Don’t look up…just don’t look up
Released unceremoniously in 2014 as a teaser for an unnamed horror game, the “Playable Teaser,” as it would later be known, quickly became one of the most discussed gaming experiences of the year. The premise is relatively simple but undeniably creepy. A repeating hallway that changes. Radio broadcasts reporting husbands murdering their wives and children interspersed with messages seemingly directed at the player.
Each pass through the hallway built up tension. The process made you feel like you were trapped in a Hell, possibly of your own making. Then, after you get through it all, the sink baby, Lisa, the eyes staring at you in the red light, when the door finally unlocks, you find out the whole thing was a teaser for Silent Hills and that Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro were working on it. Oh, and they were trying to get Junji Ito on board too. This is one of the “if I had three wishes” kind of scenarios for that dream team.
This entire experience was simply marketing for a game, albeit a complete novella. Hideo Kojima scared the shit out of all of us and in the end gave us the greatest gift a horror game fan could ask for. Of course, we all know that Silent Hills would go on to be canceled but at the time, being given such a dreamy promise after being terrified was one of the most satisfying feelings I have experienced in my entire gaming life. A lot of folks think that loot boxes are the greatest tragedy to befall gaming this decade. For me, it’s the cancellation of Silent Hills.
After Konami canceled the project, it made the widely unpopular decision to remove the P.T. demo from the PlayStation Network. As the industry continued its push toward an all-digital future, players were given a first-hand look at the inevitable doomsday scenario such a future brings. P.T. suddenly became the most sought-after game the market and there were folks selling gladly PS4 systems on eBay with it installed for upwards of $1000.
The fallout from P.T./Silent Hills debacle continues still today. Konami, a publisher with some of the most celebrated franchises in history, had its stock with the gaming community plummet in the aftermath. If that wasn’t bad enough, Kojima, one of the few true auteurs in the industry who had been with the company since 1986, wanted out. After a much-publicized exit from the publisher, he started Kojima Productions and, with his celebrity friends in tow, created Death Stranding.
P.T. may be gone but it’s not forgotten. You can see the influence of it in games like Allison Road and Layers of Fear. For those not interested in those “inspired by” projects, we have fans recreating the experience and releasing it on PC. Hell, in January of 2019, a fan released it with VR and controller support added. I’m not sure there’s enough money in the world to get me to go through that. The influence that P.T. had can be felt in gaming and will continue to have a profound effect on developers for years to come. While I will always wonder what could have been with Silent Hills, I am eternally grateful for what we have.
[You can read all of our Games of the Decade choices here as they arrive.]
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Evil Geniuses mastermind a victory against Vici Gaming at DreamLeague Leipzig Major
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Evil Geniuses finally got their revenge against Vici Gaming at the Dota 2 DreamLeague Leipzig Major in the lower bracket finals today. Before winning the series 2-1, EG have lost six games in a row to the Chinese giants.
This is the fifth series between the two teams this season. VG previously won three of the four matchups, losing only an unimportant series in the group stage of the ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational. VG thoroughly outclassed EG during the finals of the World Pro Invitational and also swept them at the group stage of the Leipzig Major.
Related: Vici Gaming sweep Evil Geniuses to win ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational
EG will move on to face one of the strongest teams in the world in Team Secret, who in spite of their one-tournament break at the start of the Dota Pro Circuit, has returned to fine form at the Leipzig Major.
EG have gone from strength to strength throughout the competition. Their two new recruits in the offseason, “Abed” Yusop and Roman “RAMZES66” Kushnarev, have settled in without a hitch. The two have been repeatedly thrown into solo situations and, with their immaculate technique, dominate games on their signature heroes.
It’s not all doom and gloom for VG. The Chinese giants end their tournament run in a respectable third. With a second placing previously at the MDL Chengdu Major, the squad has practically guaranteed their ticket to The International.
While VG have top-tier execution and versatility, they are generally enslaved to the meta-game. It is a disciplined approach, but they are sometimes caught out by teams that are able to use off the cuff heroes and strategies like Team Secret. Regardless, they can think more about how to improve themselves as they go home with $110,000 and 2,100 DPC points in their pockets.
The first game was a low-kill affair until the mid-game. The early game was characterized by multiple lane swaps from both teams trying to eke out any advantage they could. VG went into the mid-game with a slight lead, but EG turned the game around with an immense teamfight that saw Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun’s dominating Ember Spirit fall.
While VG fought back hard, they were unable to stem EG’s overwhelming damage output from all three of their cores. The game quickly became out of reach for VG, and the Chinese giants conceded.
Game two saw VG go for the classic Gyro-Io combo. EG decided to go for a cheesy last pick in Broodmother to try and counter out VG’s apparent lack of AOE, but VG handled the spider admirably. It wasn’t until Artour “Arteezy” Babaev’s huge play that gave EG a glimmer of hope.
As the game dragged on, however, Eurus and Ding “Dy” Cong’s Io only got harder to kill. With each new item that Gyrocopter purchased, VG rallied expertly around their carry and tore through EG’s defenses repeatedly.
The final game saw EG pick up “Abed” Yusop’s Storm Spirit, a hero that he has been on fire with throughout the tournament. VG tried a faster tempo with a Puck, Magnus, and Doom core.
VG started the game with a lot of farm, owing to their cores’ ability to siphon resources off the map. EG slowly farmed up their items and avoided fights. EG’s big teamfight ultimates like Chronosphere and Ice Blast greatly aided their power in the mid-game, allowing Abed to take over the game.
The final nail in the coffin was an Abed rampage, executing a crumbling VG that was struggling to kill their opponents.