GamesRadar E3 2011 Awards: Best Trailer

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?


The Nominees:

Halo 4

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

Hitman: Absolution

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 2

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…

Prey 2

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!

Most graphics | Coolest character reinvention
Best response to fan feedback 
Best trailer | Most satisfying gore | Guiltiest pleasure
Most shameless rip-off 
Best new game we know nothing about
Worst first impression | Best game for masochists 
Most likely to consume our lives | Artsiest-fartsiest
Most tasteless 
Might not actually suck | Proof that 2D isn't dead | BEST OF SHOW 


E3 e3-video

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  • MightyMorphinPoltergeist - June 24, 2011 7:42 p.m.

    Glad to see Prey 2 won. The rest of the entries looked like more boring iterations of what we've already seen. Even though it has a 2 after it, Prey 2 looks like a brand new IP and I dig that.
  • Yeager1122 - June 23, 2011 2:13 a.m.

    First time i saw pretty 2 trailer i was like holy crap that was awsome and i knew nothing about it but also love the ac trailer made me really want to play another ac game.
  • QWERTYCommander - June 22, 2011 6:23 p.m.

    That Prey 2 trailer completely sold me on the game.
  • 435 - June 22, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    I couldn't have hated the original Prey more. This trailer, if it is consistent with what the game will be like as far as setting and theme? I might really enjoy. That said, I didn't expect the Saints Row: The Third trailer to make it on this list, and am exceptionally heartened that it did. It's badass.
  • Jbo87 - June 22, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    It has to be AC: Revelations for me. The music was perfect in both timing and tone. As mentioned above the Ass Creeds have always had genius trailers.
  • RicePuddingUK - June 22, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    The woman in the Hitman trailer is Diana, 47's handler, you must've recognised her voice surely?
  • bigwill1221 - June 22, 2011 7:29 a.m.

    Eh Prey trailer is ok, preferred Assassins Creed one
  • Vagrant - June 22, 2011 4:30 a.m.

    Oh, wow. Mostly CG crap that doesn't matter. Whereas the Uncharted 3 trailer was simultaneously funny, thrilling, intriguing, gorgeous, well edited, had all the right characters, featured actual gameplay and REALLY made me want to play the game.
  • Pyroco101 - June 22, 2011 4:14 a.m.

    where's Killer Freaks?
  • BlackElement17 - June 22, 2011 4:04 a.m.

    Break that rusty cage.
  • Jamahl - June 22, 2011 4:04 a.m.

    As I opened this article, I couldn't think of a more dramatic, emotional, and action-packed trailer than the AC: Revelations one, so I expected it to win. But as I scrolled down the page, I remembered: PREY 2. This trailer basically showed us what the game is going to be like with a prettier shell and some third person parts. So practical, and yet the premise is just too great! I loved the music for AC:R, and I liked Ezio's fighting skills. The thing everyone seems to not realise, however, is the sequence shown in the trailer takes place at the beginning. It's definately not his final fight.
  • Fusionmix - June 22, 2011 2:43 a.m.

    Saints Row 2 was so good I even enjoyed the crappy PC port (the phenomenal Gentlemen of the Row mod helped a lot though :P). Can't wait for the sequel. Hopefully the PC version runs well. And hopefully I can import my psychopathic blue-haired stone butch biker Boss and retain all the les yay with Shaundi. /isnotshallow
  • Pocotron - June 22, 2011 2:14 a.m.

    No Overstrike? That was a pretty good trailer for a *cough* new game series *cough*
  • Myko - June 22, 2011 2:09 a.m.

    Failo still popping out games? well keep milking that cash cow till it curds over.
  • onewingedantista - June 23, 2011 3:52 a.m.

    The Old Republic wasn't even NOMINATED!? What be wrong with you, GR?
  • ChickenFillet5140 - June 22, 2011 10:46 p.m.

    I've said it before, the Prey 2 trailer is easily the best trailer I've ever seen for a game. Nothing beats shooting aliens accompanied by the soothing sounds of Mr. Johnny Cash.
  • Sjoeki - June 22, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    I'm looking forward to the new hitman and saints row
  • wittynickname - June 22, 2011 2:21 p.m.

    A little stunned that the Far Cry 3 trailer wasn't even nominated. And I'm not even a series fan.
  • lilbuddha - June 22, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    /meh @ Halo4 trailer. Been there done that.
  • SilentTee - June 22, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    I liked all the trailers but I'm not really into all the games. My vote for best trailer would have went to Assassins Creed: Revelations. Prey 2 didn't look bad but Assassins Creed: Revelations is going to consume my every thought until it comes out. :) I absolutely loved every minute of that trailer. Assassins Creed games for me have always had insanely good trailers to accompany the games.