Massively Overthinking: The best MMORPG trailers of all time


This week’s Massively Overthinking should be a fun one — and hopefully it’ll contrast nicely with the Game Archaeologist column we ran last week, which covered some bizarre launch commercials, trailers, and videos from more classic days of our genre.

MOP Patron and Das Tal boss Alexander Zacherl asks,

“What’s the best trailer ever released for an MMO and why?”

Let’s have it! What’s the best trailer for an MMO — or at least your favorite? Vid links or it didn’t happen!

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Why is this even a discussion? The winner is clear, and disagreeing puts you at risk of being hacked by a fan of non-traditional hair styles. I ain’t gonna risk that. Mr. T clearly wins this.

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): It has to be EVE Online’s “This is EVE” trailer from 2014, which is by far the most genuine trailer for the game ever made. EVE’s trailers have always been cinematic masterpieces, but this was the one that most accurately captured the feel of being deeply involved in EVE and it used real voice comms recorded during actual gameplay.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): There’s no way we can not mention the original series of Star Wars: The Old Republic trailers, Deceived being probably the most impactful. An MMORPG utilizing the Blur Studio artistry? It was a big deal.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): You know, WildStar’s first trailer deserves a big nod from me because I’ve never fallen in love with a game just from its trailer before (and quite possibly never will again). This came out when we knew nothing else beyond the title and the vaguest possible details, and I think it’s still pretty darn impressive:

But I also have to give big respect to the trailer for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. I feel like subsequent trailers have frequently missed the mark for the game, but this one hit that sweet spot of at once showing off a world as well as setting up a story for players to follow. It didn’t focus solely upon the antagonist or the conflict; it made it clear that the world as a whole was becoming bigger, and it managed to convey the character of its new races (the casual cruelty mixed with appreciation of the blood elves, the spirituality and brutality of the draenei) in a short span of time. Plus, surprised sheep!

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): I won’t claim these to be the best, but they do stick out in my mind. First up is Star Trek Online’s free-to-play trailer, which I thought did a great job of mixing stirring narration, music, and in-game visuals to great effect. Even the Borg stinger didn’t seem that cheesy:

WildStar has had a lot of really great trailers, but its story trailer is by far its best. In under two minutes, it lays out the key mystery and narrative for the game while bombarding the player with key characters, locales, and sweet, sweet visuals. Jeff Kurtenacker’s score (“The Singularity”) is absolutely epic here, and I love how the lines that you watch being drawn are finally revealed to be spaceships all crossing the galaxy to land on Nexus. Always gives me chills.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): Hands down, the best trailer for an MMORPG was the DC Universe Online trailer by Blur Studio. We can compare it to some of the other Blur trailers like Elder Scrolls Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic, but neither of those trailers can match the quality of the visuals, the character impact, and the voice talent that you find in the DCUO trailer. We have classic and amazing voices like Mark Hamill as the Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman. Joss Whedon fans will recognize James Marsters playing the Luthor, Adam Baldwin playing Superman, and Gina Torres playing Wonder Woman. And the narrative is beautifully played out making you wonder what is happening and why, which is the point of trailers. You should always walk away from trailers wanting more, and with the DCUO Blur trailer, that’s exactly what happens.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): To be honest, I guess game trailers don’t really grab me; as much as I enjoy them, I really couldn’t call any to mind when pondering this question. That is, except for one: The Milkshake. That moment when the Dragon, Ming Lei, turned while drinking her milkshake to be nose-to-nose with a hideous creature yet didn’t even bat an eyelash really struck me. It was an intriguing promise of the seamless blending of the everyday mundane and the fantastical in The Secret World. That moment of eye-to-eye contact is seared in my mind!The eruption of power as she blasted it out of the wall was also a great contrast to the calm of the moment before.

You can’t mention TSW trailers without also mentioning the official launch trailer and its haunting song. It, too, blended our world with the stuff of legends and more.

Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): I echo Justin in mentioning the WildStar story trailer. It gave me a great sense of what to expect, showed off some excellent narrative and visuals, and was enough to hook my husband on the idea of the game. I’m not a big fan of trailers because I usually find them a little bland and a lot spoilerific, but this one was fantastic!

Your turn!

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