Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
The Art & Art of Video Game Trailers

So here's a strange little one. Anna, for instance, is routinely aggrieved and offended whenever she's forced to watch video game trailers at the beginning of a film – which is pretty much everytime we see a film now. What she's resisting is that, as of several years ago, the video game business is actually bigger (in dollar terms) than the movie business. What she really doesn't want to hear is that video games are now fairly widely recognised to be an art form.

And, perhaps in the same way that a movie trailer can condense a lot of emotion and adrenaline down into a 90-second speedball, video game trailers seem to have gotten pretty damned good while no one was looking. Here are a few I've been boggling at lately.

Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2

According to Wikipedia, "total revenue from first day sales in the U.S. and the UK was $310 million, making Modern Warfare 2 the biggest entertainment launch in history." Read that again. Or don't, just watch the trailer, like I did many times, obsessively. It's gorgeous.

As a side note, I recently got to play this game all the way through, due to the outrageous generosity of one Alex Heublein, and which I never get to do because I never have a machine powerful enough to run new games. And the game is completely jaw-dropping. You literally don't know where to look. Actually, there were several MW2 trailers, and that one was so awesome, here's another one:

(One more here if you're yet unsated.)

Dead Island

This is just about the most disturbing thing I've ever seen in my life. Watch it carefully the first time – because you'll never get to see it for the first time again. (I've probably watched it about eight times now.)

The hook obviously, is the reversed time sequence. Inevitably, some sharpshooter undertook to edit it back in order. Check it out.

Gears of War

This one's kind of a classic – the first to use totally incongruous music (Tears for Fears!) to ramp up the overall dramatic effect.

The new Gears of War 3 trailer is, inevitably, even cooler.

Crysis 2

The Crysis franchise is another jaw-hanger. It's just amazing what goes into these things these days – production staffs in the hundreds, budgets in the millions, schedules in years. Crysis 2 has like a dozen trailers. I show you this trailer because it's stunning:

And this one because it's set to NIN "Just Like You Imagined," which always wins. (And it's pretty stunning.)


In closing, here's the teaser for the forthcoming Modern Warfare 3. It all just keeps getting better.


Obviously, I've favoured shooters. Gotta favourite game trailer? Link or embed it in the comments section. (Full HTML allowed. I think.)


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about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
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