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…

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 (opens in new tab) or wolf-loving maniac (opens in new tab)) 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.

David Meikleham
Google AMP Stories Editor

David has worked for Future under many guises, including for GamesRadar+ and the Official Xbox Magazine. He is currently the Google Stories Editor for GamesRadar and PC Gamer, which sees him making daily video Stories content for both websites. David also regularly writes features, guides, and reviews for both brands too.