Shadow dropping video-games is certainly not an unusual occurrence in the video-game industry now a days. Most conferences or events now we expect and often are treated to little bombshell announcements that a game is available right after the show.
Well at Gamescom 2014 a video-game developer who would turn out later to actually be none existent in 7780s Studios revealed that their game P.T was available to download on the 12th August.
The events that followed upon downloading and playing that ‘Playable Teaser’ were some of the most magical and special moments I can remember from the last generation.
P.T ended up being a playable teaser for a Hideo Kojima & Guillermo Del Toro directed Silent Hill title featuring Norman Reedus as the protagonist. However it was hysteria surrounding P.T to find out these revelations that made P.T one of the most surreal and amazing moments of last generation.
The teaser itself consisted of a first person view walking through a hallway in a continuous loop trying to solve a mystery. The more the hallway was passed through, the scarier and more twisted things became. The whole scenario ended up being one of the most terrifying video-games of all time.
I can still remember the scenario turning the corner and in-front of me seeing the figure of Lisa standing there. I will happily admit I screamed, I screamed loudly. I also played this with a friend over one evening to demonstrate to him how terrifying this game was. He equally jumped a mile when Lisa attacked and reset the loop. Moments of last gen that will stick with me for a long time due to the terrifying and equally hilarious reactions we put out.
But as suggested above, while the teaser and game-play of it were equally ground breaking, it was the hysteria surrounding trying to solve the mystery and actually leave this corridor loop that was the beauty of the teaser. It brought the internet collectively together to try and solve this. It was multiple video-game news outlets reaching out to others “hey have you tried this” and so many insane theories and steps to take like “move 6 steps forward, then turn around, then you’ll be by the light switch etc etc” that everyone lapped up and attempted to try and be the first to break this seemingly endless loop of terrifying hallway.
Then when it finally happened and they mystery was solved, it was jaw to the floor revelation that Kojima was directing a Silent Hill game featuring Norman Reedus. Collectively it was “WHAT HAVE WE JUST PLAYED?” but in absolutely positive way.
The game itself is now somewhat priceless. With the breakup of Kojima and Konami leading to the eventual cancellation of the Silent Hills project. Konami have taken the license for this teaser down from the PlayStation store. You can’t download it. If you owned it and deleted it, sorry it’s gone, it can’t be re-downloaded. People were selling PS4’s with the game still installed as pieces of video-game history.
I thankfully still have it installed on my PS4, and will continue to do so with the news that this cannot be transferred over to the PS5 either.
P.T went on to become an influence to many other games and it helped to popularise the first person style of horror games. I can’t claim to know if Resident Evil 7 was originally going to be developed in a first person view, but can’t help thinking P.T helped the decision along.
The whole aura of that sequence of events was very much a lightning in a bottle moment. The shadow drop, the fake video-game studio, the hours and hours of ridiculous theories to try to complete the demo, the sheer brilliance of the game itself, the absolute bombshell moments when it was over and the community and coming together of so many people to reach that moment. It’ll never be re-captured. It was a rollercoaster to watch and be involved in and I don’t think there’ll be anything to provoke the same scale of social coming together and mind blowing end result.