10 game ads that are horribly up their own ass

The pompous game-peddling commercials that love to love themselves

Pompously promoting: Assassin’s Creed

Attention gullible watcher of game ads. Assassin’s Creed is nowhere near as exciting as the sexed-up commercial above. This is a game where you spend most of your time either pushing away pickpocket-loving peasants or sitting on a bench eavesdropping on conversations, so we can understand why they’ve done it. But really, did they have to make the whole thing so risibly ‘emo’ and knowingly, cynically cool?

How it should have been advertised

We’ll admit, there’s no doubt the ad is put together with highly competent editing ninjary, but the ads people behind this campaign are still trying to pull the moody white hood over your eyes before ruthlessly stabbing up your wallet with a concealed blade. In truth, we’d have preferred a more down to earth approach, which didn’t try to sexify all your malicious Crusades-era murdering.

Pompously promoting: Halo (yup, another one) ODST

You know those industrial strength showers prisons use to delouse inmates Shawkshank-style? Yeah, we’ll be back with you in half an hour once we’ve used one of those to sandblast all the sentimental, self-involved guff from the above video off our contaminated flesh. Ugh. Seriously, while it’s undeniably well-produced, the commercial is horribly overcooked and stupidly solemn. If it was a 90 minute movie we might watch it, but this isn’t a movie. It’s a game. Scratch that. It’s a glorified expansion pack… about shooting make-believe aliens.

How it should have been advertised

Next time you promote a game Microsoft, even though it's what advertising folk are paid to do, try not to build it up to be the best thing in the history of helmeted men. You have a good game on your hands. What you do not have is the second coming of humanity. Your game is not bravely pioneering a new artistic Renaissance among creative circles. And it will not cause gamers to fall down to their knees when an ODST bites it, 360 pad clutched in grief, when they can just press restart. So why not just be a bit more straightforward with your ads?

Oct 1, 2009

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