Gears of War 2 in Last Day

Microsoft is promoting the sequel to Gears of War action game with a commercial featuring the haunting song, “How It Ends” by DeVotchKa. The ad picks up something of the feeling evoked by the 2007 commercial for Gears of War, which used “Mad World” as a soundtrack.

Gears of War 2 Last Day Trailer

Marcus Fenix, Dominic Santiago and other members of the Delta Squad spend a few quiet moments above ground before descending underground to take on the Locusts on their home turf. The spot was created entirely within Unreal Engine 3, the same graphics engine technology used in the Gears of War franchise.

Click on the image below to play the video.

The Last Day commercial was first released on the Yahoo Game channel and is now being rolled out on television around the world. The spot will be shown in the US on November 2, during the NFL’s Sunday Night Football presentation of New England at Indianapolis on NBC. On November 3 the commercial will be aired in Canada, France and Mexico. On November 4 the spot will be aired during The Simpsons. The spot will be shown in UK cinemas and on television from December 1.


The Last Day ad was developed at T.A.G. by creative directors Scott Duchon, Geoff Edwards, John Patroulis, art director Ben Wolan, copywriter Rick Herrera and senior agency producer Vince Genovese.

Filming was shot by Joseph Kosinski via Anonymous Content with executive producer Jeff Baron, executive producer/head of commercials Dave Morrison, head of production Sue Ellen Clair, producer Julien Lemaitre and director of photography Claudio Miranda.

Kosinski commented on the process:

“Like Mad World, Last Day is an example of “machinima” — it was created entirely inside the Unreal Engine 3 game engine. The movement of the characters’ bodies and faces was done utilizing the latest generation motion/performance-capture technology at Giant Studios; the same system used in James Cameron’s upcoming feature film, Avatar. This system includes a physical camera that provided me with a real-time view of the virtual characters in their environment, making it feel more like a traditional live-action shoot than a virtual one. In addition, the system records the precise camera movement (operated by DP Claudio Miranda), allowing for a more natural filming style.”

Editing was done by Russ Glasgow at Digital Domain with assistant editor Chris House, executive producer Karen Anderson, visual effects supervisor Vernon WIlbert, CG supervisor Peter Plevritis, VFX/post producer Melanie LaRue.

Audio post was done at Lime Studios by mixer Rohan Young and assistant mixer Joel Waters.

Download the music for How It Ends on iTunes, from the DeVotchKa album How It Ends”

Lyrics for How It Ends

Hold your grandmother’s Bible to your breast.
Gonna put it to the test.
You want it to be blessed.
And in your heart, you know it to be true.

You know what you gotta do.
They all depend on you.
And you already know.
Yeah, you already know how this will end.
There is no escape,
From the slave-catchers’ songs.
For all of the loved ones gone.
Forevers not so long. And in your soul,
They poked a million holes.
But you never let em show.
C’mon it’s time to go. And you already know.
Yeah, you already know how this will end.
Now you’ve seen his face.

And you know that there’s a place, in the sun,
for all that you’ve done, for you and your children.
No longer shall you need.
You always wanted to believe,
Just ask and you’ll receive,
Beyond your wildest dreams.
And You Already know.
Yeah, you already know
How this will end.
You already know (You already know)
You already know (you already know)
You already know-how this will end