"Originally we were thinking of making a game that would make you pee your pants, but at this point we've changed our minds, and now we're aiming for a game that will make you shit your pants".
Horror seemed to have been a forgotten genre. Resident Evil veered off the left, Dead Space started in the right direction but ultimately caved in to a more action game, Alan Wake was disappointing, and The Last of Us was more of a suspenseful adventure game. Condemned and Blood Siren however were pretty good. But I can't recall any console game that really left me "horrified" the way previous generations have. The great news is that this generation seems to be a little more focused on Horror. Outlast (although have not dabbled in it enough) looked great, This October's The Evil Within looks like a promising game along with Alien:Isolation, and during this years Gamescom you saw Until Dawn and a mysterious title dubbed P.T..
A playable demo for the up coming Silent Hill(s) (formally known as P.T.) is one memorable demo that has left quite the impression on me. Some games can take hours to set up an effective atmosphere but the P.T. demo did it in a matter of seconds. Walking down a tight dimly lit hallway, the eerie track playing in the back, and the unsettling feelings of the unknown brought be way back to my childhood. I haven't felt this tension playing a game since the days of the Resident Evil games on the PS1, I actually felt fear. The days of being too scared to play at night, or abruptly ending your session to compose yourself seemed like a distant memory. Kojima stated that it's possible because Developers don't want to lose your interest if the game is too scary, but that's what makes the Horror genre special. It breeds different emotions, and uncomfortable ones at that. If you're too frightened to play, maybe the genre isn't for you.
The Demo takes you on what seems to be an endless loop of the same room over and over again, but things are different. The bathroom door is open this time, a tall shadowy figure is standing in the hallway, a crying premature fetus looking thing crying in the sink, the bangs on the door, that haunting radio dialog. The teaser sucks you in, devours your attention, it builds up, and builds up, then BOOM, you are kissing distance away from this "thing". It sounds like its snapping your neck thus leaving you motionless on the ground, dead? You then wake up in the same room you started in, and go through the process of the endless loop again with nothing more than a flashlight. It I were a Pokemon the horror would be super effective. I feel like a kid again, too afraid to go on, but as I write this, it brings a smile to my face.
With Kojima and del Torro behind Silent Hills you can assure yourself that good things are in the future and I am excited to see what else is in store. I mean the Gamescom trailer and the demo revealing the true title was brilliant. In such a short amount of time this demo hit every horrifying note and has left me hungry for more. Well. Freakin'. Done.