Good ads market a product by hitting on its competitive edge. And trailers, which go back centuries to minstrels atop their traveling theater wagons, are effective if they intrigue their audience.
The new trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins fails to highlight the most intriguing aspect of the game. That is, it doesn’t say much about Batman’s “origins”. The game, available October 25, is set five years before Batman: Arkham Asylum and features Batman as an unrefined crime fighter as he develops into what he becomes. The exquisite TV Spot captured an essence of that. I wanted to see more of how it translates to the gameplay as well as the storyline but the trailer doesn’t do either.
Actually, the trailer is another lame, clichéd piece we’ve seen a hundred times before. News footage, bad guy creates problems, good guy goes to solve problem, good guy in trouble…ho hum. Batman is Batman here. He’s got all his stuff, his temper, his master kung-fu, gadgets and toys and everything. Let’s see some self-doubt, more complexity to his character, some grayness. Gadgets fail. Explosives explode prematurely. He kills a couple people by mistake…okay, not that far, but I do want to see Batman learning the hard way.
And the supervillain, Black Mask, sucks. They took him straight out of the comic book – a mob boss with a…black mask. I admit I’m not a purist, but I do pay money for games, so please, intrigue me.