Video game teasers tend to stick to a certain formula: dazzle the viewer with awesome graphics, show off some of the games’ abilities and maybe dribble a little story out to tantalize would-be players. But every so often, one piece of video-centric marketing will float above the rest or sink to join the sludge.
In Clip Analysis, I’ll be looking at trailers, teasers and just about any game-related video in an effort to call out what works and what doesn’t in terms of communicating a particular game’s coolness.
This time, I’ll be taking a look at the Adventure trailer for “LittleBigPlanet 2”.
The first LittleBigPlanet captured hearts with its intrepid burlap hero Sackboy and scissors-and-Elmer’s-glue DIY aesthetic. Its “Play. Create. Share” slogan inspired players to craft hundreds of thousands of stickers and levels. LBP won that and The love for LBP saw Sony following up with this year’s “ModNation Racers”, a kart racing game with similar ideas about heavy customization as a game mechanic.
So, the coming of LittleBigPlanet 2 this fall is a big deal. Dev studio Media Molecule is promising easier and more expansive game-making tools and a deeper single-player experience. The new trailer is supposed to be all about the latter, so let’s take a look.
• The music is classic LBP: energetic, guitar-centric pop with a load of screaming kids in the background. I don’t know who the band is but their sound’s a perfect fit for the game.
• The first few snippets of gameplay are confusing to look at. A problem with a fast-moving trailer for a content-rich game like LBP is that the camera needs to be pulled back at a wide angle. It’s not the best choice for appreciating a game where half the fun is picking out the little touches designers have put in the levels.
• Another reason the wide angles don’t work is you don’t get to see the changing expressions on Sackboy’s face. Any game where you can change the character’s emotional state at will should show it off in a promo clip.
• But the wide angle does work for showing off how busy, manic and fun multiplayer session on LBP can be. And the cosmic scope of the new story mode does come across. You see a spoofy version of a Star Trek spaceship going into warp drive and some sort of odd chicken mount for you to ride around in.
• Honestly, the montages of new mechanics and in-game gadgets is the most exciting thing about the Adventure clip. In a game that’s essentially about making new games, new tools and toys are the money shot. The Creatinator and the AI Sackbots look the most intriguing.
For a trailer focused on story, Adventure doesn’t do a lot to tell you about LBP 2’s plot. The Alliance you’re joining on makes quick cameos in the clip. Of course, plot’s never mattered much in LBP and it’s really only a reason for you to jump from point A to point B. November 16th’s the day Sackboy comes back to PS3s everywhere and the day when we’ll see just how engaging LBP’s new Story Mode actually is.