Edge

Seven Years Ago The ‘Silent Hill’ Demo ‘P.T.’ Changed Video Games Forever

When P.T. was released on the PlayStation 4 it was a phenomenon. The short horror game became infamous quickly for being one of the most terrifying experiences players had ever gone through. The gameplay was simple, walk through a looping hallway and attempt to uncover a secret in the process. What was that secret? Nobody was really sure, they just knew they had to keep hunting for it.

The game itself wasn’t long, it only takes about two hours to beat, but the payoff is still one of the coolest moments in recent memory. The secret was that the player was actually playing a “Playtable Teaser” for the next Silent Hill game, Silent Hills.

The idea of a playable demo being the way to announce a game blew everyone’s minds. Unsurprisingly, it was the work of Hideo Kojima. The Metal Gear Solid director was well known for being theatrical in how he announced his games, but this was one of his most brilliant works yet. P.T. was a horror masterpiece and many people saw it as a genuinely great game on its own. A popular trend at the time was to get the game and go through it with friends. It became a social experience and these experiences pushed P.T. to a status nobody had ever seen from a demo. All of this helped the upcoming Silent Hills game become one of the most anticipated new titles in development. Add in the detail that Guillermo del Toro would be joining Kojima in the production of the game and excitement for it only grew.

Of course, most people know the story by now, Silent Hills never came. There hasn’t been any Silent Hill game since 2012 and P.T. is technically the last game the franchise ever got. Unfortunately, it’s now very hard to play P.T. because of the very public fallout between Kojima and the owners of the IP, Konami. P.T. was removed from PSN forever and it now only exists on the PS4 consoles that already had the game downloaded. A piece of video game history is gone forever.

While the game itself may be gone, however, its impact is still being felt today. P.T. was such a massive success that when Resident Evil decided to go back to more traditional horror games it released their own playable demo for Resident Evil 7 and it even followed a similar format. The inspiration from P.T. was obvious. It left such an impact on Silent Hill fans that they’re still keeping their ear to the ground on even the slightest bit of news about the dormant franchise, because P.T. was the proof fans needed that it was still possible to make a good Silent Hill game.

Is P.T. ever going to come out again? Who knows. It seemed impossible at the time of the split between Kojima and Konami, but time heals all wounds and the two sides could maybe work together again some day to revive not only Silent Hill, but P.T. Kojima has been celebrating the seven years since P.T.’s release by sharing fans love and appreciation for the game. It’s clear that he still feels very proud of his work on it even if it technically is forever unfinished.

For anyone that hasn’t played P.T. before, there are numerous walkthroughs and ways to experience the game still, but nothing will ever be the same as when it first came out. It was a cultural moment that many video game fans will remember forever. Despite being only a two hour game it impacted the industry and video game fans more than any of us ever could have expected.

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