giddy with it's B-Movie style presentation.
8. Modern Warfare 2- Only not higher on the list since it's practically the same trailer for Modern Warfare 1, but man does this trailer deliver. Amazing visuals/framerate, a compelling story idea and some moments of potential awesomeness (snowmobile combat!!!) just strengthens my burning desire to play it. Oh, and make sure to check the gameplay demo as well since it's even better!!!!
7. Mass Effect 2- It looks to improve a lot of what the first game did pretty well at. Better lighting, improved combat, better camerawork and hopefully an even better story than the first (which is already one of the best scripts for a video game ever IMO). The trailer shows off all of this and more with some curious things that could factor heavily into the plot (some new alien species and that scene where the Normandy is attacked to name a few).
6. Left 4 Dead 2- Killing zombies...in New Orleans! While this may be seen as somewhat distasteful after Hurricane Katrina, it is certainly a bold and interesting move on Valve's behalf. The trailer also shows off impressive visuals, solid voice-over work and some potential ideas to improve elements from the first game. Oh, and melee weapons! That was the best part of the whole trailer!
5. Brutal Legend- Undoubtably my most anticipated game! I absolutely adore Tim Schafer's previous work and this looks like it could even one-up his previous hits. The trailer itself may not be as great as the game's other trailers (which means it's still awesome), but it did really deliver on the main gimmick of debuting several of the celebrity voice actors. What was great is that they don't at all sound like throwaway cameo roles, since they all are doing a great job given they aren't actors. Heck, if they can make me cheer at seeing Ozzy Osbourne essentially playing himself, that means this game is going to rock!
4. The Beatles Rock Band- The biggest surprise for me. I'm not the biggest Rock Band/Guitar Hero fan in the world (I don't hate them but I'm kind of burnt out on them), but this trailer just totally blew me away. Essentially a metaphoric history of the band's career, it's supported with terrific artwork and a good use of some of their greatest hits in the audio. Thankfully the gameplay looks just as good, so I will give this one a chance.
3. Assassin's Creed II- This and the top 2 trailers were hotly contested for number 1, but even at number 3 this trailer is totally freakin' awesome! Incredible visuals, a terrific scene arc, great use of the time period and just a very entertaining ride. Oh, and the unveiling of the pistol at the end was killer as well!
2. The Last Guardian- The story of a boy and his dog....if the dog was a giant dog/bird hybrid that liked to eat wooden barrels! Anyone who really loves video games as more than entertainment surely is a fan of Team Ico and when it was unveiled that they were making another game after Shadow of the Colossus, we all held out breath in anticipation. And wow did they deliver! Luscious artistic visuals, great music and just utterly compelling ideas hinted at throughout make this one of the best trailers of the show. I still have no idea what the game is actually about or how you play it, but I want to find out now!
1. Star Wars: The Old Republic- The one that completely floored everyone! I was disappointed at first when they announced the next Star Wars game from Bioware was going to be an MMORPG since I'm not a huge fan of that genre. However, if this trailer is any possible indication, this might just be the next World of Warcraft. Yeah that's a bit much to be saying now, but man this trailer just made me cheer! Fantastic visuals, terrific audio, a compelling scene arc and quite possibly one of the best lightsaber battles in Star Wars history completely sealed this as the best of the show for me.