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#1 Edited by Rorie (3117 posts) -

I've seen dozens, if not hundreds, of E3 demos in my life, but for me, one of the most impressive is still the Half-Life 2 E3 demo from 2003. It revealed enough about the story to get you interested, and while it was still some 16 months away thanks to the hack/leak of the source code, damn if it wasn't jaw-dropping at the time.

The Xbox 360 was still two and a half years away when this demo was given, and what was shown was far, far ahead of even the next-gen launch titles, in my opinion. (Oh my god are we going to have deal with the term next-gen for the next three years now, again?)

Anyone have any other demos that they remember as being specifically amazing?

#2 Posted by Demoskinos (15019 posts) -

I don't think anything beats Metal Gear Solid 2's debut game play stuff.

#3 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

Half-Life 2 or Assassin's Creed. Both blew me away for different reasons.

#4 Edited by BigBoss1911 (2499 posts) -

Hands down, not for the tech factor but just the pure excitement. Hard to believe this was 10 years ago.

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#5 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I think this is a question only @marino is fit to answer.

#6 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2568 posts) -

I actually prefer gameplay trailers and sizzle reels to the demos at E3 because demos are usually a vertical slice which is hardly indicative of the tone of the game (see: Mass Effect E3 demos). Not that gameplay trailers and sizzle reels are, but they're shorter and usually much better paced / cut.

But, the demo which wowed me most in recent years was Watch_Dogs, which was a shining beacon of next-gen in a swath of boring at last year's E3.

#7 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Even though it was complete CG, it got me really interested in gaming again. And the 360 and PS3.

#8 Edited by Oscar__Explosion (2363 posts) -

Hands down, not for the tech factor but just the pure excitement. Hard to believe this was 10 years ago.

awww man I remember watching this and getting so excited for it! Can't believe that was 10 years ago...

#9 Edited by TruthTellah (9321 posts) -

Honestly, as @demoskinos said, the MGS2 demo -blew my mind-. I was quite obsessed over that E3 demo. To me, that was the next evolution of videogames.

http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view1/1267102/mgs-2-sol-o.gif

#10 Edited by TheHT (11526 posts) -

yeah, it'd be half-life 2 for me as well. i remember when the beta was leaked and that demo was playable. to be honest i can't remember any other demos that stuck out to me since.

oh man, i remember when valve released bik files of the demo and i used to pretend i was playing them. hl2 was one of those things i got obsessed with before i got it.

#11 Posted by TurboMan (7605 posts) -

for entertainment reasons: Star Wars Kinect.

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#12 Edited by mpgeist (639 posts) -

The MGS2 E3 2000 demo by far. I was 15 at the time and I think it was the first time I was truly hyped for a game. I remember watching it in super low res quicktime format over and over again.

#13 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I can't remember ever giving a shit about an E3 demo. Final Fantasy VII? If there was a demo for that game then that would be my answer. I don't think I ever cared about a game more before release than that one. Sold my N64 and bought a Playstation. Best gaming decision I ever made.

Wait, there was a demo for FFVII packaged with some other game and I did play that but I don't remember what it was.

#14 Edited by BeachThunder (12095 posts) -

@rorie: Amazing...I mean, it's still amazing now :o

#15 Posted by Skytylz (4033 posts) -

Assassins Creed really blew me away.

#16 Edited by Butano (1746 posts) -

@bigboss1911 said:

Hands down, not for the tech factor but just the pure excitement. Hard to believe this was 10 years ago.

awww man I remember watching this and getting so excited for it! Can't believe that was 10 years ago...

Man, some of the things from that demo were absolutely mind blowing when I was a 14-year-old. Dual wielding machine pistols, AI troops driving the warthog while you were manning the turret, hijacking vehicles, and that ending music....God, those were good times!

#17 Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials (2417 posts) -

I only paid attention to E3 2009 and later, which I think misses the 'amazing demo' window by a good 3-4 years. Uncharted 2 and Watch_Dogs were both hot, but not in a "Oh my God the future of games" sense.

This E3 had better be rife with that.

#18 Edited by Oscar__Explosion (2363 posts) -

@butano said:

@oscar__explosion said:

@bigboss1911 said:

Hands down, not for the tech factor but just the pure excitement. Hard to believe this was 10 years ago.

awww man I remember watching this and getting so excited for it! Can't believe that was 10 years ago...

Man, some of the things from that demo were absolutely mind blowing when I was a 14-year-old. Dual wielding machine pistols, AI troops driving the warthog while you were manning the turret, hijacking vehicles, and that ending music....God, those were good times!

Although thanks for reminding me of the two things that bummed me out from that demo that didn't make it to release. That the Battle Rifle became a triple shot rather than a single and how there was no 3 hit melee combos.

#19 Posted by DarthOrange (3867 posts) -

That Last of Us demo this past E3 was beautiful from start to finish.

God of War 2 also really wowed me (E3 2006?).

#20 Edited by EVO (3920 posts) -

The infamous Killzone 2 demo blew my mind. Yes, it was pre-rendered. But what they showed was a good indication of what to expect from not only Killzone 2 but future next gen games, and it was such a leap above shooters at the time.

#21 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6313 posts) -

As far as true demos go, I was pretty psyched about that MGS2 demo. But when it comes to trailers, far and away, Fallout 3's trailer in 2008 is my favorite.

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#22 Edited by cloudnineboya (831 posts) -

this,this,this. i played this over and over so many times it's so good. didint actually finish the game only got past leaving the bunker and stopped playing for some reason and never felt the need to go back and start replaying .

#23 Posted by Marino (4736 posts) -

I think this is a question only @marino is fit to answer.

The immediate answer is still the first MGS2 presentation. Just so many people awe-struck.

For anyone that's interested, I have a ton of old, shitty quality, vintage VHS recordings from the show floor from E3's past on my YouTube Channel.

Staff
#24 Posted by thatdutchguy (1273 posts) -

This ?

#25 Posted by Rigest (7 posts) -

The Halo 2 demo was awesome. Too bad that the level never made it into the game...

#26 Edited by Winternet (8025 posts) -

It's actually probably that Half Life 2 demo, just because if there was a game that I ever got excited about, it would be Half Life 2.

Edit: Also, watch that thing. Impressive stuff.

#27 Edited by ThePaleKing (613 posts) -

#29 Edited by GS_Dan (1405 posts) -

Uncharted 2's helicopter sequence demo was incredible.

#30 Posted by big_jon (5743 posts) -

Hands down, not for the tech factor but just the pure excitement. Hard to believe this was 10 years ago.

This.

#31 Posted by punkxblaze (2990 posts) -

I see your Halo 2 reaction, and raise you a Twilight Princess.

#32 Edited by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Hands down, not for the tech factor but just the pure excitement. Hard to believe this was 10 years ago.

Damn dude... sends shivers down my spine. The single best Halo game in my personal opinion. The LAN parties that game from this game, how it revolutionized online play on consoles as we know it.

#33 Edited by MocBucket62 (1247 posts) -

I can't find the gameplay demo, but the Rome Total War demo hooked me into playing the shit out of that game! Here's the trailer for it from E3 2003. Even though this looks pretty archaic compared to what's been shown of Rome II, this was revolutionary for the strategy genre at the time!

#34 Edited by Nezza (373 posts) -

Mirror's Edge

It just looked so clean and fluid compared to all the brown & bloomy games of the time. Then there was the crane reveal of Faith at 01:28 set to that soundtrack.

It's the only trailer I've ever saved.

#35 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5807 posts) -

I really enjoyed the Bioshock Infinite E3 demo. I couldn't wait to play this game after watching it.

#36 Edited by Brackynews (4094 posts) -

@mcghee: That would be Tobal No.1, with the FF7 demo including the Leviathan summon. I'm impressed I didn't even need to look that up. ;) I still remember sitting in my game store hangout trying it.

@rorie: Why in heaven's name have I never seen a Kotaku article about someone recreating that Gordon Freeman stained glass window? ;p

Another vote for MGS2 here. No idea how many times I rewatched it. And the game sequence itself lived up to my expectations. Right up until the room full of soldiers staring in one direction when I realised oh shit, Kojima is still going to put some contrived bullshit in here. Bring it on. ;) One thing people rarely clue in to, pun-wise, is that the Big Shell actually sets up the big shell game. lol

#37 Posted by Nicked (257 posts) -

It was just a CG trailer, but I was really excited when FFXIV was revealed. Obviously that game didn't pan out (to put it nicely) but as a long time FFXI evangelist I was pumped for another MMO from Square-Enix, so even though there wasn't gameplay I was excited for the possibility of what could have been.

#38 Posted by Vonocourt (2141 posts) -
#39 Edited by McTangle (157 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

I actually prefer gameplay trailers and sizzle reels to the demos at E3 because demos are usually a vertical slice which is hardly indicative of the tone of the game (see: Mass Effect E3 demos). Not that gameplay trailers and sizzle reels are, but they're shorter and usually much better paced / cut.

But, the demo which wowed me most in recent years was Watch_Dogs, which was a shining beacon of next-gen in a swath of boring at last year's E3.

I lovedWATCH_DOGS because there was no 'EXCLUSIVE LEAK FOOTAGE' or any such nonsense. It was pure surprise. Something we don't get too much of these days.

@vonocourt: Damn you for posting that. I'll not sleep tonight wondering what happened after the 'Prologue' of this simply stellar fanfic. I'll probably never sleep again, at that.

#40 Posted by BaneFireLord (2952 posts) -

The Fallout 3 demo was pretty awesome (not the stage demo,though, if I remember correctly; the one that was brought around to the various journalist booths). Todd Howard's enthusiastic narration of all the horrific violence happening on the screen was delightful.

#41 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2568 posts) -

@mctangle: Agreed - the Watch_Dogs guys just got up there, set out the background of the game and then just goddamn played it.

Totally a show stopper at the time, and I remember the digital crowd going proverbially wild in response. Great demo.

#42 Posted by Max_Cherry (1137 posts) -

The MGS2 debut demo followed by the Half-Life 2 demo.

#43 Posted by Pr1mus (3951 posts) -

MGS2 debut.

#44 Posted by RazielCuts (2976 posts) -

Pretty poop video quality and probably the unpopular choice (because yeah, boo Call of Duty etc) but this E3 demo for Call of Duty 4 was amazing to me. The guille suit reveal of 'oh shit, there was another guy there' the 'stealth' tension of it was electric and the cliffhanger of people walking towards you was great. I hadn't played a Call of Duty before and wasn't really into FPS's at the time but this demo made me want to check them out.

#45 Posted by altairre (1215 posts) -

I was extremely impressed with a leaked Human Revolution E3 demo. It was the first gameplay you could find and eventhough the quality was pretty crappy I watched it a few times.

#46 Posted by Butano (1746 posts) -

Looking back, the Oblivion demo Todd Howard walks you through was incredible at the time as well. Definitely the reason I purchased a 360 in the first place.

#47 Posted by CitizenKane (10507 posts) -

Probably the Half-Life 2 and Halo 2 demos. Those have stuck with me even after 10 years.

#48 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

This ?

This was one mindbogglingly huge disaster after another that you couldn't help but keep watching.

#49 Posted by SomberOwl (696 posts) -

@razielcuts: I actually agree with you. I remember being excited when they announced Call of Duty was going modern. I played the other games but that got me real excited and I played the living shit out of COD4.

#50 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Yeah, in recent memory, i have to agree with Watch_dogs. I had NO clue what it was. Pure surprise and the way it looked like this slick hacking game where he's walking around reading all these facts on peoples phones and stuff. Then the action exploded at the end. It was just so damn slick and seamless. I absolutely loved it.