A Different Tone: Mists of Pandaria Cinematic

The opening cinematic is a important component of every Blizzard game.

It sets the tone for the game and establishes the central tension in the mind of the player.

Blizzard cinematics have always been of the highest quality and as they are launched pre-release, I have no doubt contribute to the fervent excitement of the fanbase. Although I don’t play WoW anymore, I was interested to read the Reddit page in the lead up to the launch of the new Mists of Pandaria cinematic, where players compared their favourite cinematics of old.

Most cited the menacing refrain “You are not prepared” from The Burning Crusade’s cinematic as a high point, whilst others spoke nostalgically about the cinematic to Wrath of the Lich King. The contrast of the voiceover of King Teneras describing Arthas’ future days, counterbalanced with the corrupted Arthas resurrecting a frost dragon struck a chord with many gamers.

Unlike Nils, I did not delete all of my characters in disgust when Pandaria was announced. But I hoped that there would be a strong overriding narrative to grab hold of. Something other than “You discover an island where there are pandas that do kung fu”.

For this reason, I was disappointed by the MoP cinematic, for the description above is exactly what I found.

I know that many will disagree, saying that in fact the lack of a major antagonist in MoP enables Blizzard to return focus to the central thematic pillar of the conflict between The Horde and The Alliance. Indeed the whimsical fight between the orc and human in the latest cinematic certainly hinted at this.

However I would suggest readers watch this cinematic from 1995 (!) and tell me which one is better at building anticipation of an all-war between the factions…


About bernardparsnip

Gamer, Blogger, Poet
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3 Responses to A Different Tone: Mists of Pandaria Cinematic

  1. GameDelver says:

    I really felt the comedic elements of the trailer undercut any hopes of a serious return to the war, and only further cemented a lot of players concerns that this expansion is too silly and lighthearted.

    • I’ve heard that the first few in-game cinematics/quests help to emphasise the return to war.

      But I can’t help but feel that I am no longer the target audience for the game.
      In contrast to my comments in this post, the general consensus of the community was that kung fu pandas are cool and anyone who doesn’t think so has missed the point of the expansion.

      • GameDelver says:

        One friend of mine that still plays has definitely been on the defensive among us who don’t when it comes to the Pandaren specifically. I am fairly certain that, given a different game, he would be singing a different tune about the brave, bold, and beautiful designs of Blizzard.

        Either way, I am sure this will be a solid expansion. WoW has just left me behind in a lot of ways and I have no interest chasing after it.

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