Imaginary Hype: Beware the Fake Trailer

When Bethesda revealed Fallout 4 at e3 this year they did something shockingly refreshing. They debuted a largely finished game, only a few months away from release, with a fully in-engine trailer. It worked wonders on me, being the decisive step in convincing me to finally upgrade to a newer console.

It’s a shame that this sort of approach is a rarity. Instead we live in the age of empty hype and announcement trailers.

The same e3 brought us SquareEnix’s announcement of the Final Fantasy VII remake, and fans promptly lost their shit imagining how wonderful such a game was going to be. Imagining is the key word here, as frankly we have nothing to go on apart from a cinematic CG tease. No gameplay. No in-game graphics. It’s an empty promise, and handing this sort of blank cheque to players to pre-imagine their dream games in their heads is dangerous for everyone, especially the developers, when the time comes to actually deliver something.

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I’ve been accused on negativity over this announcement in the past, but I truly hope that it’s amazing when the time comes to play it. Until then, however, we need to temper our expectations over how the huge, profit oriented teams that spent 5 years crafting the exciting corridors of Final Fantasy XIII can fully comprehend and reproduce a past masterpiece that took a smaller artistically-minded team 2 years to make.

But when it comes to fake trailers and imaginary hype there’s a new heavy hitter on the scene.

Did you see that? We’ll be finding Pikachus scurrying around in our bushes, and summoning tangible Poké Ball’s out of thin air to throw at them and, and, and, no. No. No. No. None of this will happen. I truly wish we lived in the tangible augmented world of Dennou Coil but we don’t. Has anybody been looking at the one actual screenshot that exists and getting excited?

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All of the hype has come from that fake trailer, meaning that once again we have another game that will probably be a whole lot of fun to play, but it won’t even come close to matching the imaginary game we all see after watching the trailer.

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And now I’m just sad that we don’t yet live in the world of Dennou Coil… Boo.


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