Musically Bankrupt

February 23, 2012 § 2 Comments

The Borderlands 2 release date announcement trailer(try saying that ten times) was recently released, and it had, well, a piece of music.  Said piece is Doomsday, by Nero.  Now, ignoring the fact that it has a little dubstep break, and how annoying that is(parody or not), it also stood out, because it used the same music as the Armored Core V “Doomsday” trailer, which was released all of one week beforehand.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, this is the Borderlands 2 trailer:

And this is the Armored Core V trailer:

And this is by no means the first time video game trailers have shared music.  Now, it’s a long standing(but modern) tradition for trailers for games to feature “real world” music, that is, music that was not written specifically for the game.  That’s fine, but do they have to double up?  This goes beyond just game trailers though, have a look at this part of the trailer for Avatar, and listen until Jake opens his eyes in his Avatar form:

That music is “Akkadian Empire” by AudioMachine, for those playing at home:

Alright, pretty cool song.  Hey, feel like watching some of the release trailer for Starcraft 2, Wings of Liberty?

Hey yeah, that song’s pretty- OH GODDAMMIT.  No, no wait, it’s fine.  Avatar is a movie, Starcraft 2 is a game, they’re both different genres.  At least it hasn’t been used aga-

OH GODDAMMIT.  No, no.  It’s alright, it happens all the time.  That’s fine.  Maybe I’ll cleanse my palate with some CoD.  I mean, they’re already ripping off hundreds of better movies, so I’m sure the music will be fi-

Is…  Is that?  No.  The drums there, are they?  They couldn’t be.


Alright, let’s switch from Call of Duty.  To what was essentially just a bad CoD clone.  Homefront.  Good concept, and some cool trailers though, trailers like this:

So, that music?  It’s “Black Blade”, by Two Steps From Hell.  You can also find it here, in Binary Domain:

Hey, while we’re talking about Sci-Fi, did you see that cinematic trailer for Mass Effect 3?  You, know, this one:

… … ellipsis … (supposedly that song was also used in one of the trailers for Star Wars: The Old Republic, but, for the life of me, I can’t work out which one)

No, but seriously, it’s not actually that bad.  I’m sure there are other examples, but I can’t find any.  I’d just like to point out though, that the videogame/movie trailer music crossover is larger than you might think.  Did you know that the Killzone 3 story trailer:

Used the song Calamity, which was also used in this Twilight: Eclipse trailer:

Now, in this case, the video game was using the music before the movie.  Of course, it should be noted here that the music is by the aforementioned “Two Steps From Hell” a company that professionally makes music for trailers.  Video games, and movies.  They’re quite good though.  Well, generically epic, but good at generically epic.  For instance, the Mass Effect 2 launch trailer:

And this is more or less the end.  I’ll be honest, it’s mostly Two Steps From Hell’s fault.  If you can blame them.  But I really wish people were creative enough to not just re-use the same freaking songs for everything.


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§ 2 Responses to Musically Bankrupt

  • NegativeZero says:

    Two Steps From Hell, Audiomachine, E.S. Posthumus and a whole bunch of others specifically write re-usable trailer music for this purpose. Often it’s because the actual score can’t be cut up to convey the correct emotion for such a short piece, or it’s promotional material made before the actual music has been laid down for the film / game so there literally isn’t anything else they can use. I don’t see how it’s any different to using other commercial music personally.

    • blaghman says:

      It’s not really about music such as that written by Two Steps From Hell, that was just an off-handed joke comment. The point is that all these trailers are using the same music. There are lord-knows how many songs out there, that would be perfectly acceptable, probably better, to use in these situations, and yet they use the same music as other trailers? I just don’t see why.

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