August 15, 2014 by Paul Curtin
This week’s Gamecom event in Cologne, Germany started out with horrific news for PlayStation fans when it was announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a timed exclusive coming first to Xbox One. But after that crushing news, Sony’s Media Briefing stole the show with a brief trailer for a new horror game called “P.T.” which they immediately made available on the PlayStation Store for players to download and play for free. The mysterious game marketed as the first ever “interactive teaser” from unknown developer 7780s, is basically a demo, but features no description of what exactly it is other than a new horror game with a warning for players to avoid playing if they have a heart condition.
Similar to the psychological thriller/horror movie 1408, the gameplay in P.T. is very simple and consists of the player waking up in a room and opening a single door that leads down a mysterious run-down hallway of a house. There’s no explanation of what to do and where to go, so players must make their way down the hallway as news on a radio describes the events of a horrific murder.
With all of the doors locked except the last one at the end of the hallway, players are forced to go through this final door… leading them right back to where their started in a loop… but with each loop, things begin to change in the hallway and get more and more messed up.
Without giving anything else away about what happens in the demo, all I can say is that after beating P.T. I can easily say it’s one of the scariest games I’ve ever played. Not only is the game terrifying, but the cryptic instructions and gameplay mechanics are something you don’t see a lot of these days. It’s a nice change of pace to play a game that looks this good and isn’t scared to take chances. I highly recommend playing it… alone… in the dark… with headphones on (and a mic)… if you can.
For players that are able to make it through the horrifying demo and solve the game’s ridiculously challenging and random final puzzle (or who just want to watch below), a trailer is then played that reveals “P.T.” actually stands for “Playable Teaser” and is for the upcoming new Silent Hills game starring Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead / The Boondock Saints) and being produced by legendary game and movie developers Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) and Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim / Hellboy).
It’ll be interesting to see if Silent Hills can actually live up to all the hype this demo has now created, especially since Silent Hills‘ gameplay will probably be less like the helpless first-person perspective in P.T. and more like the classic Silent Hill third-person format with some combat.
Kojima’s remarks do however help market Silent Hills, with the developer stating: “There’s a limit on how scary you can make a game, but in this case we’re ignoring that. If you don’t want to keep playing through the game, so be it, we don’t care. That’s the game we’re aiming for. We’re aiming for a game that will make you shit your pants.”
With P.T. only being released now on PlayStation 4, it’s unclear which platforms Silent Hills will be on other than Sony’s. There’s also still no release date set and Del Toro’s previous video game projects have all gotten stuck in development hell forever, so hopefully all this extra hype is able to get Silent Hills out of the darkness sometime in late 2015 or early 2016.