“Whatever you can do, we beg you!” a dude in a snowy field petting a dead horse entreats me before looking directly into my eyes. “Will you save us?” a child actor in the middle of some burning ruins asks me, again with really intense eye contact (Lilith later shows up at the town in the trailer so I think the kid’s gonezo). After a welcome reprieve of a rogue shooting arrows and doing rogue-y things, we’re back to uncomfortable eye contact: “Will you make them suffer?” a man chained to a dungeon wall demands to know. Bro, I’m still full from lunch and kind of want to lie down.
In the vaunted tradition of big budget games, Blizzard commissioned Nomadland and Marvel’s Eternals director Chloe Zhao to make a live action trailer for the imminent release of Diablo 4, and it’s fine, I guess. Similar to that Billie Eilish trailer, it largely made me feel nothing at all, save for slight confusion, an acknowledgement that I was being marketed to, and a mild discomfort at, again, and I can’t stress this enough, all the really intense eye contact coming through the screen.
“Can your shadow be our light?” another lady asks, thankfully looking down at a witches’ brew instead of directly at me. “Will you fight the darkness?” a blacksmith quiveringly queries the camera. “Please, end their terror!” a lady hiding from demons demands. “Click here, m’lord!” a scantily clad anime lady in a banner ad from another window intrudes.
It’s especially weird because, while poorly lit, the actual Diablo action in-between this cavalcade of requests from people staring at me like they’re Bethesda NPCs was pretty neat. The sorceress’ twin flame vipers were cool, but wait, what’s that sound? Oh God it’s the Bear Druid‘s entrance music! If this was a minute and eight seconds of just live action Bear Druid I’d be a pretty happy camper.
But it’s too little “fun action” butter spread across too much “people staring at me and asking me things” bread. There’s just not enough violence or bright lights to tickle my addled brain. This trailer is a three, maybe four out of ten for me, barred from entering live action trailer Valhalla to drink with the likes of the Skyrim live action trailer and those kinda corny but really sick Destiny live action trailers, or indeed, to prostrate itself before the king of videogame live action trailers, Playstation 3: To Michael! Now that was marketing, baby. Anyway, Diablo 4’s isometric camera will likely preclude this much eye contact when the full game releases June 6 (June 1 if you preorder).
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