Leipzig GC 08: Dueling Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft Trailers
Even though Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said earlier this summer that the upcoming Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning wouldn't rival World of Warcraft, you know damn well every MMORPG fan is comparing these two games side-by-side, especially with a new WoW expansion on the way. So why not take the cinematic trailers EA and Blizzard released for their respective games and arbitrarily compare them?
The WAR trailer depicts a battle for a walled town between the armies of Order and Destruction. It reminded me a little of the intro trailer for the initial retail release of World of Warcraft in that it portrays a wide variety of player character races and classes dueling each other amidst the melee. Although cinematic trailers don't have any gameplay footage, it's still cool seeing a character of your preferred race/class running around and causing havoc. Unlike that WoW trailer I mentioned, though, it's all one continuous scene so it feels like you're watching a short film.
The trailer for Wrath of the Lich King, the upcoming expansion pack for WoW, is shorter and a little more teaser-ish. It shows Arthas the death knight, ultimate villain of the expansion pack, brooding by his arctic throne. It's a gorgeous trailer, but there's not really anything new shown. We do get to see him summon an undead wyrm and it's neat watching it shamble out of its icy tomb, but this isn't really "surprising"; I mean one of the older raid instances already has a frost wyrm raid boss. The appearance of a monstrous bird at the end of the WAR trailer is more of a jolt; I guess it's because that game world is less familiar to me. To be fair, if you're playing WoW, you're going to keep playing it regardless of how meaty the trailer is. The only goal for this clip is to establish the setting of the expansion - the frozen continent of Northrend - and it does that.
Obviously cinematics give no indication as to the actual quality of the game. They're designed to get you hot and bothered for the full game and by that measure they both succeed, even if I like WAR's trailer more. Watching either will give you enough nerdgasms to tide you over until their release this fall. That being said, I hope to see a "Winner of Cinema Blend's Arbitrary Cinematic Trailer Contest" sticker on the box of WAR next month.
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