Do you remember P.T.? It’s been almost 8 years since Hideo Kojima released his concept for Silent Hill and took the gaming d by storm, and yet seemingly nothing ever materialized from it. Or, maybe something has. Thanks to the very public split of Konami and Kojima, we never got the full and true version of what P.T. promised to be. Neither did we get any of the fan projects that promised to deliver a full experience based on the playable trailer. However, there’s no doubt that P.T. has had an influence on gaming, with many games taking cues from it. In particular, the recent Resident Evil games have done a lot to carry on its legacy.
It’s hard to look at certain sections of Resident Evil VII: biohazard and Resident Evil VIII: Village and not see the traces of P.T. inherent in them. Both games slowly become more bombastic and loud as time goes on, but their beginnings carry that same sense of dread. The Guest House and Main House sections of RE7 each hold fast to those initial feelings of disorientation and vulnerability that were so prevalent in P.T., and that nagging need to search each and every corner for clues and hints remains too. Yes, the wanderings are interrupted by Jack Baker and Molded, but their presence actually adds to the menace of the situation, I think.
RE8 is definitely more of an action game to be sure, but the traces are still there regardless. The village before the werewolf attack was eerie and unsettling, and the constant threat of Lady Dimetrescu and her “daughters” evoked a feeling of dread similar to the ghost that would often take players by surprise in P.T. Of course, the most direct homage to P.T. comes in the basement of House Beneviento. Just like in P.T. we find ourselves wandering around same-y looking hallways while solving puzzles and wondering why it’s so quiet.
Then, we see it: the Baby Monster. There’s no defeating it, only running and hiding. P.T. fans may remember that there was a mysterious (and horrible) fetus-like creature lying in that game’s bathroom, making all sorts of awful sounds the whole time. The monster in RE8 makes many of those same sounds and evokes similar feelings of dread and emotion, so it’s hard not to feel like it’s a none-too-subtle nod to P.T.
It must be recognized that both Resident Evil games are perhaps too direct with their horror elements and feature too much action to be considered true successors to P.T. and Silent Hills; subtlety is key in those games after all. However, I still think we did end up getting at least some of what P.T. was promising to be: a game that would inspire real feelings of dread, terror and disorientation while still irresistibly pulling players forward by their sense of curiosity.
We got those feelings in RE7 and RE8, and we got that in some other games too. Perhaps what we got wasn’t as strong as what P.T. was promising to be, but we got them all the same regardless. Indeed, I don’t think we would have gotten these games and P.T. never released and set the internet on fire. It’s clear that developers took notice of the reaction and sought to provide something that would capitalize on it. We never got the game we all dreamed about, but we did get at least some P.T. all the same.
Have you seen P.T. in other horror games? Do you think we’ll ever get a game that’ll fully realize the vision behind it?
Image captured by Hatmonster