Related Videos

Top 10 Biggest Video Game Trailer Cliches

Oh...this crap again? Time to take a look at the things that all video game trailers seem to do. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Biggest Video Game Trailer Cliches!

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Top 10 Video Game Trailer Cliches
Witty statement about video games. Splash image of the channel. Reminder to subscribe. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Video Game Trailer Cliches.

Video game trailers are a great way to get us hyped for an upcoming release, but sometimes, the methods used are a bit... predictable. We’re not saying these trailers are bad, just that we’ve seen this kind of thing before. Now, without further adieu... closing remark before going into the list.

#10: Trailers that look like a completely different game genre

What, were you expecting a story driven experience with a focus on teamwork and fun character interaction? Ah, the ol’ bait and switch, that moment when you watch a trailer and prepare for one style of gaming and get something completely different. Were you expecting a cinematic masterpiece that would tug at your heartstrings as you desperately tried to stay alive? How about a huge, open world fantasy with real-time combat that’ll keep you on your toes? Did you think you’d be able to pull of those sweet moves in the game? Yeah, that’s not how that works.

#9: Not adding that much new footage

Finally! That game you’re excited for has a brand new trailer... but doesn’t that footage look familiar? Haven’t we seen that level before? It’s a bit of a let down when a studio releases a trailer, but the only thing that changes is the music. Maybe, if you squint hard enough, you’ll see a couple of milliseconds of a new scene. Trailers like this tend to be for games that don’t have a foreseeable release date, so the promise of something new gets us talking, even if that something new is recycled footage that leads to a microscopic payoff.

#8: Pre-order ads

Just when you think the trailer is over... pre-order ad! Don’t get us wrong, we love the incentives companies give us to pre-order a game. Extra maps. New skins. Exclusive weapons. And, if we’re lucky, a beta code or demo to another game. It’s getting to the point that entire trailers will be dedicated to these bonuses. It’s not just studios jumping on the “pre-order now” bandwagon, but retailers have joined them in dangling that carrot in front of our face as each one will offer something different. We don’t need to pre-order at multiple locations... right?

#7: Revealing too much

Oh hey, a new trailer... oh no, it’s over a minute long. Please don’t have spoilers please don’t have spoilers please don’t... wait, were we supposed to know that that character dies? And who did you say your father was?! Should we be seeing every single level in the game?! Hold on, how much of the character roster was that? It’s great that we’re seeing the entire team together, but now we’re gonna be waiting for this moment while we’re playing. We understand wanting to get gamers excited, but some things are best left unsaid.

#6: “In-engine” footage rather than “in-game” footage

When a game is in development but doesn’t have a foreseeable release date, there will usually be a trailer that reassures us that the game is being worked on, aka, a trailer with “in-engine” footage. It’s also a sneak peek on what the game should look like and how it should run... key word: should. Seeing a glimpse of a game’s development process is pretty cool... unless if the final product doesn’t look as good as it did in-engine. This is probably why some trailers tell us that they’re actually using in-game footage... assuming that the studio is telling the truth.

#5: Awesome CGI that never makes it into the game

Video games have come a long way, especially when it comes to their cinematic quality. Sometimes, a trailer comes out with such stunning CGI that you’d swear you’re watching a movie. It gets you excited, and you’re eager to grab your controller and experience the stunning visuals... unless if those visuals are ONLY in the trailer. We watch trailers with a bit of apprehension when the graphics are a bit too crisp, because there’s a chance that those graphics are pure trailer fuel. Granted, the game might still be fun, but it’s a bit lousy when the trailer cinematics don’t match up.

#4: The “Inception” horn

Dramatic horn. Intense statement. An even more dramatic horn interrupting another intense statement. Something something studio name followed by another BWAAA! We’re fairly certain that this formula started before Christopher Nolan introduced us to the trippy world of Inception, but every time we hear that sound we think of buildings folding over each other. The quote, unquote, Inception horn can add an extra uumph to a trailer, but it becomes more humorous than serious if it’s used too much or put in a game that, honestly, has no business being accompanied by deep voiced narrators and their blaring horns.

#3: The camera tricks

As the protagonist looks over the city, taking in the scenery as the wind whips around them, suddenly, everything fades to black. When the scene picks up again, we see an overabundance of action, followed by another fade to black. People try to flee the scene, more action happens -- in slow motion this time -- followed by, you guessed it, another fade to black. Oh, and don’t forget the rapid fire cuts, the faster, the better, possibly while the music swells up into the final loud note and... fade to black.

#2: One word accolades

When you’re trying to promote how great your game is, sometimes, it’s best to let the critics do the talking -- especially if they have good things to say. But trailers can only go on for so long. Enter: one word accolades... or, at least, accolades that aren’t entire sentences of praise that you’ll probably be reading about in a publication’s review later. We usually see these in trailers closer to, or after, the release of a title, to the point that some games will release an accolades trailer for the sheer purpose of advertising how cool they are.
Before we get to our number one pick, here’s a cliche of our own: an honorable mention:
“This is your/our story”

#1: Creepy versions to not-so-creepy songs

Awwwww, did you really think that was a fun song you could tap your foot to? Nope, that song is creepy as shit, as this trailer will demonstrate in it’s dark and brooding cover. Sometimes, the cover is such a departure from the song that you can’t tell what it’s supposed to be. That nursery rhyme, that inspirational melody, that old folk song, anything can become nightmare fuel. We’re not saying we dislike these covers, but when you hear their original you can’t help but wonder... how did they make this so dreary?

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs