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Four demos that prove demos are worthwhile


According to Cevat Yerli, boss of Crytek, free demos are a false economy and in future probably shouldn’t exist. Speaking to Develop, Yerli said:

“A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we don’t have in other industries such as film. Because we’ve had this free luxury for so long, now there are plans to change this people are complaining about it. The reality is that we might not see any free game demos in the long term.”

Yerli mentioned things elements like the prohibitive cost of creating a demo as part of his reasons why they don’t have a bright future. But we want to argue his claims with four simple examples, from four generations of PlayStation. Take it away, list-boy:

1. Grand Theft Auto, PSOne
A demo limited only by time – ten minutes, if we remember correctly – but not limited in scope. The whole of the first level of the original game was available to play about in: this was the perfect way to introduce a new concept like GTA to the world. We played it religiously.

2. Metal Gear Solid 2, PS2
This one came bundled with Kojima’s’other game’, Zone of the Enders, and introduced players to the new, better-looking Snake. What it didn’t introduce players to, though, was the fact that nine tenths of the game would be played as a completely different character. A wonderful example of a demo completely leading us astray.

3. Undead Knights, PSP
Someone clicked the wrong ‘upload’ button, meaning the demo of Undead Knights was actually the full game. Well done, chaps!

4. Just Cause 2, PS3
In the fine tradition of the original GTA demo, the quite recent Just Cause 2 demo was time limited but not space limited (well, it was space limited, but it was a massive space so it’s okay). In an age when demos tend to be the opening ten minutes of a game, JC2 reminded us of why we love demos so very much, and why they can indeed be a Very Good Thing.

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