It’s not really that hard is it – gameplay is when you are playing the game. Not cut scenes, not the game with the UI removed and and a cinematic camera angle, it’s the runny, jumpy, shooty bit where you get to see exactly what you will be doing in the game.
Unfortunately Microsoft have yet to work that out and their much hyped Xbox Series X game reveal trailer had very little gameplay, and in the case of the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla trailer which was specifically highlighted as a gameplay reveal, none at all.
We posted a commentary on the reveal yesterday highlighting the issue.
Dirt 5 had action-packed wheel to wheel racing, but not once did we get a true follow cam or in-cockpit view. Scorn lavished us with a dark, phallic alien world, Chorus was largely comprised of cinematic, with brief flashes of spaceship flight and combat, and NFL Madden 21 boiled down to Patrick Mahomes chatting away before a single slow motion replay showed off the detail of the players kits. As announcement trailers, showing off the concept and tone of the game, they excelled – well, except for Madden – but surely that could have been accompanied by the developers talking about their game and a slice showing off actual in-game footage?
It’s not just us, the the Inside Xbox Presents First Look Xbox Series X Gameplay video has over 33,000 dislikes and the Assassin’s Creed trailer has 6,400, more dislikes than likes.
Aaron Greenberg from Xbox Games Marketing has responded to the criticism and admitted they had set “some wrong expectations”.
Had we not said anything & just shown May Inside Xbox show like we did last month, I suspect reactions might have been different. Clearly we set some wrong expectations & that’s on us. We appreciate all the feedback & can assure you we will take it all in & learn as a team
There are very good reasons for not showing gameplay, most if not all the games shown were months if not years away from completion, things like the UI, frame rate, and effects will be rudimentary at best and the game will probable look awful. That’s not a problem, we all know games take ages to make, what is a problem is labelling something gameplay when it clearly is not.
Lets hope the rest of the Xbox Series X reveal isn’t the spectacular car crash that the Xbox One reveal became infamous for.