Feature: P.T.


P.T. – please phone home…

Playable Teaser. An exciting new feature of gaming, P.T. is a hair-raising, interactive demo revealed this week to be the embryonic stages of a classic horror franchise. Turn up your headphones, and turn down the lights. This is Silent Hill(s).

Produced Together by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, the creators of Metal Gear and the dark fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth, this hellish nightmare is the spawn of a match made in heaven. And with The Walking Dead’s Norman ‘Daryl Dixon’ Reedus in tow as the supposed protagonist, it is a promising project indeed. Although the extent of Kojima’s direct involvement with Silent Hills is currently as foggy as the eponymous town, this short sampler uses ingredients worthy of his most signature dish. Particularly a fourth wall-shattering puzzle element which would not be amiss in the first Metal Gear Solid – a real codec moment of sorts.

Positively Traumatic, this teaser reasserts a notion thought by many: video games are the true medium of the horror genre. The game leaps seamlessly between subtle sounds and full-frontal terror; it is a wholly consuming force and the player is imprisoned in the driving seat. This is acute psychological warfare and a fine example of inescapable escapism, all contained within a simple ‘L’ shaped corridor. With a bathroom that is guaranteed to give you that sink-in feeling, to a ghostly wail which soon materialises, this certainly isn’t a case of ‘Who Ya Gonna Call?’.

Perpetually Terrifying: from a creepy inception to the heart-pounding denouement (or the lack of, for many people. Seriously, why won’t the damn phone ring?!), P.T. exerts a literal spectrum of lighting and noises which will rattle even the most stoic of gamers. Of course, when the constant perturbation becomes too much, it is incredibly satisfying to ‘nope’ your way back to that soothing Playstation 4 dashboard music at the push of a button. Ahh…

Potentially Terrific, what remains to be seen is to what extent this is a bona fide tech demo, or merely an ingenious marketing ploy. The sheer immersion created from a simple first-person perspective would be a welcome feature in the final product, and the success of cult favourites Outlast and Amnesia: The Dark Descent suggest this is the perfect perspective for survival horror. Of course, the third-person staple of the series will be beckoning, but Silent Hills is certainly a lovingly crafted love-child thus far, regardless. Opening doors has never been more alarming.

P.T is available on the Playstation Store now