Like this hasn’t been done to death already.
If you were to ask what some of my favourite genres of any kind of medium would be, it would undoubtedly be horror. I have an absolutely wild obsession with the macabre and spooky. Witches, werewolves, serial killers, ghosts, conspiracy theories… You name it and I’m probably super interested by it.
When I was a little kid I was deathly afraid to watch anything horror related because some of the imagery just shook me to my core. I watched my brother play Resident Evil and Silent Hill behind my eyes before I finally decided to grow some balls and play some scary shit on my own… And from there it was movies and manga and online forums, creepypastas, SCPs and more. I was in love – Over the years I continued to consume horror media to the point where things began to feel stale; games got way more boring, movies needed to subvert all kinds of expectations and that comes with being a fan of the horror genre, because, to put it bluntly, horror is probably one of the worst and oversaturated genres of media out there, and that shouldn’t even be a big revelation. It’s been common knowledge that horror as a whole is used for cheap jumpscares and conventional writing. It’s a cash cow and people love to milk it both in games and film.
So when this weird little teaser came out for some free demo of a horror game by some studio that literally no one had ever heard of before, you could sure as shit colour me interested.
…And after playing it and letting my thoughts ferment for a while, I can easily say that though it isn’t my favourite horror game ever, It’s definitely my favourite horror experience in any form of media I’ve experienced. If you could allow me to be extremely pretentious, dear reader, I would compare P.T. to The Shining. Yes, P.T. is the Shining of video games; don’t fucking @ me because I will surely regret this comparison after this article goes out regardless.
P.T. gives me the same feeling as Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece solely because of the feeling of uneasiness that this game provides. It’s so photorealistic that it sits extremely comfortably in the uncanny valley. The hallway that you walk around in is spacious, but just cramped enough to feeling claustrophobic. The radio and the foetus in the sink are the only voices you’ll hear, and they tell these stories and say these things that are just downright disturbing and vague. It keeps you guessing on what kind of world or environment you’re really in.
A simple line from the radio like “You can’t trust that tap water” made me think of a plethora of things of what the man on the radio could be talking about, and it’s in the uncertainty and confusion where P.T. absolutely scares the shit out of you.
Everyone knows the story by now that P.T. was actually the teaser for a Silent Hill game titled Silent Hills being directed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro starring Norman Reedus. It took the whole world by surprise, and the cancellation of that title did so as well. It has been literally around 5 years since P.T. was released and I still think about it so often. It not only got people hype for the return of a long-beloved series, but it was also directed by two absolute mad lads. The things the demo did to scare you were so amazingly planned that you just knew you were going to be in for a treat.
…And finally one of the coolest things this game ever did was its final puzzle. Now I don’t think that this mechanic or concept should be in any game because of how vague and outlandish it is, but the fact that people from all around the world came together on forums and message boards to decipher how to get the ending cutscene was truly a thing of beauty. For the longest time, no one knew the correct answer and I think that the most definitive one which you can check out here. I still don’t think that this is THE DEFINITIVE answer, rather it could be just one of many.
P.T. was an experience like no other. A horror game like no other… And the guy who rambles on about games preservation and just cool things in general in me is screaming inside, because there are people who will not be able to play it legitimately. Recently, someone managed to recreate the entire teaser in Unreal Engine so that is certainly one way to check it out if you’re curious – It’s probably gonna be the best way to experience it for a long time.