The 12 most useless game trailers

Killzone 2’s (then just known as Killzone PS3) E3 ‘05 teaser featured completely pre-rendered footage posing as gameplay of an airborne squadron landing on the industrial world of Helghan amongst “the shit.” Human soldiers rally back amongst the Helghast up a bridge before taking out a flying battleship with one well-placed rocket.

Think back to E3 2005 and the world’s eyes were on this new ultra super-console known as the PlayStation 3. And then you see “footage” of this new beast of a game, the sequel to the supposed Halo-killer. After the initial excitement, more details emerged. Oh, that was just a target render? The game’s not quite there in the graphics department yet? The PS3 can’t actually render details that well? There’s no set release date? Skepticism for the title persists today, despite the gameplay footage coming alarmingly close to that target render in our opinion.

A series of live action commercials shot documentary-style were produced for the PS2 franchise. In them, some suburban kids demo the outlandish weapons that appear in the games. In one notable clip, the teens used a big gun to inadvertently turn their friend into a chicken. Approximately five seconds of gameplay is shown.

Admittedly, the ad campaign for the Ratchet franchise is hilarious. And yes, paralleling the real world application of such an insane weapon to that of the game makes complete marketing sense. However, did you know that you have a robot sidekick in the game? Or that you flew spaceships? Travelled to different worlds? Or that Ratchet was one of the most solid platforming franchises in years? Ultimately, we’re not sure how effective the ads were in motivating anyone to purchase the games no matter how entertainingly useless they were.

A 30-second live action commercial directed by George A Romero - director of Night of the Living Dead and subsequent zombie offerings. In it, a teenaged Leon S. Kennedy outruns the shuffling undead at the Raccoon City Police Department, until he joins forces with Claire Redfield. Produced only in Japan.

Even though many played the ground-breaking original and knew what to expect from the sequel, the commercial - albeit well produced - failed to indicate anything other than zombies making an appearance. The other elements such as the police station environment could have been in the game, but this was a mini-movie. There’s no way to know that the station would be involved. Leon and Claire? No idea who these characters are. Ultimately, what this commercial lacked was the essential parallel to gameplay, linking everything together. Also, a stupid contract dispute prevented the commercial from playing in the US, the only place where George Romero’s zombie films are relevant for the commercial to be important.

Released at Halloween, a gaggle of ladies celebrate one’s birthday for entirely too long. The birthday girl opens her last present to find a severed head, to which the attending zombies specify that she was too difficult to shop for. Cue slogan: Hot Chicks Hate Zombies!

By the numbers: A 60 second commercial. 40 seconds of birthday “fun” to get to the gag of the severed head. Another 10 seconds for the joke. And then literally 3 seconds of gameplay. While the payoff is kinda funny, the entire package is almost too much to bear, what with the squawking females and all. Good Christ, what a terrible commercial.