'Resident Evil 7' took just 15 minutes to creep me out

Surviving the new Lantern demo at Gamescom.

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    Resident Evil 6 was a bad video game, and Capcom knows it. To save its zombie franchise, the publisher has taken a radically different approach for Resident Evil 7, throwing out the loud explosions and over the top combat for smaller, more atmospheric scares. First shown at E3, the game is unusual because it takes place from a first-person perspective -- most of the core Resident Evil games are third-person -- and is compatible with PlayStation VR. The tone is radically different too, with a new set of characters to discover and a rundown plantation as its setting.

    At Gamescom, I was able to play a short demo taken from the game. (To clarify, this wasn't the "Beginning Hour" demo available at E3.) It took place in an old, dilapidated house with smashed windows and broken floorboards. A frightening woman chased me inside the building, and there was little to do but desperately search for an escape route. I would throw myself through doors and frantically look in each room, hunting for something -- anything -- that could serve as a weapon. Before long my pursuer would draw near, however, spewing threats in a ghoulish voice.

    Just when I thought I had found a hiding place -- a makeshift tunnel underneath the house -- the woman caught me, ending the chase on a fittingly gruesome note. Capcom told me that this new "Lantern" demo will be an optional sequence inside the main campaign, which you'll trigger by watching an old VHS tape. It's one of many playable flashbacks that will contextualize what's happening to the main characters in the "present day" timeline. Was it scary? Heck, yes. It's still too early to make a judgement call on Resident Evil 7, but I like the direction that Capcom is heading in.

    We're live all week from Cologne, Germany, for Gamescom 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.

    Nick is a reporter for Engadget, covering video games, internet culture and anything else that takes his fancy. He has a bachelor's in multimedia journalism and holds an NCTJ certificate. Before joining Oath, he was a staff writer at The Next Web and an investigative journalist at FE Week, an education-focused newspaper in the UK. He lives in Greenwich, London with a stack of half-finished Gundam model kits.

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