The Player Experience

Cinematic Trailer that has been analysed:

How sound is used to create meaning and atmosphere?

Music is used heavily in this trailer to represent a variety of situations, first is the peaceful life on Earth, shown through upbeat, hopeful music. This music is cut short dramatically by the entrance of the Reapers and sudden silence replaces the music. This is followed by ear ringing and heartbeat sounds, but still no music, over scenes of humans fighting a losing battle, this is used to create an atmosphere of loss, hopelessness and tension. The last piece of music used is very dramatic and includes a choir, this music is used over footage of the player character and an army taking Earth back, the music conveys the importance and power the player has, and conveys the vital role of the player.

What sound techniques have been used?

Music is used heavily throughout the trailer, both conveying meaning through the type of music and at one point through the lack of any music at all. When there is no music a heartbeat and ear ringing are used as Diegetic sounds effects to give an atmosphere of drama and defeat. Though less influential on the overall atmosphere of the trailer, Foley is used in the introduction to create sounds of spaceships, but the sound is over visuals of a model spaceship. In the scenes where the Earth is being lost and recovered combat is occurring in both, however in the first silence is used heavily, we see a soldier shoot, but we hear no sound, however in the latter scene we hear sound effects for everything around the player character, from his allies behind him and his enemies in front of him, this conveys a large sense of involvement to the audience.

How does the sound relate to the trailer and is it fit for purpose? What could be changed?

The sounds of this trailer heavily represent the story of the Reaper invasion, at first the music represents a peaceful Earth, the music being cut short represents the Reapers destroying this peaceful atmosphere with their invasion and the dramatic music near the end represents the recovery of Earth. In the scene that represents the aftermath of the Reaper invasion, I believe music could have been used after a dramatic silence to further convey how frantic and chaotic the loss of Earth was, this could have been done with music that focuses on percussion similar to the last scene, but with a chaotic overtone, having the music seem frantic and desperate to contrast it to the last scene’s music.