Stealthily announced at Sony's Gamescom conference, P.T. was billed as a 'Playable Teaser' for a new first-person horror game by the fictional 7780s Studio. After the sort of frenzied investigation that only the Internet can provide, it was discovered that the daunting downloadable was in fact a demo for a new Silent Hill game directed by none other than Hideo Kojima. Needless to say, this clever reveal stands as one of the most ingenious video game marketing stunts in recent memory.
However, it isn't this promotional prowess which sees it take such a prestigious place on our list. Put simply, the reason that we've included P.T. is that it's an exceedingly well constructed game, from the very first second that it digs its macabre and unkempt nails into your mind, making you question every slight breeze and flickering shadow in its now infamous hallway.
On this fundamental level, it's an incredibly terrifying experience, but – as with all good horror – there's something sinister hidden behind the requisite moody lighting and jump scares. A risky pregnancy, a deeply troubled patriarch, a violent revelation – all of these disturbing details lurk beneath the surface, and are subtly exposed through clever environmental storytelling.
And this is arguably the title's greatest triumph. More than any other game, it demonstrates that through smart and economical level design, AAA titles can tell deep and evocative stories which require the player to put together the pieces themselves. What's more, its irrefutable success is undoubtedly the final nail in a stubborn industry coffin which for so long has dictated that a game needs to be a certain length for it to be popular.
Ultimately, one only needs to look at the robust discussions that the title has sparked to see how significant it will prove to be. Indeed, the fact that we're talking about what is essentially a one hour long teaser trailer several months after it debuted is a testament to how powerful and important Kojima's first foray into horror truly is.
Did playing P.T. leave you utterly petrified, or do you reckon that this deadly downloadable has been overhyped? Try not to scream in the comments section below.
[ Words: Kell Andersen ]