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P.T, Silent Hills & the Strange Genius of Hideo Kojima

It started with a mysterious teaser during Sony's Gamescom press conference on Tuesday. Entitled P.T, brief footage was shown along with reactions to players experiencing the demo and then the news that everyone could play it now by downloading it from the store immediately. Once the conference had finished I quickly went to download it as I'm a huge survival horror fan and was very intrigued by this new game from an unknown studio.  The demo is very tense and atmospheric with no menus or tips on how to play; you simply start walking down a corridor in hopes of learning what on earth is going on.
Learning of what happened in the house via a radio report, suddenly it cuts out with a mysterious voice saying "Behind you, look behind you." As I slowly turned around a demon was right in my face and let's just say I let out a shriek that I wasn't even aware I was capable of. After this initial scare, I settled down and became more intrigued in how to actually progress. I looked at ripped up pictures and started to progress to new areas, whilst still being terrified that the demon would show it's ugly face once again.

Without completely delving into what else happens, I really liked the simplistic approach but it did seem very random how you do get certain events to trigger. Eventually the phone rang and I finally got to leave the house. As I walked down the street, the names Hideo Kojima, Guillermo Del Toro & Norman Reedus appear on screen before the name of the game that's being teased is finally revealed: SILENT HILLS. Wow.
An incredibly creative way to announce a new title, Kojima seems to be really experimenting lately after pulling a similar stunt when announcing what became Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Given that this teaser does not reflect what the final game will become, what can we expect? Well judging by the short sequence at the end it's not that crazy to assume The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus will be the main protagonist, also assuming the main game will be played in third person like previous games.

One thing we can learn is that clearly atmosphere and simplicity will play a part in Kojima's vision of what a Silent Hill game should be. Whilst still very basic, P.T certainly made me feel very uncomfortable which is something only a handful of horror games have ever done and certainly not in the recent Silent Hill games.
Kojima has already said he wants this game to "make you shit your pants" which the demo certainly did. He also said back in 2012 "Silent Hill in a closed room setting and doesn't require full action so that we can focus on the graphic quality. Enemy doesn't have to be a lot or move fast. It only requires scariness by graphics and presentation. As being a creator making action game in open world, such game is very enviously attractive. " You can certainly see that in P.T. 

The other name attached is acclaimed film director Guillermo Del Toro. This one is more interesting as we don't know in what capacity Del Toro will be involved. While more known for his film and TV work, Del Toro is still no stranger to the video game world. Most notably was a survival horror game called inSANE that Del Toro was to direct which is currently lost in development hell but supposedly not cancelled. Perhaps some of his work on this title will be used in Silent Hills? One thing Del Toro has proven himself on over the years is his monster design and I look forward to see what he can come up with inside Silent Hill's twisted universe.
What is most crazy from all of this is that I'm genuinely excited for a Silent Hill game again. Just like Resident Evil, these two franchises I have loved playing for years but in recent times have really turned into something I don't enjoy. With the news of an enhanced Resident Evil remake and now this news also I am thrilled to see both franchises hopefully being treated with the respect they deserve. With The Evil Within also just around the corner, I really hope console survival horror is back to it's best and horror fans certainly have a lot to look forward to. Even if Silent Hills probably won't come out for at least another 12-18 months.


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