I can fully admit that I have a problem… That’s the first step, admitting it, right? And here’s my problem: I get hyped so hard for video games with killer cinematic videos, especially ones that connect to my nostalgia-factor as expertly as Blizzard seems to do with pretty much every cinematic they do for pretty much every game they make.
With Battle for Azeroth, the seventh expansion in Blizzard’s epic MMORPG The World of Warcraft, right around the corner, Blizz has begun releasing teaser videos in the form of animated shorts that feature three of characters that are expected to be major factors in the upcoming war on Azeroth – the first video was released last week and featured Jaina Proudmoore wrestling with the sins of her past. The second, released today, features Sylvanas, the Banshee Queen herself and current Warchieft of the Horde, as she deals with demons of her own. The third, and final, Warbringers short will be released next week and is arguably the most anticipated of all three, as it features Queen Azshara and for many is the first time we’ll get more backstory into one of the most infamous characters in WoW history. I could sit here and talk about these videos all day long, but you know what… Why don’t I just show you?
(NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR ANYONE THAT HAS NOT COMPLETED THE MOST RECENT WAR OF THORNS QUESTLINE)
Hauntingly beautiful, Jaina’s animated short depicts Jaina taking a journey she probably never expected – a journey to chase the ghosts of decisions she made that essentially killed her father and exiled her home of Kul Tiras, and from her people. Decisions made under the guise of diplomacy that she clearly regrets, and decisions that have clearly pushed her over the edge of diplomacy into full-blown vengeance-mode. But this short is a bit different, as instead of narrative and dialogue leading it like most Blizzard cinematics, it’s a song of the Kul Tiran people, sung by none other than Laura Bailey, Jaina Proudmoore’s voice actress. A tremendous video that showcases not only Jaina’s power but also her willingness to wield it in ways she never imagined – and all in all, the short was an amazing way to start the Warbringers series leading into BFA.
A little less hauntingly beautiful, and just plain haunting, we go from Jaina’s melancholy Warbringers short into the intense Sylvanas video that really puts the “war” in Warbringers. In the 2nd installment of the series, we see the Warchief marching on Teldrassil, the World Tree, as her march against the Night Elf home has succeeded. However, even with taking their home and defeating some of their greatest champions, Sylvanas is still met with defiance from one of the fallen Night Elf leaders. The brief glimpse into her past shows that Sylvanas will never again be thwarted by foolishness, and in a final act of true tyranny, Sylvanas does the one thing she believes will truly break the will and hope of the Night Elf people: she orders the Horde to burn down Teldrassil. Not exactly the way many of us wanted to see this go (myself included), but it appears Blizz is really pushing their chips into Sylvanas being a nasty Warchief capable of despicable things to strengthen her people.