The last gasp of Silent Hill
P.T. is a somewhat difficult game to to review due to what is actually is. Here is the part where I would say to avoid reading if you have not played, but since the game no longer exists for downloads, you may as well read on.
P.T. or playable teaser was meant to introduce audiences to the upcoming Silent Hills game which has now been infamously scrapped. It is not clear you are in Silent Hill or the universe of it until very late in the teaser. Whatever the original intention of the game was, it has now become a touchstone of psychological horror and achieved an almost mythic status.
From a first person perspective, the player traverses through the same building over and over again. I am certain this description doesn’t sound scary, but the subtle changes, tone, lighting, and jump scares are all almost perfect. Further, this game defies horror in that we are not meant to look away, but closer at what disturbs us. The mystery of what is happening is never fully known, but it is clear that a deep and sick darkness is pervading not only this building, but the area.
The scares come consistently, and amazingly, most are not cheap scares. The abstracted, surreal, and outright bizarre images all work together to create one of the most unique gaming experiences I have ever played. Unfortunately, I had to watch a “Let’s Play” to refresh my memory. (If you are a fan of Let’s Plays, check out SHN).
Where the game irks me, and many others, is the puzzles. I liked the idea of hiding the puzzles so well that people had to come together as a community to solve them. Yet, they still bugged the hell out of me. It is odd to see the excellence in something but still really not like it.
The true tragedy is that this is the only glimpse we get of what Silent Hills could have been. It is worth experiencing, nonetheless. As sad as it is for me to know the series is dead, at least it got one terrifying sendoff. 9/10