Question What demo did you play to death?

Jan 22, 2020
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I was reminded just a few minutes ago of the demo for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, which in turn reminded me of the demo for Battlefield 2142, which got me thinking about demos in general and in particular the ones which gave me more enjoyment than some full releases.

For example, the demo for the first GTA only gave you a few missions, but you had free reign of the entire city for six minutes. The demo for Red Faction was one level of painfully generic sci-fi shooting, but also a playground level for trying out the gimmicky terrain destruction tech. Then there's the age of shareware; the golden age when, for a kid with no money who would be happy with the first quarter of a game, everything was free.

So how much free entertainment did you manage to squeeze out of these heartless devs before they wised up and stopped making demos at all?
 

OsaX Nymloth

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Jan 29, 2020
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Oh boy.... sooo many. Demos coming from magazines on CD/DVD were something I was digging into every month - for somebody without internet, these magazines were the window into the "world".

Quake ]|[ Arena, Battlefield 1942, some Destruction Derby clone name I forgot now, Takeda demo with only one battle (who remembers that game, huh?), Devastation (another forgotten game from early 2000s), Warlords Battlecry, Metal Fatique and so many more.

Brb, browsing old magazines.
 
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Jan 22, 2020
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I remember Devastation, mainly for the Eminem lookalike on the promotional material. And as someone who didn't get broadband until after the millennium I was pretty reliant on coverdiscs too.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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I probably played a ton, but I can barely recall any of them. I think we had a demo for one of the Tony Hawk games, because I remember just playing one level over and over.

Really the only demo I can think of right now that I know for sure I played a ton was for The Outfit on my friend's Xbox 360.
We eventually got the actual game, which was fun, but I still think that demo map was the best part.
 
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Jan 22, 2020
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I probably played a ton, but I can barely recall any of them. I think we had a demo for one of the Tony Hawk games, because I remember just playing one level over and over.
Sounds like the THPS demo to me, a two minute run in the Hangar level, and therefore better overall than the entirety of American Wasteland.
 
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May 29, 2020
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when i was a kid i couldn't afford to go out and buy games, the cheapest ones were still usually $30 so i played a played a lot of demos and shareware. the 3 that stand out the most are blood, duke nukem 3d and carmageddon.
 
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Jan 16, 2020
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The F.E.A.R demo. I was using it to test technical settings on my aging Pentium 4. I wanted to play it, but various online system requirement checks suggested my rig wasn't good enough. So i played the demo constantly over and over turning on/off features writing notes trying to find the perfect balance. i like to think that it educated me in graphic settings.
 
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Sarafan

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Jan 14, 2020
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There were some demos that I couldn't stop playing. The first one that came to mind was GTA2. The demo had a time limit, but it featured a lot of content from the full version. It was hard to experience it because the time limit was set to 10 minutes, if I remember correctly.

I also spent a lot of time in Operation Flashpoint. It took me a lot of effort to get through the mission, but it was great!

Another few are some demos of classic FPS games. I remember playing a lot of Wolfenstein 3D. I finished the demo countless times. Then there's Doom 1 and 2.

Probably there are more, but these are the ones that come to my mind first. And good news! Demos are back! https://www.gog.com/news/discover_upcoming_games_with_these_7_free_demos_on_gogcom
 
Jan 17, 2020
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I just remembered Big Fish Games and PopCap games. They used to have demos of their games which were just the full game you could play for a limited number of days. However, you could set your computer's date back to get extra days, effectively letting you play the entire game.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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Half-Life: Uplink is the gold standard of game demos. I love how they took some cut content from the development of the game and said "we're going to keep improving this until it's good enough to represent our finished product". The demo was a completely unique Half-Life experience purpose-built to introduce players to the game. It had a tutorial level and a full-length campaign level that was unique to the demo. It was really, really good.

Another fantastic demo that comes to mind is the demo for the original Dungeon Siege. This was directly taken from the game and allowed you to play the start of the campaign up until your party reaches Stonebridge. That's a sizeable chunk of gameplay! Before the end you had seen meadows, dense forests, a scary crypt and the foothills leading up to the town. I remember playing that over and over until me and my brother finally decided to pick it up!

 

Frindis

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Jan 14, 2020
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Several, but there is one that stands out and that is Big Red Racing (1995). I believe I got the demo from a PC Gamer magazine and I played that game over and over for a whole summer. You could drive different types of vehicles on land or water, solo or with friends and it had some amazing graphics for its time. Even if it was a bit clunky to drive, it was soooo much fun

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMN-nETGTzY
 

Oussebon

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Feb 17, 2020
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Gothic 2 demo. It basically sold me on the entire genre of open world RPGs.

Hitman 2 demo. Speedrunning it while listing to Cascada somehow just made sense.
 

LFW

May 27, 2020
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Not exactly played but watched....the trailer for Broken Sword the Shadow of the Templar's on the old PS1 demo disc. Loved the 2d animation style and was anticipating getting to play the actual game..........Check it out.
 
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Frindis

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@LFW I have played through Shadow of the Templars and I would highly recommend the game. Good story, loveable characters (especially Nico) and the overall atmosphere is very inviting. The puzzles are not too hard, which suits me fine as I don't like to use to much time on them, to be honest.)
 
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