P.T, or playable trailer, is a puzzle based short demo based on the announcement of Silent Hills. The demo was released in August and was announced at Sony’s pre-show conference, it was believed that players wouldn’t complete it for at least a couple of weeks. Soon after its release gamers found that it was a playable trailer for Silent Hills and playthroughs were posted on the web. After playing the demo myself and spending hours looking down the same lonely and creaky hallway, I’ve finally mustered up the courage to speak of it again and give you my thoughts.
P.T starts with the unnamed protagonist, a male, waking up in a dark and dank cell-like room. After regaining consciousness you exit through the only door available, a door which takes you into the main game space. The L-shaped corridor seems like part of an entirely ordinary home, although this starts to morph into something entirely unnatural as you walk through doorways and start triggering loops. Walking through the door at the opposite end of the corridor will simply bring you back to the beginning, but each loop brings new surprises. I’m not going to lie, it’s highly repetitive but fun all the same.
Unlike the majority of the Silent Hill titles, P.T is played from a first-person perspective, making you look closer at the environments and objects around you. Apart from being able to walk and look around, your only way of interacting is to zoom in on objects of interest using R3. Pressing this usually triggers other parts of the corridor to open up or triggers small jump scares. P.T is all about completing the puzzles, some of them very subtle and it is using this zoom function that will allow you to complete these and move on.
Kojima has tried his best here to make the game specific, meaning that each loop has to be completed in a certain way. If you don’t find the objects required or interact with particular parts of the environment the loop will continue when you pass the exit door until you’ve solved it. I found myself going in circles multiple times because of this mechanic, missing just the smallest details.
P.T looks amazing despite it not being a fully fledged release of any kind or a real taster of what Silent Hills would have brought to the horror genre. The atmosphere is intense, teeth-grindingly chilling and eerie. Although the game is only a teaser for the now canceled Silent Hills game, the end sequence reveals that the demo is ‘no direct relation to [what would have been] the main title’. The disappointing part of all this is that despite being so popular Konami removed P.T from download so if you still have it on your HDD keep it.
Silent Hills P.T
- Visually striking
- The atmosphere is tense, just what horror should be
- Environmental sound and voice work is brilliant, even for such a short title
- Repetitive - especially when you can't figure out puzzles
- WHY DID YOU CANCEL THIS KONAMI!?