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P.T. Is The Best Thing To Happen To Gaming In A Long Time
I don’t want to exaggerate too much here, but I also don’t want to understate what I mean. Recently, Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro announced via a playable teaser that they are teaming up to make a new Silent Hill game. They could not have went about it in a better way.
It begin innocently enough. At Gamescom, Sony unceremoniously announced a free PS4 download entitled P.T., seemingly developed by unknown developer 7780s Studios. Unsuspecting players downloaded it, not knowing what to expect, but what was contained within that download is one of the most awesome ideas in recent memory, for a number of reasons. I’ll start with the game itself.
P.T. is an unflinching horror game, and the first thing that surprised me was the quality and polish of this free download. The crazy thing about that is Kojima subsequently announced that he dumbed the visuals down so people would actually believe a smaller studio created this. If that is true, then I can’t wait to see what the Fox engine is capable of when fully unleashed. P.T. takes place in a single hallway, albeit it one that undergoes a few changes as the game progresses. The amount of detail and horror it manages to fit within this hallway is astonishing. The PS4 has already played host to a number of horror games, ranging from the enjoyable Outlast to the insufferable Daylight, but I’ve never played anything as terrifying as the few hours I spent with P.T.
In addition to the numerous frights it contains, and I’m not talking about simple jump scares here, it sets a tone and environment on par with any AAA title I’ve played this generation. Everything from the masterful sound design, to the brilliantly oppressive location and even the numerous Easter eggs hidden everywhere (which I have the feeling we’ve only scratched the surface on), combines to create an engrossing experience that I just want to show everybody. It also succeeds as a puzzle game, with a number of smart mechanics and just enough subtle hints to figure them out (although most people, including myself, are still struggling with the final puzzle). Kojima went on record saying that he expected it would take the worldwide community at least a week to crack that code, but of course some users figured it out within the day.
And that leads to the best part. I think P.T. is a success as a game in and of itself, and as short as it may be, I would have been more than happy ponying up $15 to play it. As it turns out though, it wasn’t even a proper game. It was a playable teaser for the nerdgasm that is a Kojima/del Toro Silent Hill game. Are you freaking kidding me? And as if that wasn’t enough, did I mention it is starring Norman Reedus, known for his portrayal of Daryl Dixon in AMC’s The Walking Dead? If this demo is even close to an approximation of what we are in for, look out, because Silent Hills (the working title of the game) could not only restore one of the most iconic horror franchises to glory, it could revolutionize gaming. That’s not something I say lightly, but I absolutely mean it. This demo is really that impressive.
I’m sorry, but this makes every other game reveal look pedestrian. I mean, why simply announce a game when you can release a playable teaser that is an awesome game in its own right? Don’t answer; that’s rhetorical. I know not every game can have something like this accompanying it, but man, this really takes game announcements to a whole new level.