Ever since Sony’s Gamescom press conference, there has been one topic which dominated headlines in gaming sites everywhere; the mysterious demo P.T. Released on the PlayStation Store after the briefing, the game is dubbed a “Playable Teaser” by Hideo Kojima, the genius behind the Metal Gear series and the teaser. Kojima was not alone in this project, but boasts the help of Guillermo Del Toro, director of The Pacific Rim, and also Norman Reedus from the Walking Dead. A small video showing the reactions of players was shown alongside the announcement, and while one may think that these were a little exaggerated, playing the game will make you realise how genuine these emotions are.
Personally, I see suspense as the worst element in any horror game, surpassing even the nastiest of jump scares, probably also because the fear generated from the tension will no doubt multiply the terror of these same jump scares. As far as P.T. Is concerned, there is no shortage of suspense. On the other hand, it is delivered aplenty. P.T. Also features a couple of jump scares, testing how much air your lungs can contain before releasing it in relief. Basically, the game pits the player in a corridor of what looks to be a normal house, after waking up from what can be presumed to have been the character fainting. Coming out of the first room will result in a hallway, decorated with normal objects such as furniture, frames and an also an alarm clock. As you walk through this corridor you will find another door, which upon entering will put you where you opened your first door. This looping on and on throughout the demo until it is solved. Kojima himself confessed that he thought the demo would take longer to be solved, even stating he expected a week before the code would have been cracked, but it only took around 5 hours for a user from the United Kingdom to beat the demo. More or less a day after release, the whole community began coming up with the solution to the puzzle. As a reward for beating the teaser, the final clip shows a Silent Hills trailer, showing what the game is related to all along, even though Kojima announced the demo will not really have anything to do with the game.
In a video uploaded on YouTube, which explains everything there basically is to solve the P.T. Puzzle, there is a rundown of all the steps one has to do to complete P.T. Basically, a walk-through which guides you through from beginning to end, and also explains each and every detail going through the process. Being not an official video, but from a player, this information could have something not exact which works by chance, but who tried following in the same steps as the Uploader ended up completing the demo. Watching the video makes you realize how much Kojima puts thought in his games, since the solution to P.T. Is made up of a series of elements put together. Kojima also encouraged the community to unite towards finding the solution, also suggesting to stream gameplay for viewers to help the streamer. This was an indirect hint for the final solution of the game which, spoiler alert, requires talking into the microphone. Having a mic bundled with the console, whoever played it could do it since the demo was only available on PS4.
At the conference before Tokyo Game Show, Sony brought Hideo Kojima again to discuss a bit more about P.T. While no new trailers were shown, another video highlighting the reactions was displayed in the background of Kojima’s bit. On the stage, we also learnt that the teaser was downloaded over a million times, which in the space of a month is outstanding, especially for a demo. At the conference there was a video message from Kojima’s partner on the project, Guillermo Del Toro. Curiously, neither Kojima nor Del Toro have horror as one of their strong points in their curriculum, and still they made what was even said to be the scariest demo, if not game in general, ever made. To his credit, Del Toro owns a place, called Bleak House, where he devotes his collection of items, props and the like, including horror themed memorabilia, called Bleak House. This further suggests Del Toro’s interest in horror, also given the success of the demo. In his message, Del Toro describes how his and Kojima’s love for fantasy storytelling brought them together, how they met to discuss ideas and how their brainstorming finally came to an end product, which was then released to the public. Norman Reedus and Del Toro, on the other hand, have met quite a while back while working on a movie called Mimic. Mimic, released in 1997, is a sci-fi horror film which involves cockroaches. Coincidentally or not, in P.T. There are also a lot of cockroaches, suggesting already Del Toro’s involvement could start from there.
As someone who gets intrigued, but scared easily from horror games, I was definitely interested in P.T. I tried playing it but only lasted a couple of minutes before switching to watching a stream of someone playing it. While there seems to be no logic in the choice, since the game is from a first person point of view, I felt more reassured and managed to get, I mean watch, the whole thing. Kojima is one of the best in the industry at what he does, and being partnered with a director such as Guillermo Del Toro, one can only dream of what both may be able to achieve on a franchise as big as the Silent Hills one.