I’m having my obligatory British cup of tea in the morning and browsing through YouTube’s offerings for the day when No Man’s Sky‘s new trailer pops up. The landscape of the procedurally generated inter-galactic exploration game has changed dramatically in the year since its muted release, and yet you wouldn’t have guessed it from the drab montage of panning shots I was faced with. It’s an exciting time for the game, despite its continued blacklisting, and yet its trailers continue to feel mundane and weary.
The Atlus Rises update brings a host of new features to the game, which has been dutifully topped up every so often since its release a year ago. Alongside an enticing 30 hours of mission story, we have a rudimentary multiplayer foundation to play around with and a wealth of new lore to get stuck into and discover. New races, new economics, and new war sociology have been introduced, giving the living universe a little more life, and an apparently huge graphical overhaul has made everything just that little crisper.
However, No Man’s Sky‘s new trailer wouldn’t have you believe any of this was particularly exciting. Instead, you are faced with the same monotonous robotic voice that taught us about every other small patch as it reads a bullet point list of the features that have been added to the game. Take this bland powerpoint-esque introduction to the way Hello Games have answered the masses and taken new strides into creating the game system we all believed in before release, and place it against even the most basic of FIFA or Final Fantasy trailers and you have no contest.
E3 has been over for a while, but we all still have the ramping soundtracks, glistening visuals, and empowering badassery of the game content shown echoing around our minds. It’s difficult, then, to give No Man’s Sky‘s new trailer a second glance compared to the heart-racing offerings we still have knocking around our YouTube suggestions.
Game trailers have become inflated, yes. But why not? Why not show off the style and tone of the game you are looking to get players excited about in the best way possible. Especially with the influx of public viewers at 2017’s E3 showcase, now’s the time for developers to be looking to fill out their marketing team and get those showstopping 2-minute experiences before the eyes of every prospective player out there. Unfortunately, No Man’s Sky‘s slow panning shots, footage of game elements we’ve all seen before, and fairly depressed-sounding robotic voice over just won’t cut it in the age of the share.
Video content is fast becoming the mode of online marketing. With Facebook scrollers and YouTube sharers shifting their thumbs to that share or like button every second of every day to boost marketing campaigns and spread the word for you, it would be stupid to ignore the current trends of fast-paced, dynamic video game trailers.
Sure, these action trailers rarely provide as in-depth understandings of the game as a slower, informative experience would. However, this doesn’t have to be a tradeoff. Video content marketing is a crowded platform, but that doesn’t mean you have to be quiet about it. It simply means No Man’s Sky needs to work harder to ensure their market is both enthused about the new update and aware of what it entails. Nobody said this would be easy, but then nobody said creating a procedurally generated universe would be easy either.
It’s difficult to see such a corner-stone update being presented to the world with the same flat nudge as tiny patches when it’s worthy of a cacophony.
What do you think? Will you be picking the controller back up to test the new No Man’s Sky update? What role do you think game trailers play in today’s visual market? Let me know downstairs.