Earlier today I witnessed what I thought was an amazing preview for a futuristic war movie destined for the big screen. I called my brother over to check the trailer out and he immediately quipped "What movie is this and when is it coming out?". My thoughts exactly until my jaw dropped at the end of the trailer when its revealed that its actually for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier. A video game.
As an exercise in game promotion the only comparable trailer is from Halo ODST which utilizes the same live action filming techniques. I was definitely impressed by Halo's promotional movie but the Future Soldier trailer may just be the single best video game trailer I've ever seen. It does a fantastic job of creating a tense atmosphere in a war-torn city and pulls you right in with an explosive firefight. The trailer also hints at what kind of weapons and tech to expect on the battlefield and it even gives a reassuring nudge that the game mechanics will be grounded in reality despite being a futuristic shooter.
I realize that some people believe trailers like these are simply the result of slick corporate marketing designed to hype up a game while deftly concealing actual gameplay mechanics, and I believe its good to be skeptical. However, remember that Halo ODST aired their advertisement over Monday Night Football and its a safe bet that the Future Soldier trailer will also see time on prime-time television. These trailers aren't created to put one over on the consumer. Rather, they are made to appeal to a more mainstream audience and they even signal a more wide-spread acceptance of "hardcore" gamers. Judging from the success of Halo ODST and the recent movement of creating short films to accompany video games, expect this particular marketing trend to only get bigger.
Live Action Video Game Trailers