The Daily Five: Gaming’s Most Misleading Game Trailers

April 12, 2013 | By | 9 Comments

Every year publishers release announcement or reveal trailers to gamers through video game award shows, gaming conventions or just on a specifically chosen date. However, these trailers aren’t always the best representation of what the game is going to offer or the amount of entertainment you’re going to get from it. In fact, sometime the game you’re dropping your money on isn’t even going to look like the trailer at all — it will end up looking entirely different. While some may cry foul at this practice, it’s an effective marketing tool to get you anticipating a title you may have otherwise completely overlooked.

We’ve taken a look back at some older trailers from this past generation and have compiled a compelling list of five of them that have misled gamers more-so than any other. We’ve included them below and we’d love to hear if you felt these misled you as well.


It’s alright to laugh. We get it. Do you all remember when Lair was supposed to ‘save’ the PlayStation 3 alongside the eventual release of Haze? Early adopters believed both of those titles would justify the purchase of the console and all of the negativity would subside. That was one of the best jokes played on gamers this generation. However, upon release, Lair didn’t exactly respond that well to the marketplace and Sony was pushed into releasing a megaton patch to correct a lot of core issues that the game was facing. While we can admit that this patch did resolve some of the functionality, it didn’t make up for the major disappointment that this game delivered from Day 1.


At one point Brink was supposed to be the console’s answer and version to Valve’s extremely addictive title, Team Fortress 2. Yes, TF2 had released somewhat through The Orange Box, but it didn’t do as well as Valve expected. However, that was okay since everyone knew Brink was coming and it was going to offer incredible faction on faction warfare with a great variety of skills. In the end, Brink failed to deliver on most levels and was a bargain bin title within a couple of months. Unfortunately, the class systems were indistinguishable from one another unless you played enough to level up, the single-player experience was pretty much the multiplayer experience but with bots, and the game released at full price. Don’t worry though, this trailer probably got you excited enough to blow your wad — of cash — on this game.

Dead Island Announcement Trailer

This pick may make you think we’re picking on Dead Island a little too much, but c’mon. When this announcement trailer released, the internet set ablaze with comments like, “Wow, this is an emotional masterpiece,” “This is how game trailers should be done,” and “Dead Island is a Day 1 purchase.” However, the end product wasn’t exactly anything remotely close to this announcement trailer. We’re not talking about the actual visuals, but the gameplay experience was nothing like what the trailer gave you the impression the game would be like. Dead Island didn’t offer up an emotional experience, it felt dead and like a buggy mess. Frankly, we bought this one day one because of the initial excitement that this trailer gave us. Never again, Deep Silver, never again.

Aliens: Colonial Marines Contact Extended Trailer

Simply: Lol. That’s all that should be needed to be said here because we all know what went down in this disaster. Hell, the demo was even better than the final release and the launch was such a catastrophe it eventually led to the cancellation of the Wii U release entirely. Quite honestly, we’re not even sure where to begin with this one. The original announcement 6-7 years ago was premature, but all of the hype and anticipation that followed was severely undeserved. If you picked this up or were excited for it, have you ever been more disappointed with a gaming experience? Some of the .GIFs for this game are just golden and, honestly, unbelievable. Thankfully, Gearbox Software actually redeems itself a little bit with our last entry into this Daily 5.

Borderlands Announcement Trailer

Sometimes initial misrepresentation can be a good thing — even a great thing. When Gearbox Software originally released its announcement trailer for Borderlands at the Video Game Awards in 2007, we were met with a more realistic version than the end product a couple of years later. We’re not sure if many of you remember this or not, but it was definitely what started the initial anticipation for what would turn out to be an incredible franchise. Of course, we’d love to have seen what a Borderlands title could’ve looked like with this art direction and it’s a shame that we never will, but we’re definitely satisfied with the product we ended up with. We chose this announcement trailer for this feature to show you that it’s okay to take risks as a game’s developer and to change your ideas if they’re going to improve upon the player experience. Whether Gearbox Software funded the changes of Borderlands’ visual style with Aliens funds or not, as rumored, we don’t care — we loved it.