10 game ads that are horribly up their own ass

Most game ads are usually a bit rubbish. But we can forgive them, because whether pushing Z listers ‘enjoying’ entertaining interactive products or offending our ears with a cheesy, booming voice-over, most of them are just charmingly clueless. The following ads are guilty of a much worse crime, though. They all utterly adore themselves. Self-indulgent, self-loving bullshit, below you’ll find cynical commercials that have all gleefully bought into their own hype and need to be taken down a peg… or 20.

The one where it's a mad, mad, mad, mad world

Pompously promoting: Gears of War

Don’t get us wrong. We kinda like this advert. Atmospheric and brooding, it creates a sense of dread in synch with the game’s nihilistic view of mankind’s future. But c’mon, it’s so far up its own ass Marcus and co. have set up base camp at peak pretentious, situated at the very summit of Mount Rectum.

How it should have been advertised

The commercial’s isolationist tone isn’t exactly replicated in a title built on moronic jock banter and homoerotic backslapping. The ghostly ethereal tones of Gary Jules are nowhere near manly enough for Epic’s testosterone-fuelled adventure. Instead, Microsoft should have saved itself a pack of dosh and gone for something along the lines of this…

The one with David Lynch's blind Inuit

Pompously promoting: PS2

Ah, good old Davie Lynch. Always the go-to-guy when you need a Hollywood helmer who’s going to cook you up some proper bat shit crazy, subversive celluloid shenanigans. While most of the director’s early PS2 ads are just weird (like this sleep running mutt or wolf-loving maniac) the above video is simply plain pretentious. Trying to be all profound in stating awareness is more important than working human peepers, it all delves into self-indulgent wankery.

How it should have been advertised

How about giving us a reason why we should shell out 300 smackers on a PS2, when it’s only really worthwhile launch game was SSX? That or at least have the good grace to devote five seconds away from an old dude’s leathery face to tell us about the built-in DVD player or the DualShock’s pressure-sensitive buttons. Perhaps kicking the proverbial out of its nearest underpowered competitor might have been the way to go.


  • GMAN2 - October 9, 2009 1:38 a.m.

    I wish the Halo levels actually looked like how they advertised them.
  • sweetpotatofry - October 8, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    The Halo and Gears of War commercials convey more emotion than the actual games do. That's a bit of a problem
  • DBQRX - October 7, 2009 6:52 a.m.

    One of my fav games
  • Amnesiac - October 7, 2009 6:11 a.m.

    Every time I saw that Assassin's Creed advert all I could think was "hey, House is coming on." But yeah, as mediocre as I found this article, it's hilarious how seriously some people are taking it.
  • Cernunnos - October 5, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    either way you look at it, Halo's ads are quality. nor would i call them "pompous" as they arent even really advertising the games. the assassin's creed one is horrible too, making such a shitty game look so good should be illegal.
  • Moschetto - October 5, 2009 11 a.m.

    I for one know you guys aren't serious with these articles most of the time, so no flame. But please don't talk shit about the Halo ads. Those ads are good. They just didn't depict the actual games accurately.
  • Everest Man - October 4, 2009 10:46 p.m.

    Actually I liked the Lynch ad as well, it was the sixaxis one that i didn't care for, not because it wasn't cool, it was a neat ad, i just think sixaxis is a gimmick.
  • Everest Man - October 4, 2009 10:44 p.m.

    So let me get this straight, any ad that doesn't pander to the lowest common denominator is pompous? Aside from the Sony ads and the NiGHTS ad I am a big fan of all of these "pretentious" ads. Granted the Gears ads and yeah the Halo ads are completely misleading, they are still excellent commercials in their own right. I don't even like Halo, but I love the ads. The diorama believe ad got me to start playing piano again because of how beautiful the song Raindrop by Chopin is. The fact is, these ads have elicited a reaction in all of us, whether you love them or hate them, and isn't that what all good advertising is supposed to do, affect us in some way?
  • thochaos - October 4, 2009 2:41 a.m.

    I really like the Gears of War ad, not so much the second one though.
  • Collymilad - October 3, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    "Here's one for you: I think this article is horribly up its own ass. In agreement with Daedazrael, all your "how it should have been" comments are basically the premise for a number of powerthirst commercials. Fail." Claps
  • gmilf71 - October 3, 2009 6:50 a.m.

    Oh GR. You guys are always so harsh and arrogant. But it's all good cuz you have the reputation to be.
  • FETALJUICE - October 3, 2009 5:40 a.m.

    I enjoyed this article so much. It made me laugh hard, ESPECIALLY with GR's straightforward ads of Gears of War and the PS2 ad. LOL!!
  • Cwf2008 - October 3, 2009 5:21 a.m.

    All right dumbasses read this: IT WAS A FUCKING JOKE. Quit getting your panties in a knot, this artical is a joke. Im sure they liked the commercials...hell no one likes commercials never mind. The point is it doesnt matter how well made they were they are just poking fun at them. And you guys bashing the article should get the pole out of your ass
  • redmight - October 3, 2009 2:46 a.m.

    Most of these commercials are full of themselves especially the halo ones but you gotta admit the gears of war 2 was good, come on just hear the lyrics in the song and you'll know what i mean (you know what you got to do, they all depend on you,you know how this will end)
  • Yeager1122 - October 2, 2009 11:19 p.m.

    I liked the gears of war ads....
  • farsided - October 2, 2009 10:55 p.m.

    @fishosaurus: perhaps people who throw around the word "pretentious" and don't know how to knock an article are a bunch of cockmonglers, who are most likely younger (come on, only highschool AP-English students use the word pretentious to make up for the fact that they didn't read) than the people that call bullshit when they see it. This article wasn't even making an attempt at irony. It just sucked.
  • lovinmyps3 - October 2, 2009 8:41 p.m.

    I liked the Gears and Halo commercials, especially ODST! I do agree they got their heads up their ass though.
  • fishosaurus - October 2, 2009 5:28 p.m.

    Another excellent amusing piece GR - cheers. Although those getting all snotty about this article are either being cleverly ironic or, more likely, are just as pretentious as the ads (perhaps they are the 'foul-mouth American teen squeakers' referenced in the Consolvania Halo 3 ad)!
  • d0x - October 2, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    I liked most of these ads. They were something different and some had nice production value. I dont see any problem with an ad changing the tone of the game like Gears of War or Assassins Creed. Sometimes being different is a good thing and im pretty damn sure if we looked back through past articles we would find praise for alot of these ads on this site not only from the editors but from the users as well.
  • Shaken - October 2, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    Anyone who busts about the Halo story should just shut the fuck up. Their o such thing as 'original' anymore you jackasses. SO what if part of the Halo story is taken from the book 'Ringworld,' that just says that the writers really like the book and wanted to make it a part of their own story. If you want to bust on stories why not Japanese games that rehash the same crap over and over again. It's like, how the hell can teenagers, who realistically at that age would rather hangout with their friends get closer to that hot chick/guy that he/she likes save the world. Teens are stupid and the can't save crap. Not to mention that their all too angsty to actually do something.

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