In recent times, demos have seen a bit of a resurgence. Admittedly, it's still not on par with previous years. Back then, nearly every game had a demo. However, in recent months, we've seen demos for AAA titles such as Outriders and Resident Evil Village released.
While one could argue that both games would have sold well even without the demos, giving players a chance to experience the games before they launched surely played a role in their sales numbers. Because of that, we're hoping that other studios paid attention and are convinced to try the same route.
With that said, we're going to push our luck in wishing for these video game demos of upcoming titles to happen.
Deathloop is Groundhog Day but with assassins who are hell-bent on killing each other instead. That's it.
So, why a demo? Because, for one thing, the premise isn't exactly all too common. We've had roguelikes before where there's an endless gameplay loop of living and dying. However, something like Deathloop hasn't really been explored that much. In particular, with how, on one hand, the protagonist wants to break free of Black Reef's endless loop. Meanwhile, on the other hand, we've got an antagonist in Juliana who wants to protect the cycle at all costs.
In addition to this, Deathloop is going to come with a multiplayer component where players can drop in other player's games and hunt them down as Juliana.
There's little doubt that Arkane Studios can pull it off successfully. Its work on the Dishonored games makes it easy to give it the benefit of the doubt. But, then again, it wouldn't hurt to have a free demo of Deathloop. If nothing else, it could help generate some free marketing and hype for Deathloop before it releases in September 2021.
Back 4 Blood
Back 4 Blood is Left 4 Dead 3 but without Valve's involvement. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though. It is still these same people behind it. Turtle Rock Studios is composed of the original team behind the Left 4 Dead games. However, we're probably not alone in wanting to see how Back 4 Blood will change the formula by introducing the card mechanic.
The word is that there's been a couple of successful alpha tests in recent weeks. Still, we'd love to see Back 4 Blood in action for ourselves before its October 2021 release date.
Dying Light 2
Dying Light 2 promises to be bigger and better in every way compared to 2015's Dying Light, which is no small task. Even though it's shaping up nicely, we can't deny that Dying Light 2's development has had troubles. At this point, it doesn't really matter if Techland denies the issues. After all, delaying the game isn't exactly reassuring.
What will help reassure fans though is if Techland releases a free demo of Dying Light 2. It would really help showcase what kind of world awaits them in Dying Light 2 once it releases later this 2021.
Life is Strange: True Colors
Deck Nine (the studio behind 2017's Life is Strange: Before the Storm) will look to try and bring the popular graphic adventure series into the next generation with Life is Strange: True Colors. This time around, the story will follow the life of Alex Chen. She is a young psychic gifted with the ability to read and manipulate the emotions of other people.
While there's little doubt that True Colors will be a worthy sequel, we're definitely wishing that there will be a free demo available. After all, while it was released after the game had already been on the market for a while, making the first episode of the original Life is Strange for free must have done well for the game's sales.
343 Industries completely shot itself in the foot with how, for the lack of a better term, ugly Halo Infinite looked months before its intended November 2020 release date. The game was supposed to be magnificent as it was made using a new engine, Slipspace, and would have showcased the technical capabilities of the Xbox Series X, but it didn't.
If 343 Industries really wants to punctuate the return of Halo Infinite, it needs to make a playable and fully working demo available weeks if not months before Halo Infinite's launch so that it can show everyone that Halo is definitely back.
How do you make a good Batman game that doesn't have Batman? Well, the verdict's still out if WB Games Montreal can pull it off. However, after its lackluster take on the Batman games in 2013, Arkham: Origins, there is some cause for concern, especially since Gotham Knights has already been delayed to 2022.
If this were Rocksteady Studios, we'd be less worried. Alas, the developers of the Arkham games are working on arguably the bigger title, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
It also certainly doesn't help that WB Games Montreal went on to describe Gotham Knights as "the most dynamic and interactive Gotham City yet" with some pretty ambitious features like a multiplayer co-op feature where players could just reportedly drop in and out of other people's games.
Not that we're decision-makers or influencers by a long shot, but we're probably not alone in fearing for the worst.
After the failure that was Marvel's Avengers, a video game demo of at least one level of Gotham Knights could go a long way in making more people less worried about the upcoming superhero video game.
Hogwarts Legacy has distanced itself from the original Harry Potter books as much as possible. The developers have even outright stated that the book's author, J.K Rowling, is not involved in the making of the game in any way. But, while that's certainly good news, the delay isn't. Not to mention, Hogwarts Legacy feels a lot like the kind of ambitious game that players probably wouldn't warm up to based on trailers and teases alone.
This isn't to say that people aren't going to buy the game based on the premise of being an "open-world Harry Potter RPG" alone. However, a demo would go a long way in solidifying its market, especially with 2022 looking like a big year for gaming.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus
The Pokémon Company doesn't really do demos. They've done it before, but they've never really needed to. The Pokémon name essentially sells itself at this point. But, we're thinking that it might do Pokémon Legends: Arceus some good if they decide to release a free demo, especially if it released in conjunction with the long-rumored Nintendo Switch Pro console.
Considering that we've never seen an open-world Pokémon game before, we wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo does end up releasing a video game demo for Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Skull and Bones
Whatever kind of hype that Skull and Bones have generated when it was first announced years ago is already long gone. There will be even fewer people waiting for its release now that Ubisoft has decided to delay it to at least until 2022 if not even later.
So, why not release a demo months ahead of its potential release date to try and generate some good faith among video game audiences?
For those that don't know, Skull and Bones is essentially Assassin's Creed: Black Flag without the Assassins. It took the naval warfare and gameplay of the earlier Assassin's Creed games but packaged as a pirate game instead. But, while multiplayer is very much the focus of Skull and Bones, it will also have a single-player campaign that will see players try and take control of the 18th-century Indian Ocean.
With Sea of Thieves enjoying a lot of success on the Xbox Game Pass, a video game demo of Skull and Bones could, at the very least, make sure that it can weather the proverbial storm expected when it finally launched.
Hollow Knight: Silksong
Hollow Knight: Silksong was originally intended to be DLC content for Hollow Knight. However, after working on it, Team Cherry realized that it had much more potential as a standalone title. Although they're still very much is a huge following of players waiting for Team Cherry to release Silksong, the lack of a release date and any significant update since it was first released back in 2019 is, at the very least, concerning.
With a playable demo already given to various publications in late 2020, Team Cherry could do a lot worse than dispel concerns by making the said trial version of Silksong public.