In the year In 2017, perhaps the coolest commercial released for a game came out. It now has almost 8 million views.
What is this trailer? Released in September 2017, the trailer is a commercial for the role-playing game Middle-earth: Shadow of War, which was released in October of the same year.
To date, the video has garnered 7.96 million views on YouTube and has over 128,000 likes.
The commercial shows the connection of the player “Brian” to an NPC named Thrak. This is an Orc who has joined Brian through the game’s Nemesis system and aids him in battle.
You can see the commercial for Middle-earth: Shadow of War here:
What kind of game is this?
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War is an action role-playing game developed by Monolith Productions and was released on October 10th, 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam and Windows Store.
- Shadow of War is the sequel to “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” and, like its predecessor, is based on the universe of JRR Tolkien and is set in the land of Middle-earth.
- The game’s action is set between the events of Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
- In Shadow of War, take on the role of Talion, a human with supernatural abilities, and confront the power of Sauron.
- One of the core elements of the game is the so-called “Nemesis system”, which was already introduced in the predecessor and gives you the opportunity to recruit your enemies to build your own army of orcs and use them in battle.
What is happening in the commercial? Brian saves his companion Thrak in a fight with the words “Not today, Thrak” (Not today, Thrak), which thanks him with years of loyalty. The commercial shows Thrak appearing repeatedly in Brian’s real life and saving his life repeatedly, always with the phrase “Not today, Brian.”
The special thing about the commercial is that the video tells the story backwards. The viewer first sees Brian lying in a hospital bed as an old man and a doctor wants to turn off his life-support equipment. Then Thrak steps in, grabs the doctor and throws him off screen.
We then see Thrak catching Brian as he falls off the roof of a house a few years earlier and using the Heimlich Grab to save him as he is about to choke to death while eating at a restaurant. Only at the end of the commercial do we learn that Thrak retaliates for Brian rescuing him.
“I celebrate attention to detail”
Why is the commercial so cool? The commercial showcases one of the core gameplay aspects of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the Nemesis system, while telling the story of Brian and Thrak – a balancing act the marketing team pulled off. Various players also praise this in the comments on YouTube:
- serendal9548: “This is the best ad I’ve ever seen. The essence of this game is that you are supposed to hate orcs, but when your bodyguard saves you two, three or more times, you just want to keep him and his loyalty. Even if it’s just a mass of pixels in a game, you just want him by your side.”
- connorclemmons8698: “What I like most is that with each clip we can go back in time and see how confused Brian looks compared to the moment in the hospital.”
- BlueShellshock: “Shadow of War did what they set out to do really well. I had a lot of Thrak-like moments in my run.”
- malickgerlach1494: “I celebrate the attention to detail as they jump back and forth between times. The fact that the orc ages with the human, and even his goddamn beard changes, is something I commend to the person doing this [den Werbespot] made a big compliment.”
Many of the positive comments below the video are 1-2 years old, so they were written quite a while after the commercial was released. This shows how much the clip can still inspire fans of the game today.
But not only the commercial for Middle-earth: Shadow of War manages to present a game well. Riot Games and League of Legends release videos year after year that delight fans and garner millions of views.
A bombastic League of Legends video has now garnered 138 million views – showing just how huge LoL is