PDA

View Full Version : Cinematic?



VitoAuditore
06-13-2017, 03:56 PM
Has anyone seen a cinematic trailer for Origins yet, or will they skip the cinematic trailer for this game? I was wondering since they have had cinematics for every ac game so far, some even with multiple cinematic trailers. Most of their other games @e3 seem to have a cinematic, far cry 5- skull & bones- beyond good and evil 2- starlink... Hell, even the crew 2 got one. So many games with cinematic trailers, it's just surprising to not see one for Origins.

If they haven't made one for origins, why do you think they chose not to? Did they not want to spend the money on a cinematic? Or did they replace a cinematic with ingame trailers?

tell me what you think!

VestigialLlama4
06-13-2017, 05:36 PM
They are going for a low-key marketing approach.

There's also the fact that Ubisoft wanted to "dilute" AC's presence, i.e. they wanted people to talk about their other stuff. Far Cry 5 got the Full Press treatment, glossy advertisements, CGI Trailers and so on and so forth. BG&E2 got a CGI Trailer as did SKULL AND BONES.

Of course if I wanted to be truly and really cynical, I can say that Ubisoft's approach for Origins is to emphasize the setting of Ancient Egypt more than their protagonist Bayek. The game's box-art literally has Bayek as a tiny bug beneath the great and mighty architecture around him. The first in a series where the Assassins have always been Front and Center on the Box-Art (sometimes literally) as in Syndicate. Bayek is being described as being "Like Altair" and having "an intensity" (as per Ashraf Ismail), which is code for "he's really like Connor" (as is visibly clear in the gameplay) and Ubisoft probably don't want to make a big deal over their major non-white protagonist. So that could be another reason for the diluted marketing. But that's me being cynical. It could be truly what happens since such practises and double-standards in advertising happen all the time.

Now of course that also favors a gameplay over advertising glitz approach. If you want to emphasize the setting, don't show glossy cinematics that you can't deliver on. Fans don't like that anymore.

The Cinematic Trailers have always focused on the Protagonist and His Story and not the setting, except in background. This time they want to emphasize the setting. If they feel the protagonist has "un-marketable" qualities, or if for story reasons they want to hide and de-emphasize his story and save it for the game since it might have too many spoilers, that's what they will do.

RzaRecta357
06-13-2017, 05:38 PM
I just feel like this is an uphill battle still and they know it. They're not gonna shove this down our throats and hope word of mouth blows it back up to it's former glory if the game is that good.

VestigialLlama4
06-13-2017, 05:47 PM
Compare the Box-Art of early Games to Origins.

Most AC Box-art features the protagonist front and center with the setting. AC1-ACR (Altair-Ezio) simply had the Protagonist against a white Animus background with very little hint of the setting and era.

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/0/09/AC2coverHighRes.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120706023159

That changed with AC3. where they decided to bring the setting into the box-art alongside the protagonist. BLACK FLAG is the best example:

http://images.vg247.com/current//2013/02/assassins-creed-iv-black-flag-SML.jpg

They did something odd with UNITY (the worst Box-Art so far, of by far the worst AC Game):

http://www.mobygames.com/images/covers/l/296980-assassin-s-creed-unity-limited-edition-xbox-one-front-cover.jpg

Where you have a setting but you have Four Arnos to emphasize the Co-Op. But again you have the protagonist at the front. SYNDICATE returns to business as usual:
http://i.imgur.com/WvutFPj.jpg

Now generallly, whenever Ubisoft tries to portray non-white protagonists on the box-arts, its not as dead-centered as white protagonists are: Ezio is Front and Facing to the camera in the middle with a kind of smile under his hood. As is Arno and his Co-Op Bros, as is Jacob Frye as is Edward Kenway. In AC1, Altair is facing Left and away from the camera in the classic "hope-the-security-camera-doesn't-see-me'' pose of a wanted man/outlaw.

https://the-games-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Assassins-Creed-Box-Art.jpg

Connor in AC3 likewise, has him facing Right, away from the camera, albeit in the center
http://pspmedia.ign.com/ps-vita/image/object/128/128701/AC3_X360_BXSHT_1.jpg

But the image and box-art emphasize the setting and him in the middle.

Now you have Bayek and he is literally a bug at the bottom of the pyramid. Centered but marginal and with his back to the camera. As if his outfit and posture was not compelling enough.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4a/Assassin%27s_Creed_Origins_Cover_Art.png

VitoAuditore
06-13-2017, 07:35 PM
hm yeah, it does make sense for them to downplay the character in favor of the setting. Still too bad that they didnt give us a cinematic, but I guess it's understandable. And good eye on the differences on the box art, I never noticed that until you showed them in this thread @VestigialLlama4

ModernWaffle
06-13-2017, 07:48 PM
@VestigialLlama4

Well you're right about the covers for AC1 and AC3 but I'm just not convinced that was a deliberate choice especially when it's not even that obvious that they're not white with their hoods covering half their faces.

I feel as if Origins' cover is more due to the fact that they're trying to differentiate from the old covers. Plus Egypt is the most exotic location we have had so far by quite a margin (and one of the most demanded by the fanbase) therefore focusing on the setting rather than the character in this case seems to be the better choice.

VitoAuditore
06-13-2017, 07:51 PM
Yeah I dont think it has anything to do with race or color either, but with the focus on the setting like you guys said.

m4r-k7
06-13-2017, 08:04 PM
It's a real shame we didn't get a cinematic trailer - they are awesome. I was 100% expecting one, especially after the year break and the fact that we have never not had one. Their whole E3 marketing technique was super strange this year.

VestigialLlama4
06-13-2017, 08:07 PM
@VestigialLlama4: Well you're right about the covers for AC1 and AC3 but I'm just not convinced that was a deliberate choice especially when it's not even that obvious that they're not white with their hoods covering half their faces.

It's not obvious because they don't want to make it obvious. Whereas Ezio, Edward, Jacob and Arno announce their whiteness out and loud.

This doesn't have to be deliberate. It's kind of the unthinking nature of advertising, marketing and PR, Ubisoft is not being deliberate about it, but merely unthinking and uncritical.

Like in the case of AC2, they went..."Ezio is not-Altair, he's cool, brash, handsome and attractive...let's put him front and center with arms outstretched and a hint of a smirk under the hood"...they do it unthinkingly because it never occurred to them that it came from Ezio being white. Likewise, with Edward Kenway, he's standing on a deck, proud/heroic and powerful...whereas in the AC3 box-cart, Connor is kneeling on the ground, and both sides there's a battle emphasizing his vulnerability.

It's the unthinking, almost unconscious signals they are sending. You kind of have to go out of the way to do the opposite. Like take Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, the upcoming standalone expansion mission for Dishonored 2 starring Billie Lurk:https://images.contentful.com/rporu91m20dc/3zNR4eAYda2uIUyeGIykc6/42debcd72104ad4ccf619c679fc8b901/Dishonored-DotO_boxart-template-1200x1476.jpg

In all my years I have never seen a boxart cover of a single non-white character like that, shown just as boldly, directly and dead-center like a white protagonist. Ubisoft damn sure haven't done that.

Compare the covers of Watch_Dogs and Watch_Dogs 2:
https://cdn.europosters.eu/image/750/posters/watch-dogs-cover-i15072.jpg

http://ps4daily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Watch-Dogs-2-cover.jpg

Aiden Pierce is BADASS all!Caps, imposing, looking up and pointing down with no emphasis on setting, whereas Watch_Dogs 2 has Marcus Holloway with his back to the camera with the setting emphasized, and Marcus likewise, has his eye staring suspiciously at the camera, just like Altair in AC1: i.e. "Security-Camera shy" which emphasizes vulnerability and caution rather than being super-confident and strong.


I feel as if Origins' cover is more due to the fact that they're trying to differentiate from the old covers. Plus Egypt is the most exotic location we have had so far by quite a margin (and one of the most demanded by the fanbase) therefore focusing on the setting rather than the character in this case seems to be the better choice.

Well there's a way to differentiate while presenting your character. You can compare the composition of Origins to Zelda Breath of the Wild
https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/7802443/NintendoSwitch_TLOZBreathoftheWild_boxart.jpg

which is inspired by this famous painting by Caspar David Friedrich:
http://www.artble.com/imgs/3/f/4/534414/wanderer_above_the_sea_of_fog.jpg

Now Origins doesn't center Bayek like the way Link is, even if both of their backs are to the camera. There's a way to emphasize setting and character simultaneously. Ubisoft emphasizes setting over character.

ModernWaffle
06-13-2017, 09:08 PM
VestigialLlama4 your attention to detail never fails to amaze me ;)

But whilst you've made some objective points about character positioning that does seem to show certain trends for white and non-white people I would have to disagree about their overall portrayal.

Yes Connor is kneeling down but he's taking down a British soldier in a badass way at the same time so that hardly suggests vulnerability. AC3's cover struck me as by the far the best at the time and ofc this will inevitably cause me see its cover character as more imposing before I even get to know Connor's proper character.

The 'security camera shy' look applies a bit to Altair but not so much for Marcus. For one his whole team is looking away in the cover image not just him and whilst he has some vibe of suspicion to him essentially the whole of DedSec is overlooking San Francisco from a high vantage point so they all appear badass and very much in control as a team.

I certainly agree about the example with BOTW, Bayek could have had more presence in the cover whilst still emphasising the setting of Egypt and they could have made improvements in that respect. More importantly, the point about Dishonored's cover rings quite true and it's nice to see Arkane Studio making that move.

Mind you, I'm not disagreeing about the very possibility of unconscious marketing decisions that take place when it comes to portrayals of non-European characters not just in gaming but in all mediums of media - this is quite a fascinating topic for me personally - and you can quite well argue that Altair and Connor's side poses (and now Bayek's back pose) as the non-European characters of AC hardly seem coincidental. But tbh there's just not enough evidence to suggest that these specific differences are intended to be used in a negative light and I highly doubt a majority of people who see these covers are influenced by such decisions in any way since I certainly wasn't, it's always a neutral design choice first IMO.

Discrimination to non-European people surely exists and I'm sure there have been people who have been so close-minded that they have disliked say Altair or Connor simply because they are not white. Yet, I think this mindset represents an extremely small proportion of the fanbase and nothing of Ubisoft. The fact that we have Bayek as the staple figure for the semi-reboot for the franchise would suggest even if there hypothetically was some level of unconscious discrimination to non-European characters in the AC franchise, it's so insignificant that it'll pass by a majority of the public completely unnoticed.

VestigialLlama4
06-13-2017, 09:47 PM
But whilst you've made some objective points about character positioning that does seem to show certain trends for white and non-white people I would have to disagree about their overall portrayal.

See I don't think these are "bad" covers necessarily. I also agree that AC3's cover is the best (with Black Flag being a second). It's just that the pattern is what is troubling and that they are still not attempting to break away, as if they aren't even aware of the problem. That's kind of off-putting. Ubisoft definitely deserves a lot of credit compared to say other companies and games. But again that only highlights how backwards the gaming industry is, that even baby-steps sounds impressive.


Mind you, I'm not disagreeing about the very possibility of unconscious marketing decisions that take place when it comes to portrayals of non-European characters not just in gaming but in all mediums of media - this is quite a fascinating topic for me personally - and you can quite well argue that Altair and Connor's side poses (and now Bayek's back pose) as the non-European characters of AC hardly seem coincidental. But tbh there's just not enough evidence to suggest that these specific differences are intended to be used in a negative light and I highly doubt a majority of people who see these covers are influenced by such decisions in any way since I certainly wasn't, it's always a neutral design choice first IMO.

Well the point is how certain things appear "as neutral" to the people making them and to some people of the public. Neutrality doesn't always mean a good thing. It can lead to the Golden Mean Fallacy. And I don't think it affected the sales. it more reflects the marketing and what the developers or the publishers feel about the product and its content. People buy games for all kinds of reasons so just because this pattern is there doesn't mean that it reflects poorly on consumers by itself or on the content necessarily.

I didn't have too many problems with AC3's marketing unlike some gamers. Some people were prejudiced because it's set in America and during the Revolution and people have problems with that for various reasons and biases. And that would be there even if the protagonist was white. There are genuinely a bunch of people who don't think America is interesting as a setting or don't have a history that is interesting. I am not an American but I like American history and the American landscape and setting, and think it's pretty interesting compared to Victorian England. There are also valid concerns about the American Revolution not being a proper AC-style setting, which considering how the game turned out is I think a fair complaint and I certainly feel that Syndicate and Victorian England didn't make sense as an AC-Setting either. But the real problem a lot had was definitely Connor. Because any time a non-white protagonist is in a major game you are going to deal with complaints. This happened with San Andreas when you had CJ and people, just like Connor, don't think he's a badass and the main reason is that a good number of people don't feel the same sense of power and gleeful abandon in a non-white protagonist. Games and definitely sandbox games are power fantasies and when you are playing a character who doesn't entirely have power, given that, it's going to cross wires in some people.

Like you see this with developers, like they talked about how Edward Kenway as a pirate allowed the ludonarrative dissonance thing to work, in that the player character's more ruthless and nasty parts can fit his character. Now compare that with Freedom Cry where you have Captain Adewale and the story and gameplay is not about power. The point that they don't quite put into words, but which is the obvious implication, is that AC games are historically based, and historically for a long time, white people have tended to have the most power and the power fantasy that gamers most like and look forward to, are going to be male white power fantasies. Any attempt to put across a non-white view and perspective is going to run counter to that expectation and interest. Now if developers own up to this, and attempt to subvert it in some way or complicate it, that might be one thing. But instead Ubisoft tend to be uncritical and unthinking about it.

Like the way Connor is handled by Ubisoft's transmedia after AC3 is frankly nasty and upsetting. I mean the joke about ROGUE is that they fill the holes of every part of the Kenway Saga, including Connor's Boat except Connor himself. And then Syndicate which is set several decades after AC3 goes to Kenway Manor and talks about Edward Kenway and no one mentions the grandson. Yikes. And let's not forget ROGUE. The Message of Rogue is that put an African-American in the role of Mentor of the AC Brotherhood and all the cities will be destroyed and it's up to a band of white supremacists to save the day.


Yet, I think this mindset represents an extremely small proportion of the fanbase and nothing of Ubisoft.

I am afraid that Ubisoft doesn't quite deserve the benefit of the doubt, but I do agree that they do have a guilty conscience and want to make up for it and set a trend. But you know it's always half-hearted and clumsy. And I much prefer Ubisoft to something like Bioshock Infinite which is out and out a racist game.