PT remains one of the most memorable experiences of this console generation for how it succeeded in both surprising and terrifying fans. While some have come to criticize the recently launched Resident Evil teaser for riding the nostalgia wave of PT, I firmly believe it’s a more successful product for one key reason: It’s promoting the experience of a game that actually exists!
Capcom has served up horror fans with a scare fest in a similar manner as Hideo Kojima did when they released that demo for a “new IP” at Gamescom. We have a house filled with obtuse puzzles that the internet is on fire trying to solve while being scared out of our booties with randomly triggered scares. The biggest difference between the two is that Capcom is proudly presenting this as a return to form for the franchise that fans have been disappointed with for nearly a decade. Capcom must have been thrilled by the response of PT in 2014, the same year that development of Resident Evil 7 kicked off, seeing the internet gushing over this surely let the project leads know they were heading in the right direction. The positive response to the Kitchen Morpheus demo (existing before PS VR was even an official commercial product!) must have further cemented that confidence as the existence of this project has actually been hiding right before our eyes inside the demo’s logo!
To be clear, I’m not arguing which experience is better. I’m personally a huge Kojima fan boy but also a longtime fan of Resident Evil’s survival horror roots so that is a discussion I’d love have another time. Resident Evil’s teaser is simply just a better marketing device since it’s representing an experience that is a short seven months away (I love the trend of announcing and releasing games in that time frame) and actually exists in a large capacity on the hard drives of a development studio. It still saddens me that we will never get to experience what Silent Hills could have been, but I love that Resident Evil took something so effective and learned from a franchise that once was the student of the genre that Capcom brought into the mainstream in 1996.