I like being scared.
It's not often that a film or television show actually scares me and it's even more rare for a video game to do it. In fact, the last time I can remember being actually scared in a video game was probably with 2010's Alan Wake and prior to that way back in 2004, the moment Gordon Freeman stepped foot into the decimated mining-town of Ravenholm in Half-Life 2.
But before all of that there was another game. I played it at night, lights off, when the house was dead quiet. It's a funny thing, I was in constant terror but I had to know. I had to know where the letter came from. Why was James Sunderland connected to all of this? Who was Angela and how did Laura even get here? I needed to know the secrets of Silent Hill 2.
As a more recent PS4 owner, I didn't recall P.T. right away. I had forgotten that there was a bit of excitement behind it because it turned out to be a Playable Teaser (see what they did there? Crazy like a fox) for Konami's upcoming Silent Hills. So when the recent news that Silent Hills had been cancelled by Konami, I was reminded of P.T. and knew I had to download it before the game was totally removed from the Playstation Store.
On one hand, I'm glad I did. On the other hand, I'm so disappointed.
Knowing how the Konami/Kojima situation would eventually fall out certainly helps color one's perceptions. Had I played P.T. prior to the aforementioned break-up, I might not feel the way I do right now but as it stands, I had the pleasure of playing P.T. AFTER. And because of that, I almost feel like playing P.T. is an invasion of privacy or at the very least, a glimpse at something we weren't supposed to see.
Silent Hills was going to be something. It had Guillermo del Toro (director of Pan's Labyrinth; Hellboy; Pacific Rim) and Norman Reedus ("Daryl Dixon" in The Walking Dead) attached. It had some pretty great history available via the prior Silent Hill games, a pedigree as it were. It had a built in fanbase, one that has wanted a return to form. And it had P.T.
P.T. was a reminder that Silent Hill is still a viable franchise. Not only that, but it can still be genuinely terrifying place. P.T. succeeded where many games fail. They created a familiar yet terrifying atmosphere, complete with dynamite foley work. The game takes place, essentially, in 1 single hallway. The sound work of the storm outside, the steps you take, the creaking of doors or the crashing of an object are expertly used. And all of this just makes it worse.
Whatever this game was, whatever it was meant to become, is something we will never see. There may be a Silent Hills game in the future or even something based off of P.T. but it will never be what it was originally meant to be. For me, that's a little sad and little disappointing. I was genuinely excited about going back to Silent Hill. About seeing how P.T. was going to work it's way into the base game, if at all. Would they have stuck with First Person or would they have mixed it up? Would the game follow closer to what we know of Silent Hill or would it have added to the mythos?
For now, Silent Hill is dead. Deader than normal, even. Ultimately, this is the saddest part for me. The games haven't all been home runs, and at least one of the movies is possibly the worst thing ever to be made with the license, but on some level I've enjoyed them all. Because I love Silent Hill.
But it was not meant to be. And maybe that saying is right.
You can't go home again.
Especially if that home is in Silent Hill.