Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour vs P.T.: Which Teaser is More Terrifying?

Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour takes plenty of cues from the now infamous P.T. The playable teaser for the now-canceled Hideo Kojima Silent Hills game, P.T. saw players navigating the same narrow corridors over and over again in the same haunted house, something which the self-contained demo for Resident Evil 7 emulates. Though there are key differences, it’s clear that when Capcom went back to the drawing board for the Resident Evil series, they borrowed plenty of inspiration from Kojima’s short horror game, even though they added their own twists on the format. But did these twists lead to a more terrifying experience? 

Though both P.T. and Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour are technically only teasers, they both offer enough to be considered short horror games in their own right, offering a vertical slice of the tone of their respective final games (even if one of said games was eventually canceled) while also providing a unique gameplay experience. As such, we’ve stacked them up against one another to see how they compare in this P.T. vs Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour rundown:

 

Scares

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The most important aspect of both Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour and P.T. is, of course, the level of fear they can incite in players. Though the best Silent Hill games have always been about maintaining a consistent level of tension and unease, this is the first time that Resident Evil has really focused on unsettling its players rather than hitting them with jump scares and such. Both P.T. and Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour are similar in regards to how they draw fear out of the player, by putting them in a situation that is inherently disturbing without actually giving them much to be disturbed by. Both P.T. and The Beginning Hour place players in a derelict, darkened home, though the former restricts movement through the same two corridors and singular room, while the latter places a bunch of different objects to interact with such as a pot filled with cockroaches and a crow stuffed into a microwave. Yes, it’s a little weird, but it’s certainly less odd than the crying fetus that could be encountered in P.T.’s bathroom, so they’re both on a level in this regard.

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The actual “antagonist” in P.T. is much more apparent, with a terrifying, nightgown-wearing ghost woman being very visible in a selection of scenes, including one particularly terrifying instance where she’s staring at the player from a balcony overlooking the second corridor. This can easily be missed by the player if they fail to look upwards during a certain point in the game, which makes it all the more terrifying when you spot it. In The Beginning Hour you can actually avoid seeing the ghost girl that wanders its halls altogether, as I did on my first playthrough. In fact, encountering her is something of a secret, with you only coming face-to-ghostly-face with her when branching off from the path that the game suggests you follow. 

Though both teasers are adept at raising the player’s heart rate, considering that P.T. was more outright scary than the majority of full-priced horror games, it inarguably bests Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour in this category.

Winner: P.T.

 

Secrets

Both P.T. and Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour contain multiple secrets, which are able to be uncovered by players by way of completing puzzles or, in the case of P.T., following a series of elaborate and unfathomably vague instructions. It was Kojima’s intention that it would take players a considerable amount of time to reach the end of P.T., which concluded with the reveal that the game was a teaser for Silent Hills, but its deliberately nigh-on incomprehensible puzzles were cracked within a single day. 

On the other hand, thus far all of Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour‘s uncovered secrets have been pretty obvious and deliberately laid out in front of the player, offering glimpses of what we should expect from the finished game including the aforementioned ghost girl, creepy phone calls and, er, a dummy finger. Yeah, we’re not sure what that last thing is, either, but we’re sure its relevance will be revealed either in the coming weeks, or in the final game. 

Though there are a bunch of discoveries to be made in The Beginning Hour, considering that P.T. was essentially one giant secret, it’s impossible to place it about the Silent Hills teaser which remains arguably the greatest video game reveal of all time.

 

Excitement building

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The whole purpose of both teasers was to build excitement for Silent Hills and Resident Evil 7. Though we’ll never get our hands on the former game, P.T. was very successful in selling us on a Hideo Kojima Silent Hills game, with it combining exactly the right mix of psychological horror and jump scares. Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour perhaps had a more difficult task, considering that there are so many conflicting opinions regarding on the direction the Resi series should head in, with the majority either wanting a return to the third-person survival horror of Resident Evil 4 or the old-fashioned, static camera frights of Resident Evil 1 & 2. In the move to a first-person viewpoint, Capcom ran the risk of alienating many die hard fans of the franchise, with The Beginning Hour being released in an attempt to assuage their fears and convince them that this is the right move for them to make.

Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour hints at the next game in the beloved series righting many of the wrongs it has suffered from in its previous two mainline entries. For starters, it indicates how there will no longer be a focus upon straight-up action, instead going back to the series’ survival horror roots, albeit without the gunplay that has been a staple of Resident Evil. There’s no word on whether or not this will change come the final game, though we can’t imagine Resi without combat of some kind, so presumably it will.

It also marks a drastic change tonally for the series, with it actually featuring dialogue and voice acting that feels natural, something that Resi has always struggled with. You’ll find no cheesy one-liners here. P.T. also didn’t feel much like a Silent Hill game, with it similarly swapping from a third-person to a first-person perspective, though there wasn’t much information to be gleaned in terms of how it related to the Silent Hill franchise as a whole. This is echoed in Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour, which doesn’t even appear to feature zombies or infected humans of any kind. 

However, even though P.T. eventually didn’t become a full game, the impact it had upon gaming as a whole was undeniable, with it becoming one of the most talked about games of the entire year and instantly securing Silent Hills as one of the industry’s greatest ever ‘what could have been’s. 

Winner: P.T.

 

Conclusion

We’re very impressed by Resident Evil 7: The Beginning Hour and the implications it has on the Resident Evil series as a whole, but it’s very difficult to beat Hideo Kojima’s vision for Silent Hills that was represented in P.T. The latter is therefore the more successful teaser, even though we’re still very interested to see what Capcom has up their sleeves for the next entry in their survival horror series.