P.T. is the best horror game ever made. And it always will be. If you don’t believe me, watch the video above. The cursed vaporware delivered an exquisite experience, and then evaporated without delivering on the promise of its full game. That’s what makes it the best.
As the name ‘playable teaser’ suggests, P.T. was just a preview for Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills. It was a walking simulator, the answer to the question “What if Gone Home really was a horror game?” In action, it functioned almost like a short movie, light on interaction but heavy on atmosphere.
Effective horror is the delicate application of pressure until, without realizing it, you’re caught in a vise. The repetition of the hallway pacing acted like a trance, each step wearing away at reality as you spiral further from the known world. The fact that P.T. didn’t rely on jump scares is part of why it has remained terrifying, and why it will continue to haunt me until my bones turn to dust at the end of time.
In horror media, tension is as thin as a soap bubble, and it doesn’t take much to pop. But P.T.’s short playtime and small game-space meant there was less chance of a game-breaking bug or awkward piece of dialogue. There were fewer opportunities for a disruption that would take you out of the moment; the setting acted like a hyperbaric chamber.
P.T. will always be perfect, whereas the portrait of Silent Hills withers in the attic, hiding whatever sins or failures the full game might have had. Just look at Silent Hill 1 and 2 — both superb and terrifying games that sadly can’t help but show their age. No game will ever be able to live up to the sheer potential of an idea, and that’s what P.T. is.
Watch the video above for more information about just why no horror game will ever be as terrifying as P.T.