If you're reading this, I assume you've either played some of P.T. or have an idea of what the fuss is about. It's a "Playable Teaser". But it's more like a demo, or arguably a small game in it's own right.
If you're like me, you got part-way through before finding out, on the internet, during one of our breaks for sweet, sweet air, that it was a teaser for the next Silent Hill. But more than that, a Silent Hill by Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima! Exciting stuff! But...somehow disappointing, too. And not just because the world took a masterpiece of atmospheric horror adventure gaming and speed-ran it on YouTube. Actually, that's incredibly depressing.
But yeah, I was disappointed. I used to love Silent Hill, especially the second one. But how many of these games have there been? How many do there need to be? Can't they let it die? You know how to play Silent Hill and I know how to play Silent Hill. P.T. is not that game. It's something new. It's a game of perceptiveness, where looking is your form of interaction and being good at it your key to progression. This was more than the playable trailer it was billed as being. It was better and likely scarier than another Silent Hill game is probably going to be.
I would sooner pay to play a follow-up to P.T. than even a well-done Silent Hill game. Why? Because I've played Silent Hill games already. They had their time. Not everything needs to be re-microwaved forever. To give you some background on me, the first Dead Space was one of my favorite games in years. I loved it. It wasn't just a good horror story, it was a good sci-fi universe in general. And then I didn't play Dead Space 2 or 3. Dead Space was over. It had an awesome ending. Everything didn't get solved and wrapped up, and no you don't get to figure out everything. Fine. I could write a blog about the reasons I didn't play Dead Space 2 for being Dead Space 2, but I digress.
I know the intention of P.T. was to convince me that Silent Hill is getting a shot in the arm, and I suppose it is. But I seriously doubt Konami will change the formula enough to make it preferable to what I really want. The problem is, an experience like P.T. can't be sustained for a full-length game, nor should it be. It doesn't fit into that $60-model. But there could be a follow-up in the $15-$20 market.
I'd like to see something like that happen. It won't be the same, of course, or look as good, but that's okay. But it might just create an almost adversarial dynamic between the people crafting these puzzles and the community racing to break it. Perhaps the next puzzle will punish you for trying to look at everything, but without some singular, identifiable trap-object. There are ways games can respond to identified common tactics.
The game doesn't even have to be scary, it could be funny. I'm talking about a first-person adventure game done with serious flair, with an endless loop or inescapable status quo conceit.
Imagine a first-person shooter. You run along, fighting alien space warlocks with recharging energy weapons. Eventually, you fight the alien overlord, "Ultagore the Undying" and kill it. Then you get a radio call to head back to the start to board a dropship. The aliens are getting back up and you fight them on the way back. When you get there, the drop ship retreats because the LZ is too hot. They also tell you that Ultagor is alive again. So you fight back through. Along the way, you get a message that another soldier has killed an overlord permanently, but doesn't know how. Luckily, if you die after the first Ultagore kill, you'll also get back up. So you have to figure out how to end everyone's mutual immortality, because the dropship will never land. You can use a single map for this game.
Do I want a trend of endless loop puzzles to go on forever? Do I want a P.T. 4? Hell no, but a few years of playful loop puzzles, given some inventive ideas, could be pretty cool.
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