I Couldn’t Finish The P.T. Demo
In terms of media, there’s not much that really scares me. Horror films and video game rarely scare me, though some make me uneasy. Big name horror titles from last year such as Outlast didn’t really have much effect on me. I understand how they were trying to scare, but it felt like a haunted house more than a genuine horror experience. There’s a certain craft missing from a lot of horrors, both video game and film. True fear isn’t created by simply creating a ugly image, nor is it created by jump scares. True masters of horror build up their scares, they create tension, they slowly cut into the player/viewer.
The P.T demo caught my interest pretty early on. Ignoring the hype, the big names and the brand name, I went into P.T utterly blind. What I found was one small, well crafted, finely tuned experience. The demo starts cold, no trailer, no background, not a single detail…and it works perfectly. There’s a mystery behind P.T that slowly reveals itself, as long as the player is willing to take in their surroundings.
Each footstep, each turn of a corner, each opening of a door, it all flows into the creation of tension . The sound effects that inhabit P.T stalk the player making them question and worry. The subtle touches dotted around the demo create a truly uneasy atmosphere in which the player begins to become unnerved…and they cant even out their finger on why. It’s these touches that give P.T a sense of character, a real sense of craftsmanship.
*spoilers in video – my live reaction to P.T*
The demo had truly sent chills down my spine. P.T shares similar tones to films such as Easerhead and Japanese horror such as Ju-On. It’s all neatly tied together to create a simple, yet highly effective, horror experience that leaves the player feeling utterly at the games mercy. Lighting, sound effects, visual cues, they’re all utilized in such a manner that it leaves the player utterly distraught at what is coming next.
P.T managed to do what very few films and video games do, it managed to get into the head, it became more than just a set of pixels on screen. I genuinely felt creeped out, uneasy, vulnerable and scared. It got to the point where I couldn’t finish the demo in fear of waking up the neighbours. If this is a sign of things to come, perhaps we have one of the purest horror titles in video game history on our hands.