The new Mass Effect 3 trailer shows strong roots in political theater.

Last week, Drew and I had the pleasure of attending an EA spotlight event in New York City, an event which simultaneously fed the teaser-hungry Mass Effect 3 fan in me and aggravated me because the embargo stopped me from talking about any of these same teasers for far too long. Chief among this was the new “Take Back Earth” trailer which is premiering on Sunday during an episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Here’s a teaser:

When I first saw this, my mind jumped to a curiously arcane historical detail: one of the most infamous political ads in a long line of combative American presidential campaigns, Lydon Johnson’s “Daisy Ad.”

I wasn’t sure if I was pulling connections out of thin air at first. After all, these are videogames we’re talking about…right? Games tend to only deal with American history through the perspective of Normandy beach. But then Drew leaned over and said “doesn’t this remind you of that ad with the little girl in the field?”

While this may be an anomaly for games, it says something important about Bioware itself. The company’s games are often praised for their literary and cinematic qualities, but the new ad points to another aspect of the developer’s cunning. It is, after all, half-time in America. Larry McCarthy, the political genius behind another notorious negative ad, recently joined Romney’s team, leading many political analysts to predict a grim campaign this coming fall. Bioware seems particularly adept at identifying current moods in popular and political culture and linking them to games, no matter if the game itself is set lightyear’s away from the 2012 presidential race. 

Yannick LeJacq