The game trailer is a sly creature. It wants to entertain you, to excite you, to embolden you with curiousity. But it also wants to sell you a bunch of code wrapped up in some 3D shapes. Some trailers turn out to be more artful than the game they’re hawking, others plant sneaky emotions in your head with music. However, some are better than others. Here are the best conflagrations of light and noise in PC gaming.
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The reveal trailer for Techland’s 2011 zombie shooter was arguably too good. The sombre slow-motion destruction of a family on holiday, delivered mostly in reverse, made some folks think Dead Island might be a sorrowful and serious take on the flesh-biting menace that has long become contemptuous through familiarity. It turns out the game was a decent Borderlands-ish sidequester. The urban follow-up, Dying Light, turned out better.