Journey Game Trailer Analysis

3D, 3D Animation, advertising, Animation, U8_U52, U_5


The game Journey has been a favourite of mine ever since I saw the trailer for it in 2012. The visuals were just so stunning and it was so beautifully atmospheric. It inspired me with my own 3D animation – not so much in mood and tone, but in style and visuals. Although my trailer would be more up-beat in terms of editing due to it’s duration, I think the design and cinematography still holds some visual similarities to that of Journey’s.

The trailer begins with a very gradual reveal of the desert sand, building up the mood and setting up the overall pacing of the game to the audience – it’s slow, yet purposefully so to fully take in exactly what your seeing; rich cinematography. The intro of the cello is low and mysterious, adding curiosity and keeping the interest going until the rest of the music queues in and the scene changes. The cuts in-between the opening credits of the sun slowly move out really set up well for the first establishing shot of the desert. In the distance, a small figure is seen slowly moving towards the sun. Then there’s a cut to a slightly closer long shot of said figure, and we see that this is the main character who we play in the game. The transition from the cut beforehand that helped introduce this character ever so slightly really flows naturally into this scene, and really helps establish clearly to the viewer who this figure is whilst maintaining the ambiance perfectly.

As the trailer continues, we see the character going through the game, revealing bit by bit certain elements and levels. The beautifully minimalistic visuals and composition maintain their standards and peak in quality as certain parts of the game are shown. Game play elements such as multiplayer mode are suggested as the character meets another character of the same design in a very cinematic over-the-shoulder shot. The two are then shown to walk through the game together as a possible team or duo. What I really like about this trailer is how it presents the nature of the game’s style. Blending heavily muted and suggestive game play with a feature film’s cinematography so naturally makes for a really captivating viewing experience.

The main focus of the trailer is not so much on the players themselves, but much more on the environment and scenery in which that player is playing in. The majority of the shots (save for the opening few,) are long, wide establishing shots that boast the game’s world building. And good thing it does – because it’s really, really breathtaking. And that’s arguably the selling point of this game, so the fact that the editors have taken every opportunity to show it off was a good move in my opinion. And of course, at the very end the title is seamlessly blended in with the pre-existing shot, ending the introduction of Journey fittingly and smoothly.


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