Game demos: is it time to let go?

Your comments on our articles.

An unnecessary evil, or an indispensable means of quality assurance?

There's only one thing worse than a really bad game demo, in the eyes of many developers and publishers, and that's a really good one. As a wayward youth, I once spent an unholy amount of time playing and replaying an excellent demo for under-sung Psygnosis shooter G-Police - probing the far corners of its post-future sandbox for new combat possibilities, new material for playground anecdotes. I was having so much fun that it didn't occur to me to actually buy the full thing till several months after release, once retailer reductions had ground the developer's profit margin to dust.... read more

Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby FATAL VISI0N » 19 Mar 2013, 19:05

I have both saved money and spent money just by playing demos, and think they are very helpful.
There have been games I have purchased because of a great demo, even tho the reviews were low mediocre score, I might have played the demo 10 times loving that game despite the bad review, so I bought it and didnt regret it one bit.

Then there have been games that I here my friends talk about and I play the demo and end up not liking it at all. I think this is where it walks the fine line, maybe the demo just doesnt do it justice, but I've been gaming long enough since the Atari days to know if I'm gonna enjoy a game even if the demo is bad, and I think i can recognize if a bad demo just is not doing a game justice.

Then there's also the question of if a demo is bad and full of glitches, can the developer patch the game making it a great game? I hated BF3 Demo/Beta and never bought it because of it. But that demo to me made the game look bad, but later it was patched all the Glitches and I never bought it, passing on a what I hear is a great game.
FATAL VISI0N 18
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 04 Sep 2012, 01:44
Location: United States

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby msbhvn » 19 Mar 2013, 19:31

Demos can work for and against games. With games being more complex, with stories that start slow and build to a climax, ripping half an hour from early in the game isn't going to do it any favours.

A lot of demos have turned me off buying the game, DmC in particular since they chose to include the worst cutscene in the game. I bought it recently and loved every minute. Dead Space 2 was another one, it was only OXM's review that made me realise I was mistaken. Resident Evil 6 managed to have two terrible demos, quite an achievement! :lol:

Mass Effect 3 on the other hand was a pretty good demo, you definitely can't argue that it isn't representative of the full game.

I tend to prefer gameplay footage to influence my buying choice, as it can be carefully edited to remove spoilers and there are few games with truly terrible controls nowadays. (The late) Matt's legendary Dragon's Dogma videos are a perfect example.
The new first law of the internet: For every action, there is an irrational and disproportionate social media overreaction.
User avatar
msbhvn 69
 
Posts: 4412
Joined: 04 Oct 2010, 19:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby Johnbhoy69 » 19 Mar 2013, 20:01

To be blunt if a game is Shit...then I want to know before I spend my money on something I cant return.

Keep demos...more importantly make developers have to release a demo. And we can avoid such gaming travesties Like Aliens Colonial Marines. I think its safe to say The Walking Dead Survival Instinct isn't going to be a gaming classic either that no doubt will make a undeserving profit. Something people could avoid if a demo had been released.
Johnbhoy69 55
 
Posts: 963
Joined: 22 Dec 2011, 20:29
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby GHOSTY05 » 19 Mar 2013, 20:54

Generally if there is no demo available then you know something is fishy.

Look at colonial marines, this is not always the case (skyrim) but generally i am reluctant to purchase games when i have not had a chance to play any of the demos.

The best demo brought out in my opinion was Dead Rising case zero, this was just amazing, almost a whole game to play over and over again with endless possibilities and you could then carry your save over to the real game. What a fantastic idea that was, i spent hours just trying to get into the damn gun shop and then you once you did the game was brilliant!

I loved that demo, the puzzles were brilliant and you just could not put it down, had that demo not have been released then i may have not purchased the game in the end.
Image
User avatar
GHOSTY05 43
 
Posts: 1766
Joined: 06 Oct 2007, 19:17
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby FishyGinger » 19 Mar 2013, 21:17

Johnbhoy69 wrote:To be blunt if a game is Shit...then I want to know before I spend my money on something I cant return.

Keep demos...more importantly make developers have to release a demo. And we can avoid such gaming travesties Like Aliens Colonial Marines. I think its safe to say The Walking Dead Survival Instinct isn't going to be a gaming classic either that no doubt will make a undeserving profit. Something people could avoid if a demo had been released.


I think you missed the point msbhvn quite eloquently put forward. Some demos are plain bad. Wasn't it this site that told us to not play the Darkness 2 demo because it was rubbish but the game itself was good? Spec ops demo was fairly rubbish also, a bog standard shooter (which I thought it was truth told) but some folk loved the story.

I don't really think large open world games could ever really have a demo to do them justice as generally their gameplay isn't as tight as small linear games.

As it stands I don't think anything really needs to change other than doing away with demos that don't represent the whole game. There are good knows how many reviews that come out on the web alone, video reviews and gameplay videos that if you can't make up your mind after that you might as well pass on the game.
Spider-Baby. Its got the body of a spider and the mind of a baby.
User avatar
FishyGinger 71
 
Posts: 4778
Joined: 08 Aug 2012, 13:42
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby SkinnerChinner » 19 Mar 2013, 22:17

msbhvn wrote: I tend to prefer gameplay footage to influence my buying choice, as it can be carefully edited to remove spoilers and there are few games with truly terrible controls nowadays. (The late) Matt's legendary Dragon's Dogma videos are a perfect example.


I also seem to watch gameplay footage more often than play a demo, and usually it's been the vids that have influenced my choice, but even that can be misleading at times *glares at ACM*. Still, the Resi 6 demo confirmed my suspicions and knew I could easily wait for DS3 to drop in price after giving the demo a go. I don't think the XCOM demo did it any favours by using the tutorial mission either, being so linear, Jake Solomon's live-streams were much better, but I was going to buy that anyway! I guess I'd rather have a demo than not, but I think I could easily find other sources to make an 'informed' judgement.

Can see the point about a good demo potentially stealing sales as much as a bad one, think it was Cunning who mentioned in an article a few days back playing the Sniper Elite V2 demo to death but never buying the game. Personally though it was well worth £25 despite a few issues.

I also recall playing the G-Police & Abe's Odyssey demos constantly, despite having never owned either :lol:
Last edited by SkinnerChinner on 19 Mar 2013, 22:28, edited 1 time in total.
SkinnerChinner 36
 
Posts: 190
Joined: 17 Apr 2012, 11:44

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby msbhvn » 19 Mar 2013, 22:27

Dead Rising 2 Case Zero was a great thing, born out of necessity because in the full game you're constantly pressed for time and they couldn't cut a piece out cleanly. They instead created a mini game using the same engine, character and mechanics. It's quite ironic that after another mini game (Case West), they released Dead Rising 2 all over again with minimal changes as Off The Record.

The Aliens Colonial Marines "gameplay footage" wasn't shown publically at the time, was it? I only ever saw it after the game came out and journos (led by poor murdered Matt Lees, shame on you Ed :lol: ) said "wait a minute, this is worse than the footage we saw".
The new first law of the internet: For every action, there is an irrational and disproportionate social media overreaction.
User avatar
msbhvn 69
 
Posts: 4412
Joined: 04 Oct 2010, 19:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby Bezza89 » 19 Mar 2013, 22:35

I like the game trial ideas, put a taster of the game and charge you for it, cheaply of course.

I make my decision on buying games based on premise, and talent. I know a R* North game will have high production values, I know bethesda softworks games will be 99% bug free and deeper than a packet of pringles. If it's a developer I don't know (or a new one) I'll see what other stuff they've done and check some videos out, I wont buy the game without looking at reviews though. A demo isn't needed to make a decision, it adds unnecessary workload and may not represent the game in the best light.

Not for me anyway, I like the arcade game trial things though - maybe incorporate this? It's better to have the option than not, though if your game is bad or a slow burner, maybe not.

I vote Yes, let them go.
...and if you tell that to the kids of today, they wont believe you!
User avatar
Bezza89 69
 
Posts: 8201
Joined: 17 May 2010, 13:30
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby SkinnerChinner » 19 Mar 2013, 22:36

msbhvn wrote: The Aliens Colonial Marines "gameplay footage" wasn't shown publically at the time, was it? I only ever saw it after the game came out and journos (led by poor murdered Matt Lees, shame on you Ed :lol: ) said "wait a minute, this is worse than the footage we saw".


I remember watching the Pitchford "gameplay" demo a while back? Didn't see the IGN livestream until after release though, think that was streamed the day before.
SkinnerChinner 36
 
Posts: 190
Joined: 17 Apr 2012, 11:44

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby SkinnerChinner » 19 Mar 2013, 22:45

Bezza89 wrote: A demo isn't needed to make a decision, it adds unnecessary workload and may not represent the game in the best light


If there's a demo available I'll probably play it once or twice but it's never been "essential" for a purchase. An XBLA-esque trial system could be a decent idea, bought some of the best XBLA titles (Fez, Limbo, Bastion) after the trails convinced me without a doubt.
SkinnerChinner 36
 
Posts: 190
Joined: 17 Apr 2012, 11:44

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby Captain_Chao5 » 20 Mar 2013, 09:54

I think demo's are a good thing. I often look for a demo of a game I may be unsure about before shelling out hard earned cash. I've bought several games (I would probably not have considered) after playing a demo and liking it. Conversely I've bought several shit games and WISHED I'd played the demo first and saved myself some Wonga.
You don't stop playing because you get older; you get older because you stop playing.

GT = Captain Chao5 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Image
User avatar
Captain_Chao5 58
 
Posts: 1630
Joined: 20 Sep 2011, 09:44
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby vadersmyfather » 20 Mar 2013, 10:15

Arkham Asylum was one of the best demos I've played. The preview I'd read (I think in Games tm) hadn't been stellar & I was going to let it pass me by, but when I saw what they had done with the characters in the demo it changed my perception. And funnily enough Games tm gave it a 9 in their review.
What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?
User avatar
vadersmyfather 50
 
Posts: 1192
Joined: 08 Apr 2009, 15:16
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby Crisco » 20 Mar 2013, 11:52

Without demos I would only buy games from a proven franchise and miss out on a lot of good games. I think if a demo is done properly it can get you excited for the release without giving you too much. That being said some demos are not representative of the full game.
Being good at stuff is overrated. Probably.
Gamertag: Super Crisco
User avatar
Crisco 48
 
Posts: 252
Joined: 20 Jan 2013, 17:59
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby SidTheSloth » 20 Mar 2013, 13:33

Is this not a moot point with that new 'HayBacon 4' and its 'try anything, anytime' functionality - surely rendering demos obsolete, or flip it on its head and it effectively turns every game into a demo.

I'd argue Dead Rising: Case Zero isn't an approach that would work for every game too. The original game had already come out so people had an inkling what to expect etc. To do that for a new franchise would be bold, and could add a huge barrier to entry. Of course done right it could still be bloody brilliant.

Can only imagine the fuss if EA brought a demo out that was paid though :roll:
(2 + 4 = Fish) / Sloth = Better
User avatar
SidTheSloth 54
 
Posts: 4328
Joined: 14 Sep 2011, 00:59

Re: Game demos: is it time to let go?

Postby FishyGinger » 20 Mar 2013, 14:00

SidTheSloth wrote:
Can only imagine the fuss if EA brought a demo out that was paid though :roll:


They're trying to nickel and dime us. NICKEL AND DIME US! Who cares if we're british and don't use nickels nor dimes, they're still doing it to us. FACUCK EA!

Is that what one could expect?
Spider-Baby. Its got the body of a spider and the mind of a baby.
User avatar
FishyGinger 71
 
Posts: 4778
Joined: 08 Aug 2012, 13:42
Location: United Kingdom

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

The forum teamDelete all forum cookiesAll times are UTC [ DST ]