A Tale of Two Demos

(Have I used this title before? I’ll have to check. Anyhoo…)

So! I recently played two demos, one excellent and one terrible and I figured I’d tell anyone who still reads this blog what they were and why I rated them such.

The terrible one was the Halo Wars 2 demo. I’ve actually been looking forward to Halo Wars 2, ever since I participated in a beta a few months ago. I’m fully aware that, even on Windows 10, the game was designed to be played with a controller. And I’m more willing to play it that way (unlike some poncy British guys who review games).

But this demo is terrible because it represents the game so poorly. The demo consists of – wait for it – one single-player level and a Blitz mode where you play against the AI. That’s it. Not even a single multiplayer map – and multiplayer is where this game is really at! As something designed to get me to buy the full game it’s a colossal failure.

On the other hand, just a few days ago a demo for Dishonored 2 was released. Dishonored 2 is overall considered a good game, if you can get it to run well on your computer. Since its release it’s been patched many times to improve performance and this demo was designed to show people who are on the fence not only how Dishonored 2 plays, but how it will run on their setups.

And it succeeds at both of its goals perfectly! The game runs fine on my middle-of-the-road i5/Radeon R9 290 combo on medium settings. It includes the first three missions of the game – and if you played the original Dishonored then you’ll know that a single mission can take well over an hour to complete, so you get a very generous chunk of gameplay. It also includes both Corvo and Emily as playable characters, so even the demo has replay value! And if you decide you like it, you can carry your demo save over to the real game and pick up right where you left off. It really is an amazing demo. And its release coincided with a 50% off sale of the game on Steam. I really hope that this results in lots of people playing, enjoying and then buying the game. I don’t want to see Dishonored die because of a bad launch.

~ by Anthony Salter on April 8, 2017.

4 Responses to “A Tale of Two Demos”

  1. I still read this blog. I decided to try Dishonored 2 Demo, and I have to say, it looks like it could run pretty well on my r9 280x on medium. The problem though is that some of the options don’t really work as expected. The framerate smoothing ones in particular, no matter the settings the framerate jumped from 60 to limited 30 without any particular reason. I had to turn off completely both it and vsync to actually stop the weird framerate caps.
    Turning on TXAAx1 mitigated the bright dots and the sharpness slider does seem to combat TXAA’s blurriness.

  2. Wow, I didn’t have any of those problems. My only problem with the demo was that it defaulted everything to low, giving some very blurry textures. I bumped the settings up to medium and really only had frame rate drops when I’d choke someone (oddly enough). The general consensus is that while the game was made with a decent engine in Id Tech, only Id knows how to get the most out of Id Tech.

    And thanks for continuing to check my blog. I hope to be updating more frequently in the future.

  3. I tried the VVVVV demo, hated it. Ended up getting the game off some bundle and loved it. Demos don’t always sell the games well, apparently.

  4. Yeah, I think I’ve already talked about the Brutal Legend demo, which was amazing but didn’t represent the gameplay of the actual game at all.

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