I side partially on the former
When P.T. was announced at gamescom a few weeks back, no one really jumped for joy. Billed as a "playable teaser," the interactive trailer was very much a game, and come to find out -- it had many elements of old school adventure games in it, including the practice of pixel-hunting.
Because it was so difficult to make sense of, many people shut off their PS4s and went back to their daily routine -- until one gamer who was streaming P.T. found out that it was secretly a trailer for an upcoming Silent Hill game.
Suddenly, everyone couldn't stop talking about P.T.
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Despite the difficult nature of solving the game's various puzzles, I think the experiment was a resounding success. The feeling people must have had after completing the game and seeing that massive reveal with Kojima, Guillermo Del Toro, and Norman Reedus must have been intensely satisfying.
Having completed the teaser for myself using a particularly convoluted method that was crowdsourced for days on end, I recognize that the whole endeavor may have been a little too obtuse for some. As someone who grew up with 90s adventure games that were just as obtuse (if not more-so) however, it didn't bother me as much.
To be honest, I feel like cryptic adventure games where you have to bust out an oldschool pen and paper are completely dead these days, so to see a game like P.T. require the collective effort of the internet to solve is a breath of fresh air. That's not to say it's an accurate reflection of what Silent Hills will be (the teaser said as much) -- but I hope it requires some semblance of puzzle-solving skills.
Back in the old school PC era, you had to rely on your own wits to complete the game or you didn't finish it. This was before GameFAQs, and most internet message boards were fairly underpopulated, and mostly filled with more questions than answers. But today, you can simply search for a few seconds and find multiple solutions. It's a different time, but I think the concept of crowdsourcing solutions across the internet is an equally wonderful thing.
As such, I think P.T. did what it set out to do, and the reveal at the end did enough to ramp up our expectations. Silent Hill hasn't been the driving force it used to be, but with this team at the helm, I'm hoping for big things.
So where do you fall on P.T.? Was it pointlessly difficult? Or an effective and innovative experiment?