View Full Version : Best game demos?

07-06-2011, 07:25 PM
With all the talk about the demo dieing and whatnot, I was wondering if people had suggestions for really strong PC game demos. By this I mean things that are both fun and provide a good amount of content for the download.

For example, I enjoyed the UT2004 bonus map pack demo (or something like that) more than the full game!

Any suggestions?

07-06-2011, 07:26 PM
Deus Ex: Human Revolution prebuild.

07-06-2011, 07:34 PM
MMO free trials are great for saving money (when you realise there's no way you're going to pay monthly for the tedious repetition on offer) and in terms of content they're second to none. Can't remember the last time I played a proper demo that made me want to buy a game though. Spiderweb used to always do huge shareware demos of their RPG and they released a new game recently called Avadon that got a fairly favourable reception on RPS - http://www.spidweb.com/avadon/index.html

07-06-2011, 08:01 PM
All that angsting about "oh, we need to decided how best to show off our game, while not spoiling all the best bits" is simply solved by building special demo levels.

How many of these can we remember?

Half Life
Jedi Outcast

07-06-2011, 08:09 PM
The Bioshock demo was something of a watershed event.

The BF2 demo for sheer longevity. No chance we'll see anything like that this time around.

07-06-2011, 08:10 PM
A short list of wonderful demos that pushed me to buy the full versions (with some repeats from previous posters):

Deus Ex
Tribes Vengeance
Jedi Outcast
UT 2004, UT3 to some extent
Just Cause 2
Age of Empires (I think. It was a long time ago.)

07-06-2011, 08:11 PM
Half-Life's Uplink demo was pretty strong.

07-06-2011, 08:11 PM
god I remember the starcraft demo, I must have played that for months before the game was released. if I recall correctly back then the zerg were called xenomorphs by the characters and you controlled the tank commander guy from the early human missions.

07-06-2011, 08:12 PM
i remember playing the demo for the original GTA a lot. Come to think of it, I probably played that time-limited demo version more than I ever actually played the full game!

08-06-2011, 12:55 AM
i remember playing the demo for the original GTA a lot. Come to think of it, I probably played that time-limited demo version more than I ever actually played the full game!

A bunch of us used to go to a friends house every lunchtime to see who could rack up the most kills on this... I vaguely remember it being around the time of summer exams, so I'm sure this demo was a an important aspect of my downfall.

08-06-2011, 09:27 AM
The grid demo was probably better than grid. And the multiplayer was what tipped me into buying it full price.

Battlefield 2, people still play it today and its great for a LAN.

half life demo>half-life.
indeed the half life 2 is great
I think Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow (which is bad) had a demo for its multiplayer (which is ace).
many demos are ace simply because the game is, company of heroes has the games best levels in the demo.

more as I think of them.

08-06-2011, 09:38 AM
I remember playing the Jagged Alliance 2 demo endlessly. A lot of mods and bug fixes were actually created for that demo, something I find both great and disturbing about the JA2 modscene. And while praised enough on this site, I'd really like to repeat that playing the 1.13 version of JA2 is quite the turnbased experience. Do play!

08-06-2011, 10:07 AM
The most impressive demo I've played is the original Thief, given how original it was for its time. I was almost trembling with fear and tension whilst exploring Lord Bafford's manor, the atmosphere was that good.

08-06-2011, 10:44 AM
Cannon Soccer ?

I think that was released after the main game though.

08-06-2011, 11:15 AM
Starlancer (basically a mini campaign that acted as a prologue to the events of the main game).

Half Life

Darwinia (the second demo which was a stand alone level which showcased the game much better than the first, whiich was just a random section of gameplay)

Project Zomboid tech demo. Nice little vignette which showed off the game's potential really well.

08-06-2011, 12:51 PM
Icewind Dale
Battlefield 1942

08-06-2011, 12:57 PM
The Dark Messiah demo got played over and over by me :)

08-06-2011, 01:01 PM
My favourite demo was the Starfighter 3000 demo. I'm sure I've spent more time in that than in about three quarters of all other games that I've played. It showed off the mechanics in the game beautifully. You could: dogfight; upgrade your weapons; strafe enemy positions; team up with wingmates; dock with the mothership in space and perform super-weapon bombing runs. I never could afford the full game in the end, more's the pity.

08-06-2011, 04:04 PM
The best demos are obviously BFBC1, BF 1949 and BFBC2.

08-06-2011, 07:38 PM
Speaking of demos, this is quite interesting.


Mouth of 10000 Teeth
08-06-2011, 07:44 PM
Two that definitely had a major impact on my gaming life were the original Command & Conquer demo, which was why I bought a PC, and the original Unreal Tournament, which was why I bought said PC a 3D graphics accelerator card. Even just saying that last bit makes me feel very old.