As cool as new screens look, and as informative as E3 impressions are, nothing from E3 catches the eye like a great trailer. With the yearly press conferences of the biggest publishers the most watched part of E3, each tries to outdo the other by premiering outstanding new game footage. But the best trailers don’t just show you some interesting gameplay. They shock and surprise you, these videos grab your attention in novel ways, sometimes making you care about something you had no previous interest in. These trailers did just that and more. But which was the best?
Pretend that this surprise wasn’t spoiled for you before the show. Even though we all knew a fourth entry in the main series was coming eventually, this video decides to tease us for awhile, showing internal organs slowly restarting as a faint voice is heard in the background. Then you see it’s Master Chief answering Cortana’s distress call and things kick into high gear immediately. This one was heavy one the mystery, but what little action was there was top-notch.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
This trailer made us the most sad at E3, but in a good way. Over the past two Assassin’s Creeds, we’ve come to really like the character of Ezio, and things are looking really bad for him here. Though he looks like a badass at first, time is catching up to him and there’s an air of finality to the whole thing. We get the bad feeling that Ezio isn’t going to make it out of this one alive. Yet much like the end of classic western The Wild Bunch, he’s not going down without a fight. Preview
After years away from the spotlight, people wondered if Agent 47 still had it. This trailer addresses those concerns with its fast flashes of violence, as the bald one easily and fiercely dispatches with goon after goon. But what really kept our attention was the provocative moments of the woman in the shower. The initial sex appeal caught your eye, and once 47 enters the room with gun in hand, the mystery deepens. Who is this woman? Is she a target or does she know 47? Will he kill her? By leaving us desperately wanting answers, this trailer scored on one of its most important goals. Preview
Prey was an early game on the 360, one that faced nearly as many delays as Duke Nukem Forever, though it was pretty much forgotten in the time since launch. We never expected to give a crap about a sequel to the ham-fisted aliens-meets-Native-American shooter, then we saw this trailer. This Blade Runner/Mirror’s Edge/Fistful of Dollars mash-up was totally unexpected and sold us on something we didn’t even know we wanted. Preview
DmC: Devil May Cry
After the first appearance of emo Dante in last year’s reveal trailer for the Devil May Cry reboot, we weren’t totally feeling the style. While we trust the developer (Ninja Theory), up until E3 we didn’t see anything that impressed us. This trailer assuaged some of our fears, and what made us happiest was seeing that Dante’s trademark white hair does return, if only for a limited time.
Saints Row: The Third
The total ridiculousness of Saint Row: The Third is why we’re so excited for it, and this trailer showed it all. Crazy gunplay, DDTing a guy through a glass table, about a dozen high-tech jets, all set to an appropriate Kanye West song. What more could you want? Preview
And the winner is…
Though all the trailers here were great and added a little extra something to the standard video package, we’re going to give the edge to Prey 2. Even though it was entirely cinematic, it completely sold us on the game. The others had the advantage of being based on a popular franchise and capitalizing on that history, while Prey 2 had the disadvantage of general apathy towards the original game. With all that against it, this trailer managed to steal the show. Congrats!