It’s a shame that a substantial portion of this trailer was leaked prior to E3, dulling its impact as an engine of brand extension. Even so, each frame is pregnant with emotive power. There is no way to strip it entirely.
I have been emotionally ravaged by a total of two games: the first is Silent Hill 2. I’ve been to enough conventions and talked to enough people about it that I know I am not alone in this. There are many ways to interface psychologically with the game, but if you are a sentimental husband with a young, beautiful wife, the game is precisely calibrated to annihilate you.
The second game is Shadow of the Colossus.
The dread starts at the very beginning, simmering in your gut, and it never gets better ever - hour upon hour. You know immediately that you are engaged in something like evil, if not evil itself, but our appetites as players demand that we seek objectives and conquer them - and the game scourges us for this dereliction of conscience. The technology at work often obscured the game itself, but the emotional wavelength has resounded years after the fact. At this late hour, I can recall no camera foibles or performance valleys. All I can recall now is the black bargain, and concentric waves of anguish.
The experiences they create are groundbreaking, incredible. They arrive on some alien schedule, like comets, governed by whimsy or an inconceivably complicated schema which is indistinguishable from randomness. The end result is that we are given the opportunity to ache for them: two teams are not toiling in parallel to ensure that each holiday deposits an appropriate manifestation in this industry’s pagan observance of the Winter Solstice. It is actually possible to miss their work, to long for it.
Even when you know how it ends.