One of the best commercials for a video game from last year was Mad World, for the flagship Xbox 360 title Gears of War. It had all of the trappings of an over-the-top FPS (first-person shooter): a gnarled ridiculously musclebound hero in sci-fi armour, enormous weapons, ugly aliens and burned-out cities. But director Joseph Kosinski subverted these clichés by soundtracking the commercial with Gary Jules's haunting version of Mad World, taken from the Donnie Darko soundtrack, which imbued the spot with a feeling of martial honour.
For the forthcoming sequel to the game, Gears of War 2, ad agency TAG has tapped Kosinski to direct Rendezvous With Death, which again sets sci-fi warfare to a poignant soundtrack. This time there's a voiceover adapted the the poem Rendezvous With Deathby Alan Seeger, a Harvard-educated American who fought for the Allies during WWI, and was killed in action at the age of 28.
Visual effects for the piece were created by Digital Domain, based on models and environments that are used in the game.
Kosinski is represented by Anonymous Content, which describes the trailer in epic terms.
"The Delta Squad is back in full effect providing a chilling, adrenaline fueled look at what gamers can expect. We open on the back of soldier Marcus Felix dragging the body of an enemy Locust. Fellow soldier and best friend Dominic Santiago lays on the floor struggling for survival.
"Marcus hands Dominic his weapon and continues on his quest for a 'Rendezvous With Death'. A deep, eerie voice narrates the soldier's determination as he fearlessly enters a battle depicted by violent gunfire, evil locusts and splatters of blood. It is clear, as in the past - the Delta Squad will not fail nor falter."
The spot can be watched here.