The new John Lewis Christmas advert is out! And everyone is loving it, apparently. For those of you across the pond in the US — or anywhere else in the world — John Lewis is a large chain store in Britain that releases a Christmas ad each year that fills people with emotions and stuff. It’s practically an annual event nowadays. Take a look at it below.
So rather than go all Christmassy (it’s a word now!) on you, let's look at the five most memorable video game ads from the past few years. Back when I was a youngster, televised commercials for video games were few and far between, so don’t expect to see many from a time long ago.
1. Halo 3
The release of #Halo3 for Xbox 360 was something of a major event for #Microsoft — the final part of Master Chief’s battle against the Covenant and the Flood. Except that it wasn’t, but we weren’t to know that at the time. Plus, let's not forget all that lovely multiplayer fun that came with it.
#Bungie advertised this big release with a scene of a battle between the humans and the Covenant, frozen in time. It looked like something constructed from action figures. We see Master Chief held up by the throat, seemingly defeated, before he raises his head and we’re met with one word: believe. The vignette, paired with the almost peaceful piano accompaniment, works brilliantly.
2. Dead Space 2
No, I’m not talking about that stupid “your mom would hate it” ad — or whatever it was — that suggested EA was aiming the incredibly violent Dead Space 2 at children. I’m talking about the fun, action-packed ad backed by the Smashing Pumpkins. I don’t think it’s on the same level as some of the others on here, but it's a commercial I find to be very memorable nonetheless. Again, its a great pairing of music and visuals that had anyone who was invested in the series excited for what was to come.
Rewatching this reminds me of how much I enjoyed this game, and makes me dislike the direction the series went in all the more.
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3. Team Fortress 2
This is less to do with a single ad and more to do with how the series has been advertised as a whole over time. Valve pulled off something rather special with its now free-to-play multiplayer shooter/hat simulator. Rather than focus on the gameplay, #Valve promoted the game’s character and sense of humor. The studio has released a trailer for each of the #TeamFortress2’s classes and gave them a larger-than-life personality. The sense of fun is kept up for the various events that have since been released for the games. The one below is my personal favorite.
I suppose I’m cheating with this one a little as it’s not a TV advert. But it’s my list and I didn’t set any rules at the start. Anarchy!
4. Gears Of War
#GearsofWar has quite the track record of exciting videos paired with gentle music, and this is the one that started it all. Scenes of battle between Locust and COG soldiers, helicopters exploding backed by Gary Jules’s cover of Tears for Fears’ "Mad World." It implies a certain amount of emotion would be present in the final game, rather than it just being about CHAINSAWING MONSTERS IN THE FACE. Still, it was a very memorable ad, and certainly not the worst culprit of using a trailer to suggest a game was more serious than it actually was.
Below is a redo of the original for the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Xbox One remake.
5. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Sega Genesis Advert
#Sega is utterly bonkers. If you didn’t think so before, then this advert may well convince you. Again, this is a bit of a cheat as it’s technically for a console as well as the game, but I don’t care. You need to see this lunacy for yourself.
Some honorable mentions as ever! BioShock Infinite had an excellent advert. Even though the scene shown wasn’t in the game, it still gave us a taste of what the game would be like. The #CallofDuty “there’s a soldier in all of us” set of adverts are great fun and show that the marketing team behind this series knows exactly what to aim for with the multiplayer side of the game.
Finally, a dishonorable mention: Dead Island, for its trailer that had absolutely nothing to do with the game whatsoever while still being an exceptionally good mini movie of sorts. If that trailer represented what the final game was about, then it would be nigh on perfect. As it stands, this one sticks out in my mind as an abject. It’s almost as egregious as No Man’s Sky.
How about you? Any commercials you remember for games you loved? With the YouTube being as huge as it is, it’s now easier than ever to view trailers for games, so I bet there are a few you like. Let me know below!