Resident Evil hasn't been scary in a long time.

When the fourth iteration launched, the series changed direction: instead of slower, more atmospheric thrillers, future games would be action-packed explosion-fests with a few generic monsters thrown in. As a result, the last several entries in the series just haven't been all that scary, despite the series' origins as a horror game.

Fans have been clamoring for a return to the franchise's horror roots. The genre has seen something of a resurgence lately: instead of action games that happen to include monsters, there's been more of a focus on dread and atmosphere ... you know, something that's actually scary. Of course, considering the series basically kickstarted the genre, fans have been hoping that Resident Evil would be a part of this new horror genre.

Good news: with Resident Evil 7, Capcom has proven that the series can actually be scary again. It's not necessarily the most original horror game out there, but the short E3 2016 demo proves that Capcom still knows how to create genuine dread — and that the series doesn't have to be as stale as it has been.

Need proof? Just take a look for yourself:

The quality of the demo is, simply put, surprising. Resident Evil 7 follows in the footsteps of other first-person horror games (many thought it was a P.T. follow-up before the title was revealed), but there are hints that the gameplay will be deeper than simply walking around. There's an inventory system, a number of different puzzles — even a few different secrets and multiple endings. All in all, it feels like a combination of classic Resident Evil tropes with a more modern presentation.

However, the demo is just a limited look at the game. Capcom has stated that none of the content featured in the demo would make its way into the full game, and that new mechanics (such as combat) would only appear in the retail release. Not only that, but there are seemingly no story connections to be found in the demo, even if it does provide a look at the direction of Capcom's new narrative style.

Will Resident Evil 7 end up like all of the other P.T. clones that have debuted since Kojima's game rocked the PlayStation Network? Only time will tell — but at the very least, fans have a reason to be excited about the series again.

For more on E3 2016, make sure to check out our ever-expanding coverage hub.

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