New Destiny Trailer Is A Case Study In Video Game Trailer Excess

Video: They licensed Zeppelin, for crying out loud! I can't quite tell whether it's perversely great, or just plain ridiculous. Both, I suppose. None of us will ever look this cool while actually playing Destiny.


    Nothing excess about it imo. Was bloody brilliant fun. Would love a full length movie just like this. Cheezy one liners and all. Though it does seem like a lot of people think it was crap.

      I wouldn't say that it was crap but it definitely looks fake. It showed no actual gameplay, it looked like actors in a "guardians of the galaxy" type space action adventure, which I doubt the game itself will actually be. It looks like an expensive excuse to make a misleading, overwrought trailer.

    I really like it.
    I really liked the the use of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys featured at the start of the Star Trek reboot.
    I also feel that this trailer perfectly captured exactly how cool I felt playing the Destiny beta; as a Titan, leaping off ledges into a mass of alien soldiers and activating my special ability; drawing the attention of a towering enemy and taking cover while the rest of my fireteam unleshes their own attacks on it.

      Damnit, now I can't find my star trek bluray.

    The Cocky One-Liners are eye roll worthy.

    Imo, it helps create that room to imagine the adventure is better than what it really is which is fair enough. The player's personal experience can make or break immersion and experience.

    I for one have a big hunch that I'll enjoy this game thoroughly... I just wish they launched at a reasonable day like a Thursday or a Friday :/ Tuesday launch is so ridiculous

      You've got to feel for Americans. Tuesday is their regular launch day all year round.

    I remember the days when Led Zep would play really really hard to get with allowing the use of their music.

    Anyhow, the overuse of cliches killed it for me. eg "Nice play to visit but I wouldn't want to live here", "I hate it when he/she does that".

      Yeah that last line especially. It would have been way cooler without dialogue or with minimal dialogue.

      Also the whole "gotta have a white guy, gotta have a black guy, gotta have a woman" is just really obviously overly-PC. Although that said in this current internet climate I would not be surprised at all if there was a pseudo-feminist twitter uproar if any were omitted. Except the white guy of course.

      Edit: I regret my passive aggressive phrasing in that second paragraph, but i'm going to leave it there because I believe the point is still worth discussing and I have elaborated below.

      Last edited 05/09/14 5:35 pm

        Or it's because they are three armoured characters and we're given precious little to go on so making the characters as broadly different as possible makes it easier for us to differentiate them?

        Besides the fact you're making assumptions purely based on their voices. You're right in what they want you to assume of course, but so what? Would this be more interesting if there were three male characters with identical accents? Or would people be confused wondering who was speaking when?

        Also I should point out you can't actually identify ethnicity on voice alone, and even if you want to point to the accent or the actual actor there's a long history of black voice actors voicing white characters so we don't know their ethnicity.

          Besides the fact you're making assumptions purely based on their voices.
          We do get treated to about a single second flash between each of the three and get to see their faces.

          I felt that it was a little shoehorned as well, but I was mostly surprised since Destiny features 3 different "races" yet each of the 3 here are human.

          Or it's because they are three armoured characters and we're given precious little to go on so making the characters as broadly different as possible makes it easier for us to differentiate them?

          I do actually like this hypothesis though. Although it's not explict in explaining that there are 3 different classes, it does help explain that each player is "unique".

          Diversity is awesome, but in light of all that is said and covered in gaming media, it'd be wilfully ignorant to assume this wasn't a very specific choice / checklist. If you have even the slightest bit of awareness about marketing and advertising you'd know that choices like these aren't just shrugged about, they are researched and planned.

          There's definitely the distinguishing element that each voice provides, especially when all you have to go on is camera focus and distance to determine who's speaking, that's a good point that I didn't think about.

          It's very valid to say their race and gender doesn't matter, I definitely agree with you there. But it's naive to think that these casting choices were accidentally as diverse as possible.

          And are you telling me that in the current games journalism climate, it's appropriate to criticise minority demographics' absence from games, but not their inclusion when it amounts to little more than tokenism?


          If that doesn't convince you that everything in this video is there for a reason, ask yourself a few of these questions:

          1. Why is the white guy the leader of the fireteam? (solidified by the fact that he is the only one with the ghost)
          2. Why is there two men, rather than two women, or hell, even three women?
          3. Why is the woman the Warlock class, arguably the most fragile of all three classes, and with powers that tend to position it as the support class? (instead of the TItan and Hunter superpowers which typically encourage close quarters use).

          Last edited 05/09/14 6:09 pm

            As a film maker and author my first decision would be in differentiating the characters. Not for diversity, but just because it will be more interesting.

            My point is that this is just a good decision from that standpoint, marketing is generally more likely to go the other way and just represent it's main audience. So the evidence of it being a creative decision over a PR one seems a little bit more compelling.

            Also I never said their race/gender didn't matter, I was suggesting that you were going on assumptions since we don't get confirmation. I was wrong on that since I forgot the flashes of the faces (Thanks @mawt) but if that were removed then there's no evidence that there's any specific gender or race.

            And yes you can talk about tokenism if you want. But there's none here, all three are equally represented and no attention is called to their races or genders except by you.

            Also you didn't accuse it of tokenism, you railed against forced diversity which isn't the same thing. Forced diversity can create tokenism but they aren't equivalent terms.

            tl:dr There's no tokenism. Forced diversity is less likely than creative decision making.

              Well from a marketing perspective, it serves Activision and Bungie best to have a wide representation of who you as a potential buyer can project yourself onto. Some people have a real problem with not being able to play as someone they can identify with in a physical sense, so the marketing has to cater to this lowest common denominator.

              It also serves to have everyone speak in an American accent even though all humanity lives in a single city and has for a long time. That is their core demographic and market. But they are also trying to rope in as many people as possible, to grow their buyer base. This means representing their main demo (The white guy, positioned as the leader, and the black guy. And this is why it's 2 dudes and 1 girl, not the other way around) but also showing that girls can and should buy the game too.

              No overt attention is being called to the genders and races, but good advertising is subtle in its delivery. It's doing things to your position and attitude that aren't even noticeable unless you really deconstruct it. By merely existing in the ad, something is being said. About the male characters, about the female ones. I'd argue race plays the smallest role in this, but it's still there. Otherwise they would not have chosen a voice actor that uses such an obviously (what we as viewers in today's society believe to be) black-sounding voice.

              This advertisement (and that's what it is) would have far less creative goals and far more informative ones. Things like showing you can play as a female, letting you know through abilities shown what classes there are. Showing you where you can go in the game (Moon/Venus/Mars etc.). Letting you see what enemies you'll be facing. The list goes on but the key thing here is that creative intent would take a back seat to information conveyed about the game.

              As a Designer and Marketing/Advertising student, I know that "form must follow function". Basically what that means is everything you see is there for a reason. Especially in advertising. When it's effective, at least, which I believe this ad is.

            And a separate reply for the edit which I didn't see:

            1. You're assuming that he's the leader, I saw no specific evidence of that. The ghost is a character too remember, whatever his reasons for an attachment to that character it's a plot that's not gone into.

            He shows no specific leadership and in fact we see no command structure at all suggesting a group of equals particularly with their collective decision making on locations.

            2. Because 3 is an uneven number? There's always going to be some kind of imbalance (Unless you want to count the Ghost as a male).

            There are a number of different reasons why, so many that it's kind of pointless to speculate. What do you expect?

            3. You're showing your own bias here. I'd have assumed that the hunter was the most feminine class based on traditional traits. Lithe, elegant, accurate and stealthy.

            Hell the word warlock is a masculine word, it's literally a man who practices sorcery. The feminine version is witch. It's not as big a role reversal as making the titan female would have been, made easier by a recent trend of strong female magicians.

            Now there are some cliches present, but it's a short video and those cliches allow for tighter storytelling and are a symptom of the format. They're about efficiently explaining who these characters are quickly and without being verbose or expositiony.

            So what is your point with those questions?

              1. Take a look at 0:10-0:11 seconds in, that Ghost is clearly attached to the hunter. Look at the positioning of those characters, Hunter waaay out in front with the Ghost, who is addressing him specifically, the group as a whole secondly. They are definitely making decisions as a team but again, it's the subtext that matters in advertising.

              2. There are two males to one female because this advertisement needs to indicate that this is a game for males first and foremost. Their main demographic. Studies have shown that men will be more opposed to trying something that is perceived to be marketed towards women than women are to reject a male product. As such, the majority of male characters here is there to highlight the point that it's a game for dudes.

              3. Yeah Warlock is traditionally a male-orientated name, that's a good point. But it still doesn't invalidate my points about the Warlock having the least health, having the long range superpower, and being the one that's wearing what could be most closely related to a dress-like garb. Obviously for anyone who's thinking about this reasonably that wouldn't inform their class choice at all. But it is a choice that was made in this advertisement because of the subtle language that is conveyed by this class's abilities and appearance.

              My point with those questions is that that is just three things i picked out of the video that have very specific subtexts and that were highly deliberate in their execution. By extension, one can assume that every other choice in this ad was made with the same consideration, which brings be back to my initial point in the original comment.

              But I do appreciate this discourse we're having and your right to disagree, I think that whether we're right or wrong we're both seeing different sides of the argument (at least I hope?).

                1. I still maintain that having the ghost doesn't equate to being the leader. You could make an argument for protagonist.

                2. Quite a logical suggestion, I'd have likely come to a similar composition for other reasons as a creative though.

                3. My knowledge of the game may be failing me but I thought Hunters again had the least health? This point I think you're really stretching on.

                I'm having trouble arguing with your because I think you're arguing at cross points because your first comment was a bit off the cuff. Honestly I wouldn't expect the last two replies to have been from the same person and you actually have a lot of good points and you have a good grasp of the film language too.

                You're very cynical and biased towards reading it as an advertiser though. Which is fine, I know my bias leans a lot more towards the creative side.

                A lot of the marketing points make sense, though I wouldn't see targeting demographics as forced diversity or tokenism still. It can lead to those but is a bit of a different beast.

                It does tend to be soulless though and I can see why you'd have a negative reaction to that.

                Forced diversity though is more of this kind of thing happening from a creative standpoint. Where it's shoehorned in unnaturally and tokenism where there's nothing more to a character than a few stereotypical traits.

                Neither of which apply here.

                So as a quick tl;dr, still think you're wrong about the tokenism et all and your passive aggressive comment was a bit on the nose but you raise some good points about advertising practices.

                P.S. - Having a hard time concentrating, apologies since I think this post will be a bit all over the place.

                  Yeah definitely the first comment could have been phrased better. I'm definitely a creative person (artist/musician etc.) as well so I'm not blind to the creative decisions either. Either way I'm glad we could clear things up a little and overall I give our debate a 8.5 out of 10.

    Loved it!! Made me excited to play the it Tuesday yet???

    I really enjoyed it! IMO it was a brilliant trailer which i believed captured how a team of gamers (male and female) would play it, cheese and all haha.

    This just makes me more excited to make some Destiny helmets that won't fit my enormous skull

    New Destiny Trailer Is A Case Study In Video Game Trailer Excess
    Really? I know you guys have to have an opinion, but forcing one seems pointless.
    Cheesy dialogue maybe, but what is this 'excess' you speak of?
    How can LedZep be ridiculous?
    Geez - some articles are 14 words or less when there is more to say, and others have an 'excess' of opinion.

    I have to say the terrible dialogue totally ruined this for me. Do people honestly actually enjoy this type of lame humour outside of America?
    It turns what i hope to be a quite serious and epic sci fi story into a try hard Michael Bay style COD homunculus. In saying that, it looked and sounded (music wise) awesome.

    Yeah, I actually thought that was pretty cool.

    I would love a tv series! would be brilliant!

    As a lover of space fiction I'd love to get excited about this, but I just find this flavour of fantasy so unimaginative. More "cool dudes" in armour and cloaks with 20th century style weapons and lighting force powers flying ships in space as if they are in air. Ugh c'mon!

    (minor quibble, if that is supposed to be the real moon, it's orbit has sure shrunk a bit!)

    Not flashy enough, better spend another quarter billion on marketing.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now