P.T.

P.T. Features for PS4

On: PS4
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Silent Hills screenshot
Silent Hills screenshot

P.T. hasn't just changed how people view Silent Hill. It's potentially changed how people view horror games in general. While statements such as these are often built around hyperbole, Kojima's 'interactive teaser' has not only captured the imagination of those who enjoy the genre, but also those who try and ignore it… like myself.

I actively stay away from experiences such as these, mostly because they have the ability to break me as a human being. I find it incredibly easy to suspend my disbelief, meaning any developer that sets out to scare me usually finds success. I hate being terrorised and feeling genuinely fearful, even though I'm sat in my living room with no real sense of danger being apparent. It upsets me.

With that said, it makes little sense that things would change with P.T.. Easily one of, if not the scariest games I've ever played, it actively made me turn off more than once. I literally couldn't go on. And yet I returned. Twice. Then spent the following weekend watching other playthroughs and their reactions, or chatting to friends about what they thought. It's the complete opposite response I have to most horror titles, which is usually focused on getting out of dodge as quickly as possible and then trying to forget all about it. For one reason or another, it got in my head.

A large part of this was obviously how inventive the marketing behind the Silent Hills teaser was. Allowing its audience to discover the secrets for itself and, as Steve said last week, take advantage of the ever-growing outlet that is streaming, word of mouth did more for the franchise than any amount of trailers or more standard re-reveals could've done. It demanded people had conversations about it – be it to figure out what in the hell you're actually meant to do or to just share stories – and, maybe even more importantly, reminded everyone that Silent Hill is not ready to walk quietly into the night.

For fans of the series this may promote a different sense of fear. The last entry in the franchise, Downpour, seems very likely to be the last of its ilk as Del Toro and friends look to revamp and rebuild. In many ways, this could be seen as a shame. While not having the impact of its predecessors, the previous Silent Hill was still dripping with atmosphere, and its later versions of the Otherworld were inventive and interesting. (Also, that scene where you have to choreograph a school play is still horrifying.)

silenthills1 11 -

Of course, that didn't correlate to what Konami wanted. Middling scores, little interest from the public and many a cry of 'Well, it's no Silent Hill 2' meant it was another step which left the license a shadow of its former self. This was no longer leading the genre. It was barely a contender.

It's not just that P.T. has changed all that either. Aside from elevating Silent Hill back into public conscience, it's brought relevance back to its field. It's no real surprise that horror games have been suffering for a while, with Resident Evil giving up on it entirely. The stomping ground for such titles has been the indie scene, the likes of Slender Man, Amnesia, Lone Survivor (itself a kind of de-make of Silent Hill 2) and Penumbra leading the way. There are still some triple-A offerings, most notably Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within, but there's a fair argument to be made that P.T. has actually taken a lot of wind out of the latter's, maybe even both of their sails. Mikami's effort is looking considerably more like a product of yesteryear rather than something which is hoping to ignite something new. No one can say for sure until a finished copy arrives in our hands, but I for one feel less intimidated by Bethesda's major step into the horror market. The bar has been raised.

Obviously this is all for naught if Konami don't follow through on the momentum it has now built up. Application is everything when its comes to games, and a Silent Hills that fails to deliver in the same way as its playable teaser renders the whole experiment almost pointless.

For the first time in years, though, horror has found its place again. In hindsight, it's not that surprising Hideo Kojima was the man to do it.

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5 Comments

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GrimWillows's Avatar

GrimWillows

What ive also realised with P.T. is that some people just dont get it. ive had a few friends say it was boring, pointless, nothing happens, and even that the graphics are crap!?!? Me? i was blown away and love recent offerings like Outlast and am excited for Alien isolation. i have noticed a few friends more interested in a good story driven game, this season, rather than shelling out for COD again, after their experiences with The Last of Us.
Posted 16:56 on 19 August 2014
BritishWolf's Avatar

BritishWolf

I'm glad the series is back in a Japanese studio's hands. If there's anyone other than Team Silent who can turn the series around, it's Kojima
Posted 11:47 on 19 August 2014
BombaLuigi's Avatar

BombaLuigi

I really don't get P.T., I just don't.

The first couple minutes where nice, but then I was stuck in that in Hallway for 10 Minutes wihtout anything happend. I tried every door over and over again, walked up and down over and over again, but just nothing happend.
I even tried pushing any button in front of every object, hoping for some interactivity, but no nothing happens.

After I did my Nightguard routine over and over again the Door at the End finaly opend for some Reason (I didn't do anything I hadn't done countless Times before), but at this Point I was really bored so the Game would have need to... well, do something. But It didn't.
All that happend was that I got a nonstopt screaming Baby, which annoyed me to death. And because it didn't freakin stop I muted my TV - which of course made the Game even more boring, but at this Point that was an improvment.

And then nothing happend again. Being stuck in endless loop of nothing happening I said to myself "No". I have better to do with my Time then waiting again for 10 Minutes for something to happen, or at least that asshole baby screaming to stop.

So I really don't get it. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, maybe I'm to stupid or in the end missed a hint in the Audio stuff or so, dunno. But I do know that all that Teaser did to me was making me really bored or/and annoyed and thats just not good.
Posted 07:24 on 19 August 2014
skidoosh's Avatar

skidoosh

This demo was amazing. I normally shrug and roll my eyes at horror games, but this is special! The mix of great sound design, an almost photorealistic environment and a switch to a first person view really gets to you.

The mix of Kojima's off the wall (yet amazingly coherent) story-telling and del Toro's imagination for monsters and worlds (like the thing with it's eyes in its hands in Pans Labyrinth) should come together perfectly.

I'm not a big silent hill fan, but I think this one will be very, very special!
Posted 18:58 on 18 August 2014
BritishWolf's Avatar

BritishWolf

I'm glad the series is back in a Japanese studio's hands. If anyone there's anyone other than Team Silent who can turn the series around, it's Kojima
Posted 18:13 on 18 August 2014

Game Stats

Release Date: 12/08/2014
Developer: 7780s
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Survival Horror
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 1,064 100
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