Assassin’s Creed, Tinie Tempah, and other inappropriate trailer music
We consider five alternative trailer tracks for games, each of which is just as appropriate as Tinie Tempah is for Assassin’s Creed.
When Ubisoft did it with UNKLE’s Lonely Soul, it was an excellent bit of advertsising – cool and relevant. When it did it again with the same artist’s Burn My Shadow it felt a little too much like a marketing team trying to capture lightning in a bottle. Now, accompanying the release of the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood we have the above abomination; a remix of Tinie Tempah’s Pass Out providing the acoustic soundscape to a game that’s set in Renaissance Italy. It somehow makes Ezio Auditore da Firenze look like a chav from the backstreets of Scunthorpe, running with his balaclava’d crew as they cause mischief to the locals – the mischevious scallywags. It got us thinking about other games, and what terrible, completely incongruent music could be applied to them by marketing teams looking to make their game ‘cool’.
Dead Space – Isaac Hayes, Theme From Shaft
Hey everyone! Dead Space’s lead character is called Isaac, Isaac Hayes is also called Isaac. It’s clearly a match made in heaven. And what better song to accompany Isaac Clarke’s lonely trawls through the Ishimura than Shaft? “Who’s the cat that won’t cop out / When there’s danger all about?” That’s right, Isaac Clarke! Honestly, listen to that song and try to imagine one Necromorph that would still try it on with the engineer if that was playing while he stalked down the corridor. Not a single one. Isaac Hayes is more powerful than any Plasma Cutter.
Half-Life 2 – Yomanda, You’re Free
This one works on so many levels. Firstly because the main character’s named Gordon Freeman (see what we did there?) and also because of the deep vein of irony that runs through the song. “You’re free, to do what you want to do” sings Yolanda – but the inhabitants of Earth are not free. They cannot do what they want to do. They’re sudued by the oppressive global police state that is the Combine. They can’t even reproduce, thanks to that pesky Suppression Field. Yolanda’s track adds layers of depth and complexity that Valve could never had conceived. Just listen to it playing over the game’s opening moments in City 17. You’ll see what we mean.
PaRappa The Rapper – Radiohead, Exit Music (For A Film)
PaRappa The Rapper is too happy. It’s too bright. It’s too cheerful. We can’t be having any of that here at Play. If we’re going to be a bunch of miserable sods then everyone else does too. Therefore we’d sell PaRappa The Rapper with this chirpy track from Radiohead. We can imagine the trailer now – shot like a French New Wave film, all in black and white, a close up of Parappa’s face as a single tear rolls down his cheek. The text ‘PaRappa The Rapper’ appears in a staunch white font against a black backdrop. The game would sell millions, we’re sure.
EyePet – Gorgoroth, Incipit Satan
Just look at your EyePet. Look deep into his cheery, happy, bright eyes, and you’ll start to see something deeper. Something altogether more primitive. Something old and evil. We can’t prove it, but we’re certain everytime we switch off our PS3 our EyePet reveals his true identity – a devious, monstrous servant of Satan who will stop at nothing to bring all of humanity crashing to its knees under a new rule, all subverient to its every torturous whim.
Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock – John Cage, 4.33
Watch the video linked to above, please. It’s actually quite stunning. We think John Cage’s 4.33 should be used for more than just the marketing for the game, we think it should be the final track too. Imagine every Guitar Hero expert’s surprise to find that the last track wasn’t a riff-tastic, solo-filled ten-minute rock epic, but instead an experimental classical piece that contains not one note. Come on, don’t deny it. It’s a catchy piece. We bet you’re humming it already.