I’ve had the chance to play the scary demo which received a lot of praise back when it was available. It was just silently released onto the PlayStation network – nobody even associated it with Kojima at first. I am of course talking about the PS4 exclusive PT demo.
At first it was very, very scary. Walking into the unknown anticipating horrible things to jump out and chase me. I was reluctant to take even a single step forward. The atmosphere and setting just draws you into the demo. There were times when I jumped; even screamed. Not many things have made me do that before. The demo was very simple; walking forward or backwards and interact with objects. The absence of a complicated control scheme helped keep the player immersed.
But the more progress I made, the less entertaining it became. The problem was the fun of this demo wasn’t the gameloop but rather the reliance on how scary it is. As soon as I realised the kind of horror genre this was – it wasn’t scary anymore. It’s like one of those horror movies where you know the character isn’t going to die because we’re still half way through the movie. There was no sense of danger until I reached the end of the game. Sure there were creepy sections but when they do nothing I no longer hesitated; I was roaming around like any other game. Before I knew it though, I actually wanted it to end. The search for the missing photo was just stupid and during that time, I felt safe. It dragged on for a bit. But what came after was the super annoying bit. We even had to look up guides to complete it. The conditions for completing the game is dumb and ruins the experience. The payoff at the end was ok – I guess. They had my favourite Walking Dead character in a teaser to a horror game. To me that was more exciting than the demo.
The demo didn’t really live up to the hype I saw, it was disappointing conclusion to what could have been good. If it was much shorter and if the method to achieve the end goal wasn’t that dumb, it would’ve been so good. Anyway, now Konami has quit the console gaming market we won’t be seeing this Silent Hill game any time soon.