Interactive trailers for video games can be a bit weird. Last year, Ubisoft released an interactive trailer for Assassin’s Creed III, which allowed the viewer to make decisions regarding how Connor dealt with an assassination during the Battle of Bunker Hill. It required the viewer to think about the trailer and determine where they wanted it to go – its replayability came from the potential to have viewers then decide they wanted to see how the other options played out.
This week, Ubisoft have come out with an interactive trailer for the next game in the series, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, but the role of the viewer is different this time around. Viewers are now asked to pause the video whenever they feel like it to potentially dig up extra information, which ranges from 3D models of random pirates to concept art and even speed drawings of the new protagonist, Edward Kenway. Videos within videos. We need to go deeper.
It’s a little bit of a mess though and it doesn’t really work this time around. Rewatches will come from people not actually getting to see the trailer proper, due to the constant pauses in the search for clues, which seem to mostly pop up randomly and without much relevance to what’s actually on the screen. Of the thirteen ‘exclusive items’ available in the trailer, one is a code for an online minigame, and another can only be accessed by scanning a code with your smart phone. It’s a strange way of advertising a game, and I don’t particularly think it works well as a means of properly grabbing the attention of the viewer.
If you’d prefer, you can watch the original, non-interactive trailer up above, which was originally released last month. The interactive trailer can be found here, should you be curious enough to try it out.