Like the drums of war pounding in time with the rhythm of our hearts, video game trailers, mainly ones with such an epic calibre, can effortlessly spark something deep within our core. Being both blood-curdling and heart-wrenching, they can conjure up emotions that no movie or other form of media can summon. And that’s why we seriously adore video games — especially those that live up to their bombastic trailers and pre-launch pep talks.
While we’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of video game trailers over the decades, only few have stuck with us and kept a visual imprint deep within our heads. Though, if we had to select just five that have stood out to us the most over the years — then these would have to be our top picks. Cue the epicness!
5. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
In contrast to Senua’s Sacrifice, Hellblade 2 portrays a much darker tale, in which powerful lead Senua has battled her inner demons that ravaged her over the course of the debut voyage and, as a result, conjured a mighty, albeit terrifying Celtic warrior-like persona. Although giving very little away in terms of plot, its trailer gives us a sense that the turmoil looming within Senua’s head has since departed, and that the forthcoming chapter will aim to build from that. At least that’s what we caught from the short but bittersweet cinematic, anyway.
While Senua’s Sacrifice focused on mental illness and the harsh obstacles nested within the mind, it also homed a rich narrative with love and grievance playing a key role in its tale. Whether or not that note continues into the next song is another question, though judging by the cinematic — Hellblade 2 will take a much, much darker turn, where the drums of war may just counter the natural ambience of Helheim itself.
4. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Blizzard has made a habit out of producing pretty exhilarating cinematic trailers to help escalate the hype for their global releases. World of Warcraft, although being one of the many platforms in the MMO kingpin’s portfolio, is a clean example of this, with Wrath of the Lich King reigning supreme over the other all-powerful expansion packs on the market. But it all comes down to personal preference, of course.
For those who played through the earlier Warcraft III entries, Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne, gazing over Wrath of the Lich King is almost like watching an old accomplice rise from the ashes, take flight as an ice-riddled phoenix and resurrect the flame that once ignited their cold dead heart. Arthas, the once-loved Paladin, encapsulated in an icy citadel atop the frozen throne — back to wreak havoc across Azeroth as the dreaded Lich King. The choice that players were given, of course, was whether or not to join the army of Death Knights, or be the force that opposed to its frozen hand. Shivers, I’m telling you.
3. Dead Space (Lullaby Trailer)
Dead Space was hands down the perfect concoction of sci-fi survival horror, with the USG Ishimura being the blood-soaked cherry to compliment the cocktail. With EA at their best and a whole world open to explore and exploit, Dead Space went on to become a titleholder on the horror front, ultimately being the driving force behind a slew of sequels and a reboot.
While some would argue that Dead Space peaked after the second instalment, others would state their case on how it only continued to evolve into something far more extraordinary — even with the loss of horror and harsher focus on action gameplay. But with that said, nothing comes quite as close to capturing the genre and its characteristics as this lullaby-themed launch trailer of the first game. It’s creepy, it’s edgy — and it’s downright daunting. It’s everything Dead Space should be, plain and simple.
2. Cyberpunk 2077
Say what you want about Cyberpunk 2077, because the fact is, beneath all the minor flaws and post-launch problems, CD Projekt Red honestly did create something truly phenomenal. And narrative-wise, V’s conquest over Night City was perhaps one of the greatest exploits to ever fall out the back end of 2020. Sure it might’ve taken die-hard fans and critics a fair while to look past the errors, but once patched up — Cyberpunk 2077 pretty much took the world by storm, redeeming both the game and its devoted devs in the process.
Once sucked up into the life of a mercenary, bound for eternal fame in the overpowering Night City, you’ll come to understand why players never feel the urge to leave its futuristic waters. Like watching a movie with endless twists and turns, Cyberpunk 2077 invites you into one heck of a ride, where popcorn is practically handed out for free as you watch over its outlandish events in anticipation of its climax. And in all honesty — the trailer really only sheds light on a fraction of these instances.
1. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Never has Ubisoft been able to craft and evolve a protagonist as well as the beloved master assassin and mentor Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Ever since Assassin’s Creed II rolled out, our love for the rebellious novice only began to blossom into one heck of a relationship, following us over several years, countries and adventures. And it’s because of that established connection that we had with the hero, that witnessing the books being closed for the Revelations chapter truly was a knife to the heart for us all.
After being in the saddle for decades, watching the obnoxious rookie become the wise mentor, our journey finally had to come to a dramatic conclusion. Ezio Auditore’s years were running dry, and the curriculum still held one too many questions to have answered before the hourglass tipped its final grain. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, thankfully, was the last piece of the puzzle — a fitting end to a renowned hero. And that’s pretty much why the trailer for it has our vote. Perfection.
So, what about you? What game trailers have struck a few chords for you in the past? Have you played any of the above? Let us know over on our social handle here.