I love fall. The colors, the bite in the air, the turkey homicide, and football. But the true reason I love fall is that it represents the holidays, the first of which is almost here. So let’s do a quick Halloween review. Halloween means it’s time for my wife and I to pull out the best of creepy (or creppy/spoopy) and binge it all. Silence of the Lambs, Let the Right One In, John Carpenter’s The Thing…but one item that will be missing is a little demo that hit the PSN sometime last year. A demo that I believe earned a right to have its own review.
Horror games typically aren’t my thing. Environments in horror games make or (more likely) break the game. They usually never really scare me because, like with violence, it is still so obviously fake when compared to a movie or a sloth. Movies look like real people having real crap happen to them, and sloths…well…they are very real sloths.
I mean…what? Why does this creature exist? What unspeakable horror has the world done in order to have this trolling around in it?
I have jumped once or twice through the F.E.A.R. series, but there was never a continual feeling of…concern. Then I noticed people talking up the experience of P.T. I had to play it alone because my wife hates most things horror and does not like to be scared. Playing it alone certainly helped the vibe of the game, as well as playing with headphones so my wife would not hear what was transpiring.
You walk around and around in a house. Exhilarating. But, after the hundredth time rounding a corner, you know when something is out of place, escalating the dread you have as you approach whatever is…unusual. And there is a lot of unusual.
The sound in this one has a huge impact on the environment. Creaky doors, crying babies, radios, phones, crackling of static…talking paper bags…yep. The graphics are good, but muted by the dark atmosphere…which is another main reason I hate horror games. I don’t like squinting at the screen, unable to see because of the darkness…it’s just uncomfortable and gives me a headache.
The environment is great…it’s what makes this horror game a horror game. Though I was confused at first, this game’s world ultimately made me become a part of it…to the point that I was afraid to look inside digital doors…because I’m a wimp who can’t separate games from reality.
You walk around looking at things. Seriously, that’s the gameplay. There’s a moment or two when you actually interact, but that’s not too often. There is literally nothing else to say.
Walking. It works.
Is it fun? Are roller coasters fun? You’re just sitting. Are movies fun? You’re just watching. Is jumping so violently your bladders explodes fun?
However, I can’t justify giving this game an amazing gameplay score. You just don’t do a lot. You mostly experience it.
Now to the sad news. This demo was taken off the PSN. If you deleted it, you cannot re-download it. I deleted it. I want it back for Halloween so badly. However, the first time through really is the best. You know what will happen if you play it over again.
While I unfortunately can’t speak from experience about how re-playable this game is, it seems like the terror would lose its hold after the second or third time. What does make this game special is the way scary moments are triggered. In games like F.E.A.R., the triggers are obvious the first time through. While you might jump the first time, you know exactly what to expect and when. P.T. has much less obvious triggers. While you can still figure them out, certain events might seem more random even the second or third time, still catching you off guard.
For a horror demo alone, its longevity is impressive.
If you have this game, go through it again for me this Halloween, will you? I’d appreciate it. Turn out the lights and use headphones. Do it alone. I have reviewed so many titles that are best if the experience is shared. It’s about time I get to tell you the opposite. This game is made to be enjoyed one person at a time. No one should be in the room with you. Phones should be on silent. No interruptions.
I, however, will not get to enjoy it. Thanks, Konami. Instead, I’ll just keep plugging along in The Taken King, eating pumpkin bread with hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps.
This is the best time of the year, everyone! Orange is everywhere! Pumpkin flavored crap cannot nor should be escaped! Holiday games will flood the market! I love every single one of you! I just wanna pollinate all of y’all!
If you want, leave your favorite Halloween game in the comments for everyone to benefit from.
If you do not have this game, don’t know anyone who does, or don’t want to experience a horror game, then please enjoy the videos below.