The ad for Killzone 2 has been around for a few weeks now and I’ve seen it several times on TV, which means Sony is learning from the LittleBigPlanet marketing debacle that games do not sell themselves. Most other action games seem to follow a similar formula in they show off the gameplay in quick short cuts of high intensity action sequences to loud nu metal music. The Killzone 2 ad takes all those ideas and throws them into a fire. Take a look.
Instead what we have is a complexly rendered scene of supreme elegance. The whole thing is slowed down surreal. The bullet doesn’t move at realistic speeds, yet that doesn’t matter. You follow its quick journey across the battlefield. It is only a piece of the fight. Helghast and Humans battle each other, on kicking the other over as it passes through them without hitting anything. Concrete explodes from the impact of other shots, the debris passing around the bullet. One Helghast seems to follow it with his eyes as it passes by. Finally it’s journey ends right between the eye of the force’s commander as he directs an advance. All of this beginning from a patient soldier.
It isn’t just the gorgeous visuals or the artsy presentation that makes the ad unique. It is the sound that accompanies it. There is no music. The mix is turned way down on the battle around it. The loudest sound is the sonic ring as the bullet vibrates through the air. There is a serene quality to it all. A calm moment in the storm.
The ad doesn’t evoke adrenaline powered machismo, but of awe that finally culminates in the title and tagline. “Killzone 2 War. Perfected.” It is a perfect end to the style and presentation chosen for the ad. The shot is perfectionÂ within chaos; an oxymoron in progress. And most importantly at the very end comes up the words “only on Playstation 3.” If Sony wanted to get attention for their shooter, this was definitely the way to accomplish it. Regardless on the eventual quality of the title it needed marketing of this caliber to sell. It also needed visible marketing if it’s going to sell well. I mentioned LittleBigPlanet earlier. Sony figured such a family friendly title would be the exclusive the PS3 needed to break ahead. TheyÂ thought thatÂ Sackboy would appeal to everyone and the game would sell on its own merits. It didn’t do anywhere near as well as they’d hoped. It wasn’t the system seller they thought it would be. Why?Â Because there was no visible marketing for it. The general public did no know it existed. It’sÂ good to see that they are fixing that with their next high profileÂ exclusive release.Â
Killzone 2 is rated M for Mature and is out now for $59.99.