As journalists, let alone players, when we are presented with a new game trailer of some description we find ourselves musing over the same questions over and over. “I wonder if it shows good or actual gameplay?”, “Ergh yet ANOTHER CGI mess” or even, “Why don’t they just release the game already?” to name but a few. It’s fair to say that over time we get a bit jaded and rightly so; we are not the younger gamer, able to be lost in the spectacle of the epic display given to us with a childlike innocence. But in this maturity, we lost something important. The ability to sometimes see a trailer for what it is; an impressive piece of advertising worthy of being given the respect it deserves.
Let us take a look at the recently released Final Fantasy XV trailer entitled ‘Omen’. The official word on the trailer from Square Enix themselves is as follows:
‘Omen’ is a conceptual CG cinematic trailer by DIGIC Pictures, inspired by Final Fantasy XV. A rapidly shifting world, enemies that appear endlessly, gradual loss of abilities… and a madness that brings harm to the beloved fiancée. This epic production, which can only be described as a nightmare for the struggling Noctis, is a collaboration between Final Fantasy XV and DIGIC Pictures, the world-renowned 3D animation studio that also took part in the creation of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. This beautiful yet violent vision inspired by the world and story of Final Fantasy XV depicts an ‘omen’ for Noctis’ father, King Regis, of a catastrophic future that must be avoided…
Right away what is obvious, despite how gorgeous it was visually, is that this trailer is trying to appeal to a variety of consumer and player type. The trailer presents a basic narrative, a story, which at its simplest is a tale of a young man following a dog to find a young woman who is in obvious distress. Of course, fans of the Final Fantasy series who have been following the long campaign of advertisement for Final Fantasy XV will see the symbolism and the references to external media (such as the Kingsglaive film and the animated shorts online) and revel in their deeper understanding of the trailer. This includes even just knowing the names of the characters in the trailer, Noctis and Lunafreya respectively. Small aspects like this can mean the world to players.
This simplicity of design is yet another boon to the average viewer. ‘Omen’ does not seem to reveal any major plot points of the Final Fantasy XV story (as far as we know), it only alludes to them in an over the top manner. This is done for a reason and it was definitely planned. The moment Noctis flips the car and the music changes to a softer and steadily more harrowing tone every scene has a goal, to shock and impress. Why? Because that is what makes you remember it. This is furthered by the symbolism, which is laid on thick for this and for good reason; it is again, easy to understand and to remember.