Video games allow us to take on other lives and explore worlds that make us into heroes, or sometimes villains. The stories told can be heartbreaking, beautiful, and full of mixed emotions as we see our virtual destinies unfold. These 5 video game trailers tell us powerful stories from their games, leaving us with chills.

5BioShock  (2007)

One of the greatest video games of all time also gave us one of the greatest game trailers of all time. It is a brutal and terrifying look into the dystopian underwater world of Rapture. It features Big Daddies doing what they do best- protecting Little Sisters. The violence is extremely well done and intense. After all of the fighting, seeing the Big Daddy’s strong hand reach out for the Little Sister, and her reaching out for him, gives goosebumps. You can’t help but be touched by their relationship with Mister Bubbles.

4The Last of Us Part II  (TBA)

The reveal trailer for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II may have left more questions than answers, but it was gorgeously haunting nonetheless. Ellie sits in a house containing bodies of men that she’s presumably killed while playing an acoustic guitar, singing Shawn James’ “Through the Valley.” As she sings, we’re shown Ellie’s bloody injuries and can see the hardships she’s endured in her eyes and face.

A man enters the house, taking note of the bodies around, and stands in the room with Ellie. We’re shown that it is Joel, who asks, “What are you doing, kiddo? You really gonna go through with this?” In which Ellie replies, “I’m gonna find… and I’m gonna kill… every last one of them.”

There are theories that Joel is, in fact, a hallucination. Looking at it from that angle, the video is even more soul-crushing.

3Gears of War  (2006)

Even if you’ve never played a Gears of War game, chances are you’ve seen, and remember, this iconic trailer. Featuring Gary Jules’ “Mad World,” we see Marcus Fenix walk through the ruined streets of Sera before running for his life. The trailer gave the FPS world a big dose of touching humanity, which wasn’t really seen before.

Xbox remade the trailer for the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition in 2015, which features “Mad World” again. While it is also an emotional ride for fans of the series, the original trailer still gives me a chill that can’t quite be duplicated.

2Dead Island  (2011)

I remember the first time I watched the trailer for Techland’s Dead Island. It moved me to tears and prompted me to rewatch several times, each time ending with same result. It begins with a young girl dead on the ground while chaos goes on around her. The story then moves in reverse while showing snippets of the girl running for her life before meeting her fate. Moving backwards through time, we see her in the hotel room as a zombie, biting her dad before he threw his daughter out of the window. We watch as more of the details unfold before showing a happy family excited for their ill-fated vacation.

Nope, not crying.

1Detroit: Become Human  (Coming May 2018)

(Trigger warning: domestic violence/child abuse)

Game developer Quantic Dream tackled one of the heaviest themes possible in the October 2017 trailer for Detroit: Become Human– child abuse. A young girl incurs the wrath of her belt-wielding father until he’s shown placing her lifeless body on a bed saying, “It’s all over now, daddy isn’t angry anymore.” The dialogue and fear shown on the girl’s face as she is anticipating a severe beating, as well as the subsequent screams, is all too real. Watching her android nanny/housekeeper, Kara, obey orders to stand down as it carries on evokes powerful emotions of helplessness and anger.

Groups supporting survivors of domestic violence have blasted Quantic Dream for trivializing abuse for the sake of entertainment. However, David Cage, Detroit: Become Human’s writer and director, has said that it will serve a purpose. The game will come out May 25th.

Need something a bit more cheerful?

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