PT: Playing Terror

While my week has been spent engrossed in way too much <em>Destiny</em>, I&rsquo;m still&nbsp; hesitant to voice an opinion on it. The reviews have been divisive, and for my part, I&rsquo;d like to wait until the initial addiction wears off a bit and the game gets some new content before I speak on it.

In the meantime, having been out of the country the previous month, I was finally able to undergo one of the most terrifying experiences I&rsquo;ve had in videos games and, indeed, in any medium (with the possible exception of my linguistics course).

<em>PT </em>was announced as a &ldquo;playable teaser&rdquo; by <em>Metal Gear Solid </em>director Hideo Kojima. It&rsquo;s a mysterious little game, with little to no instruction on what to do, and an innocuous green field adorning its logo.

You&nbsp; awaken on the floor and walk through a door. You see a long white hallway. A report on a murder of a family plays on the radio. Things are messy, cans and bottles are on the floor.

You reach the end of the hallway and enter the doorway. The same long white hallway is there.

Much of the game is this way. There&rsquo;s not a long string of overdramatic reveals of monster after monster. Just a long, lingering sense that <em>something </em>is happening. People have felt faint playing this, proclaiming it profoundly scary.

One of the door creaks open; it seems to be a bathroom. You can hear a baby crying<em>,</em> and heavy footsteps from an unknown source.

&nbsp;The door to the bathroom eventually swings wide open. You find a flashlight and pick it up. The door closes. And in the sink is&hellip; let&rsquo;s just say it&rsquo;s a disturbing image that will forever haunt me. And it&rsquo;s&hellip; fetal.

I&rsquo;m used to horror juxtaposed with action and shooting elements. Things are harder to be scared of when you&rsquo;re able to shoot your monstrous foe in the face.

In <em>PT</em>, you have no weapons and barely anything to interact with. You aren&rsquo;t an unstoppable juggernaut with five assault rifles. You&rsquo;re just someone poking the outside of this gaming hornet&rsquo;s nest, just knowing something is going to come out and sting you.

Here, horror isn&rsquo;t monster after monster going boo every second. It&rsquo;s just walking down a corridor, something sinister seeming to be present, but just out of sight.

Not a monster spooking you, but a monster who is <em>right behind you, </em>and you know it.

As a guy not usually freaked out by horror movies, this game got my heart pumping, and the few jump scares the game offers are actually earned through its constant atmosphere of dread.

A lot of time, with game betas and demos, the gaming community will mull over every single detail and finding secrets. <em>PT </em>actually necessitates this community&rsquo;s medling.

I would have never finished this game without the guides online. And these things are intentionally obtuse, like having to zoom in on particular objects in the environment.

This was all intentional, an effort to create some<em> Lost</em>-esque puzzling over the truth, and reports about the mystery of this game on all the major gaming sites.

Eventually, the true nature of <em>PT</em> was revealed after a truly obscure puzzle hunt, involving such strange tactics as walking exactly 10 steps, and yelling into a microphone.

<em>PT</em> was the teaser for <em>Silent Hills,</em> the newest entry in the <em>Silent Hill</em> (<em>SH</em>) series. <em>SH</em> is a series hailed for its passive-aggressive, psychological horror; its titular town reverted from abandonment to a blood-filled hell.

&nbsp;Besides Kojima&rsquo;s involvement, renowned cinema auteur Guillermo del Toro is also involved.

I couldn&rsquo;t help but cheer a bit at <em>Walking Dead</em> fan favourite Norman Reedus being revealed as the actor portraying the character you were controlling and, presumably, the main character of this game.

If <em>SH</em> can deliver on the sheer tension and dread <em>PT</em> provides, this could be a&nbsp; return to form to proper horror. With former horror mainstays <em>Resident Evil </em>and <em>Dead Space </em>more concerned with mainstream-satisfying action than actually scaring people, games like <em>SH </em>or the upcoming <em>The Evil Within</em> may revive the horror genre in the triple-A gaming scene.

If you have access to a PS4, <em>PT</em> is available for free, and is a visceral horror experience you gotta try. Even if you don&rsquo;t, check out some of the Let&rsquo;s Plays online.

Preferably with the lights off.

Just don&rsquo;t blame me if you&rsquo;re seeing something bloody and squirming in the corner of your eye next time you go to the washroom...


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