Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways review – DLC masterfully adds the remake’s final brushstroke
Ada’s adventure in the Resident Evil 4 remake is the final piece of the puzzle, rounding out the game and adding what was missing from Leon’s campaign.
Separate Ways is a DLC pack for the Resident Evil 4 remake that shows the story from the point of view of Ada Wong, the mysterious agent whom Leon met in Racoon City during the events of Resident Evil 2. Like last time, Ada is here to retrieve a sample of the virus for her shady employer, but once again, her connection to Leon causes her to question her path. The chapter was also included in the re-released version of the original Resident Evil 4, essentially replacing the much more basic Assignment Ada mode by showing what Ada was up to during key events in the game.
The remake’s version of the chapter expands on this, giving Ada a more active role in the story. It also fleshes out her character more than the original did, giving her more than just cheesy one-liners to say. Yet Ada still spends an awful lot of time staring down at Leon from either the top of buildings or hills while the protagonist goes about his own mission. Luckily, the remake’s version of Separate Ways gives her some new abilities and this keeps the chapter fun and engaging throughout.
Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways key details
- Price: £7.99/$7.99
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Date: September 20, 2023
- Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
Separate Ways trailer
Hooked on Resident Evil
Separate Ways follows the same format as the original, it’s a relatively linear bitesize adventure that fits neatly alongside the main campaign and follows a lot of the same mechanics. The chapters are short and each one reuses assets from the main game, however, it spices them up by adding Ada’s hookshot item. This was formally something we had only seen in cutscenes throughout various Resi games, but the RE4 remake DLC finally lets us use it.
Not only can this item be used to zip onto rooftops and find new routes that weren’t open to Leon, but Ada can also use it in combat to score critical hits against enemies after firing off a few shots. The tool can be used to ambush Ganados on ledges with instakills, helping Ada move swiftly and stealthily as she progresses on her mission. This all makes the expansion feel different from the main campaign and is quintessentially suited to Ada Wong as a character.
In one boss fight, the hookshot is essential for escaping from and attacking a, shall we say, gigantic enemy, and it’s hard not to think of Spider-Man during this encounter.
Speaking of stealth, this mechanic was new in the Resident Evil 4 remake and was useful in the early game, but less so later. Separate Ways gets more use out of the feature and makes it feel rewarding and fun. Enemies can be fought the old-fashioned way if you wish, but those playing on the harder settings might appreciate the softly softly approach, it certainly saves ammo and is relatively simple to do. There’s often a stealthy path for you to take, if you’re so inclined, just know that most chapters require you to ‘go loud’ eventually. Unlike RE8’s horror-centric Shadows of Rose DLC, this is a more action-focused affair, but being stealthy does add another layer of tension.
Unlike the original Separate Ways, this time Ada has a stalker, and we’re not talking about Luis, but Salazar’s second Verdungo who attacks Ada at various points like a dark-cloaked Nemesis. The DLC also solves another mystery that confused a lot of players when the RE4 remake came out, one regarding a missing boss who was referenced, but nowhere to be seen in the base game. Separate Ways is great at filling in the gaps and answering questions we had, not just about Ada and other characters’ motivations, but other mysteries that exist within the game.
In many ways the Separate Ways DLC is just more of the same with a few nice innovations thrown in, but when that “same” is more of something you loved last time, it becomes much more acceptable. In fact, Separate Ways finally completes the Resident Evil 4 remake package and does so in a way that not only honors what’s come before but builds on it in a creative and meaningful way – much like the entire Resident Evil 4 remake did. It also gives us a tantalizing hint about what may be coming next from Capcom.
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