Resident Evil 3 Remake is by no means the scariest game in the franchise. Exploring Raccoon City's dilapidated streets, and stalking through Spencer Memorial Hospital's empty corridors with an M3 shotgun instils confidence and power, rather than fear. RE3R's zombies move slowly and dodging an attack as Jill, or punching an enemy out of your way as Carlos feels satisfying. Action paves the way to excitement in this game, and even when playing on Hardcore difficulty for the first time, you know you have all the tools to handle whatever lurks around the corner. Having played through the game on various difficulties already, I've looked to Twitch to get my fix of entertainment, and the Inferno difficulty setting delivers.
Inferno mode is reserved for the most skilled RE3R players who have managed to beat the game on both the Hardcore and Nightmare difficulties respectively. As you'd expect, enemy strength is turned up considerably in this mode. There are also fewer typewriters and item boxes just to make things a little more stressful. On the Standard difficulty, you can make your way through the game at a steady pace. Stray zombies popping up from behind some bins, or prematurely waking from their bullet-induced slumber may catch you off guard, but for the most part, traversing an area unscathed is not much of a challenge.
Watching someone play on Inferno difficulty alters the game entirely. Dark corridors are now dangerous stretches where hugging the walls and clearing corners is vital for survival. If you've already finished RE3R, this only serves to enrich the viewing experience. Not only are you rooting for the streamer to do well, you know exactly what's on the other side of that door. You share the frustration of their mistimed dodges, and celebrate as they narrowly clinch an encounter with Nemesis. Watching streamers play games has been an established form of entertainment for a while now, but watching someone conquer RE3R in the most unforgiving circumstances is far more tense than any horror movie I've watched of late. Their reactions mirror exactly how I'm feeling, while I can still sit safely on my sofa and cheer on their sharp reflexes. With the game being so short, you'll be occupied for a few sittings of action-packed highs and lows.
While it's highly likely that I'll return to RE3R again this weekend, I've found new ways to appreciate the experience. There are multiple layers to enjoying your time in Raccoon City, and each one has its own perks. Playing fresh provides the thrills of reacting to the uncertainty that lies ahead, and overcoming it. Then you become more comfortable, methodically clearing areas and making a beeline for the most useful items on the map. For some, the next ramp up is the challenges of the Nightmare and Inferno modes. I'm unsure whether I'm brave enough—or even skilled enough—to work my way up to these heights of difficulty. However, living vicariously through Twitch streamers such as Distortion2 and uhTrance will be replacing my Friday night horror movie sessions for the foreseeable future.