No matter how much I love my Xbox, the greatest game experience I’ve ever had was courtesy of the PS4.
While the game is now well known to most gamers, at the time I had no idea what it was, and that was the best part.
You see a free demo game in the PS4 Store with an interesting but non-descript name and cover art. Since it costs nothing you decide to give it a try.
The game begins and your character awakens on the floor of a mostly vacant room. The room is fairly dark, and whatever details it has are difficult to make out. There is no back story. No explanation of who you are, where you are, or what’s going on.
Playing as you character you approach the only door and open it. You enter into the hallway of a rather average looking house. The environment is well rendered but otherwise unremarkable.
Not knowing what the game is, you assume it’s some kind of walking simulator. You walk along the hallway trying all the doors but they are locked. You continue walking down the hallway until you come to an open door leading into the garage or some room like that. You walk through the door and…end up right back in the same hallway you first entered.
This was the first indication something was wrong with the house.
You walk through the hallway again but nothing seems to have changed. When you go through the garage door a second time you end up right back where you started again. You complete this loop twice more, looking for any differences each time, but you don’t see any. Then on your next trip around you hear the radio in the hallway.
Even though nothing scary happens for quite a few trips around the house, there is an overwhelming sense of dread, enough to give you goosebumps. After a while the creep factor is turned up to 11 and it’s clear this is some kind of horror game.
Of course I’m talking about P.T. the Playable Trailer for a Kojima / Del Torro Silent Hill game that never came to be. While their collaboration lives on in Death Stranding, Kojima’s P.T. remains the best video game experience I’ve ever had, in large part because I had absolutely no idea what it was when I started playing it. I wish more games could inspire the sense of discovery, excitement and sheer dread I experienced with P.T.
For any PS4 owners lucky enough to have P.T. installed on their system, they can continue playing it indefinitely, however if you missed out on it, it’s no longer available for download.
For anyone curious, you can still find play-throughs of P.T. on YouTube, like the one below.