A tale of two trailers: Why Ubisoft's game trailer for The Division works, but the one for The Crew doesn't

Tom Clancy's The Division

Above: Ubisoft's The Division in action.

Image Credit: Ubisoft
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LOS ANGELES — Ubisoft showed two game trailers back-to-back at its press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) tradeshow today. Both were well produced and tried to evoke emotion. In my opinion, one worked, and one didn’t. The contrast shows why there’s an art to creating trailers for a game that can either turn players off or get them excited.

The trailer for The Division started out with the wail of a woman, seemingly weeping for a lost child. A pandemic has spread through society via a plague that was carried by … money. The germ-infected currency kills off a lot of people and starts the apocalypse, which brings out secret agents who are tasked with restoring order. The trailer is edited so that it shows in just a couple of minutes how quickly society falls apart. The wailing of the woman and the subsequent weeping of a man who kills himself make the scene emotional, even though the images of either the woman, the man, and many others are not shown.

It reminds me of the emotional trailer for Dead Island, which tells a story in reverse. While that trailer was sad, the trailer for The Division was hopeful and ultimately moving.

The video trailer for The Crew was shown after the The Division clip. But I just couldn’t get that excited about The Crew. The video tried to convey the emotional attachment that people have to their cars. But it didn’t work for me.

It’s a racing game. It’s an open world, where you challenge other people in driving matches. It’s not a story-based game with a compelling story, like The Division.

I’m sorry, but Ubisoft can’t make me emotional about a racing game. It’s not like the film Gravity. I’m quite worried that the video game won’t live up to the video in the case of The Crew. On the other hand, The Division has plenty of drama. I’m looking forward to it.

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