Besides watching Link jump for the first time since 1989 in the forthcoming The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (been waiting all our life for that one), there were loads of great music experiences popping off at last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.
Every E3, we recall the first truly musically engaging trailer of the video game world: Xbox’s 2006 Gears of War advertisement featuring “Mad World” by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews. A decade later, it’s clear that the art of marketing with music drives sales and excitement for video games in ways stock instrumentals never could. As a reminder, Gears of War topped one million sales within its first two weeks because of that “Mad World” ad.
So, prepare for the preorders for your forthcoming games with our Top Five Most Musically Engaging Trailers of E3 2016.
1) Watch Dogs 2
When Ubisoft brought Watch Dogs to Chicago, Windy City music defined the sonic identity of the stealth thriller. Now set in San Francisco, Watch Dogs 2 promotes the rebel youth culture of its plot with the funk-fueled hip hop throwback, “Spaz” by N.E.R.D. to amazing effect.
2) Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
There’s nothing creepier than a decrepit house laden with shadowed horrors, especially when a spooky re-record of a 200-year-old children’s song is crooning in the background. Resident Evil has yet to reveal who the haunting songstress performing this version of “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” is, but fans are demanding en masse to know who’s behind the sinister song.
3) Death Stranding
A nude Norman Reedus and loads of crustacean stranding – Hideo Kojima’s release of his latest project, Death Stranding, was made all the more exciting by the evocative electro-folk song, “I’ll Keep Coming” by Icelandic indie act Low Roar. Kojima reportedly heard the track while browsing a record store in Iceland a few years back and personally opted for its use in the trailer, driving the song’s YouTube’s views from 14,000 to 354,000 and the band’s Twitter followers from 12 to 830 in the first days following E3.
4) Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
Gunfire and warfare abound in this trailer for the latest installment of the Tom Clancy franchise, throughout which the anthemic hip hop/pop rock song “Giant” by Banks & Steelz plays almost in perfect sync with the reloading of machine gun clips. The eclectic duo of Wu Tang Clan’s RZA and Interpol frontman Paul Banks released the song on June 10 and used the video game trailer as a launchpad to promote their forthcoming album, Anything But Words.
5) Mafia 3
If you’re going to base an action adventure game in a fictionalized ‘60s Southern city called New Bordeaux, you’d better get bluesy with your advertising. Mafia III does just that in this trailer, syncing the darkly catchy song “Bottom Of The River” by Delta Rae to its E3 advert. Subsequently, the country-rock outfit saw their Facebook Page Likes rise by 355% last week and added over 20,000 views to the song’s official music video.