Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – “The Vet & The Noob”
This week, we pay homage to the video game as this would seem to be the winter of releases for large title games. Activision, the company behind Call of Duty has released a live action commercial featuring Sam Worthington, Jonah Hill and Dwight Howard, for the new Modern Warfare 3 video game that was released yesterday, November 8th.
The commercial has it’s moments, but is even better to anyone who has ever spent an hour playing one of the Modern Warfare series games (especially in multiplayer were you have to deal with real people and their microphones). The video is appropriately titled, “The Vet & the N00b” spelled with zeros for more than the obvious reasons (zero to hero, maybe?). For those who don’t know, a noob is another term for a “newbie” or a beginner – noob obviously being the shorthand of newbie. Jonah Hill plays the noob character well, making avoidable mistakes, getting killed by mines and running around firing off the “noob tube”, he also manages to miss everything he shoots at while firing from the hip. The last two examples require a little knowledge of the game. The “noob tube” is another, slightly negative name for grenade launcher, inferring that only new players use it because it’s easy to get kills with it. Only shooting from the hip is also a pretty noobish thing to do as a player – aiming down the guns sights always yields much more accurate results, which Mr. Hill learns.
The commercial may ask for a little Call of Duty knowledge to get the full scope, but it’s not a requirement to enjoy it. Dwight Howards last minute cameo as the “new” noob made us laugh, but Jonah Hills followup line was far too cheesy to enjoy. We appreciate Call of Duty’s ability to show they understad their user-base while also bringing in well known talent to represent this, but lets try to stay away from the cheese – It looks like Jonah Hill has been able to.
Need For Speed – “The Run”
Released a few days ago, this spot is unique to the “video game trailer” industry in that it is advertised as a Michael Bay creation – a fitting choice to direct a trailer for a game such as this. Fast cars, fast women and over the top explosions are synonymous with his directing style and it does well to entertain it’s audience.
This isn’t to say that video game trailers aren’t normally exciting or full of adrenaline, most trailers work hard to look like a movie, but adding the Michael Bay name on the trailer credits takes it a few steps further. This seems to be a new trend, possibly starting with the game Homefront, which was advertised as being written by John Milius who co-wrote Apocalypse Now as well as wrote and directed Red Dawn.
It is fun to know these famous writers/directors are working with video games, and it’s possible that it will continue as video games maintain their track towards the more cinematic, but for now it seems like they may be trying too hard to impress. Although gamers love a good story, it probably shouldn’t be the defining aspect of a video game, at least not yet. Gamers must have blood and violence to satiate their very real, animalistic urges to inflict actual harm on people, not well written storys…duh.
Assassin’s Creed – “Revelations”
Though this commercial pales in comparison to the spot released a couple months ago (maybe one of the most cinematic trailers we’ve seen, even more so than Michael Bays), there is something very fun to discover about this ad. It uses celebrity talent like the Call of Duty commercial does, yet without the humour, only the star power and this plays into the message of the ad quite well. Not only is it saying that we are all players or that even celebrities play video games, but that Enzio Auditore, the assassin himself, has become a celebrity worthy of note.
This is where the commercial is actually very interesting. Nothing too spectatular is going on while the audience looks over the NFL’s Adrien Peterson, MMA fighter BJ Penn or the NBA’s Derrick Rose until we get to Enzio, the title character of the game. Take a second look and notice that Enzio is in fact a computer generated character, unlike the previous 3 guys. It is a seamless job done by Ubisoft and it’s something worth recognition (almost as much recognition as the official trailer).
The difficulty in deciphering the real and the computer generated in the media has become harder and harder and we may be finding ourselves at a point were we will not be able to tell the difference. It is a bit scary, but it’s even more exciting to see the level of graphics that video games will be able to push to their audience. They still haven’t quite got natural body movement down, but it will come in time (and most likely, very soon).
Battlefield 3 – “Is it real?”
Staying with the theme of real versus fake, Battlefield 3 released a live action trailer cutting in gameplay graphics with real action and asking you the viewer to tell the difference. It’s a fun twist on the idea that games are getting to the point where it is hard to distinguish the graphics from reality and it does it with a very in your face style. That’s not a bad thing, though, in fact, it’s a very good thing (at least for Battlefield 3).
Seeing as this is a game based around the idea of war and combat, being in your face and telling you that it’s so real you won’t be able to tell the difference, is a fun challenge. To the average person, you’ll probably be able to figure out which scenes are real and which are computer generated, but there are definitely a few of them which are almost impossible to tell. You may have won that battle, but you haven’t won the war, at least not until you purchase the game and play it for yourself, then see if it’s real enough for you. Clever, clever video game companies.
Battlefield 3 has been received well by critics, although it does have a decent amount of graphical and mechanical flaws. This commercial does a great job of puller the viewer in, even if your not a video game fan, and asking you to invest a minute of your time to try and tell the difference.
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