‘Give us something BIG!': 10 of the best live-action video game trailers

Halo 4

Microsoft’s Halo first-person sci-fi shooter franchise has a rich history of using cinematic trailers, including the “We are ODST” short directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) and the museum commercial for Halo 3. This Halo 4 trailer is a further tease for fans that had hoped to see a Halo movie. Neill Blomkamp (District 9) had been set to direct a full-length feature until Universal and Fox pulled the plug on the project back in 2005.

Halo 4’s November 6 release will also be preceded by a series of five 15-minute live-action episodes, titled “Forward Unto Dawn.” “Because it’s a world that people always want to see more of, Halo lends itself to live-action execution,” according to executive producer Kiki Wolfkill.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

This live-action trailer from Bethesda featured heavily during the promotion of the open-world RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It certainly didn’t hurt the game’s sales, which Bethesda estimated were in the region of $650 million during the first month of release.

Prey 2

The teaser trailer for first-person shooter Prey 2 (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) is shot with a handheld camera vibe strongly reminiscent of the movie Cloverfield . Game director Chris Rhinehart explains that the trailer was intended to connect the two games in the series, with Prey 2 protagonist Killian spotted aboard the plane that was seen crashing into the alien mothership during the original Prey.

Whether we will see much more of the game, beyond this trailer, is open to debate. Rumors of its cancellation surfaced earlier this year, and Bethesda has since confirmed that Prey 2 will no longer launch in 2012, as originally intended. This has been attributed to the fact that, “game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year, and the game does not currently meet our quality standards.”

Heroes and Generals

Heroes and Generals is a cross-platform free-to-play game from Reto-Moto that combines first-person shooter and strategic elements. Currently in a closed-beta testing stage, the development team enlisted some hardcore fans to help shoot this “Come Out to Play” trailer, which combines live-action and gameplay footage in a fun way.

“We wish to create a living and breathing game universe, where we deliver the setting and the scene, but the real ‘star’ is the community, who helps us tweak the experience into the game that they want to play,” said Jacob Andersen, the game director at Reto-Moto. “I believe that the ‘Come Out to Play’ trailer shows the scope of Heroes & Generals – and it’s just perfect that we have actual community members participating as actors in it!”

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

Not content with simply putting out a live-action trailer for third-person tactical shooter Ghost Recon Future Soldier (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360), Ubisoft also commissioned a 24-minute short film, directed by the Oscar-winning team of Herve de Crecy and Francois Alaux.

The brief, according to De Crecy, “was basically to give life to four characters, members of an elite Special Forces squad, and heroes of the game. There are also many links between the film and the game, and notably in the technologies used, and there exists a multiplayer level in the game taking place in the factory where we actually shot the film.”

If you watch carefully, the film features a hidden code which can be used to unlock a special weapon in the game.

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