When Game Trailers Confuse More Than Excite
© 2009 Beth Sasagi
If you are looking for an exciting game set on a mysterious island, infested with all manner of strange creatures and a captivating story that draws you in, do not bother watching the trailer to Risen, being brought to us by Pirahna Bytes and Deep Silver.
It is the perfect example of a trailer that reveals little and does little to generate interest. Okay, go ahead and watch it, because it is a good study in what not to do.
The game’s trailer from late last year starts off with a man and a woman desperately running through a dark jungle, while behind them a creature that appears to be some form of mutated gorilla chases close on their heels. From the start, it is clear that the graphics are not exactly what you would expect from a modern game.
• Risen First Intro Trailer.
The characters appear stiff and the emotions displayed are rigid as the ‘terrified’ travelers run on. The man falls and calls to the woman to go on without him; she does and he dies. The woman makes it into a town where a man who appears to have a permanent squint or is constipated informs her that, “No one may leave the city by order of the inquisitor”. Followed by, “Sir, we found her!” WTF?
The trailer continues on with dramatic music and quick shot cuts, displaying an evil-looking man with one eye and a very strange eye-patch (obviously the inquisitor), a strange eyeless beast, and a temple rising from under the island, followed by a malevolent voice saying the word ‘Risen’.
The trailer leaves a number of questions: why can’t people leave the city? What are those strange creatures? And what exactly, is the plot behind the game? At one point you can hear the hopeless cry: “The gods have forsaken us”. They look to be the gods of plot, visual presentation, and gameplay.
• Risen: Mood Trailer #1 (Recent release)
As I said, the trailer really doesn’t help.
It doesn’t show any in-game play or what sort of game it will be (though it obviously leans toward RPG).
The fan site World of Risen attempts to sum up the plot:
On a remote island with a Caribbean flair, strange things are happening. Old ruins rise from the ground (hence, the game’s name) and with them, weird monsters appear. An organization called “The Inquisition” has decided to investigate these events and seized power on the island. No one is allowed to roam on the land freely but as a newcomer, washed ashore without memories, you have no choice…
Caribbean flair? And who the hell are you?
• Risen Mood video #2
The premise does sound vaguely promising, with the hope of great battles and thrilling quests, if only the trailer didn’t let it down. The recent arrival of the three mood clips, each detailing some portion of the island begin to show a bit more.
Although they are rather dull, they at least give you the impression that the in-game graphics may be decent, if not much better than the trailer. The look appears to be very similar to that found in Fable (Caribbean flair aside), and whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing, that was a first gen Xbox game.
Unfortunately it appears that this game will not be all that its developer Piranha Bytes and publisher Deep Silver want it to be, but there is still hope for the game, at least until some gameplay videos or a demo is released. Perhaps they should have done more with the game before showing the trailer.
• Risen Mood Trailer #3
What do you think?
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