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Resident Evil 4 Remake demo’s hidden “extreme difficulty” is no joke

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If you think you’re tough, the Resident Evil 4 Remake demo’s hidden extreme difficulty setting is here to put that to the test. That’s right, the RE4 Remake Chainsaw Demo has an extra-hard mode that is very easily missed, and it’s punishing. If you think you’re an expert at survival horror games, then you’ll want to give this a shot and see if you’re up to what the toughest foes in Resident Evil 4 Remake have to throw at you.

You’ve stepped into the shoes of the stunningly handsome Leon S Kennedy, rendered in all his high-definition glory with those individual hair effects. You’ve met the startlingly hostile villagers in a remote Spanish forest. You’ve fought your way through the hordes, grabbed the shotgun off the wall, perhaps even taken down the terrifying, chainsaw-wielding Dr Salvador – or at least survived until that iconic bell rings. “Where’s everyone going? Bingo?”

I’m here to tell you that you haven’t seen anything yet. Because the Resident Evil 4 Remake has a hidden, extreme difficulty setting that ratchets up the horror to max. It’s called “Mad Chainsaw Mode,” and it’s brutal. I gave it a shot myself, and didn’t even make it out of the first encounter on my initial attempt – and there’s seemingly no checkpoints either, so it’s right back to the start if you want to try again.

Resident Evil 4 Remake demo – Mad Chainsaw Mode difficulty

Unlocking RE4 Remake’s hardest difficulty setting is simple, if a little random. Upon clicking the ‘new game’ option at the menu, there’s a small, random chance you’ll be presented with the option to play on the Mad Chainsaw Mode extreme difficulty.

We’ve seen all manner of counts as to how quickly it showed up, with some people reporting that they saw it on their very first attempt. I counted, and it took me 16 total restarts (after I’d already cleared the demo once) to be offered the setting. If you aren’t feeling up to the challenge, you can decline the offer – but why not give it a go and see how you fare?

Resident Evil 4 Remake demo Mad Chainsaw Mode differences and restrictions

Capcom lists the following notes about Mad Chainsaw Mode:

  • Mad Chainsaw Mode will be applied only to this single playthrough.
  • You must wait until Mad Chainsaw Mode is triggered again for subsequent attempts.
  • This mode is specific to the demo and is not included in the final game.

As for how the in-game gameplay differs, it’s certainly a big step up. Enemy attacks will take off around half of your total health bar in a single hit, but that’s just a minor inconvenience. The real challenge comes from how numerous and hardy your foes become. As an example, the first enemy you encounter in the basement is now backed up by two additional friends – and all of them barrel directly for you, shaking off even direct headshots like they’re nothing.

I managed to take one down, but even my first aid spray wasn’t enough to keep me alive long enough to get out of the basement. If you want to see a bit more of the mode in action, you can watch some gameplay of it below – although it’s worth remarking that the person in question makes the much smarter choice to just bolt it straight out of the first house without trying to defeat anyone inside. I reckon you’ll do much better than I fared, though.

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Take a look at the Resident Evil 4 Remake system requirements to make sure your PC is ready to go for the Resident Evil 4 Remake release date. If you need even more to keep your Resi taste buds tingling, there’s also a free Resident Evil 4 Remake ARG that you can solve right now.

Planning on playing Capcom’s putrid remake on the go? We’ve put Resident Evil 4 Remake Steam Deck compatibility to the test to save you from handheld performance horror scenarios.

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