Resident Evil 4 Remake is a triumph from Capcom, a truly dark and grueling version of the action horror game that redefined the genre. While the game hasn’t had the same staying power as the original so far, it’s understandable, given that it’s much more focused on providing a challenging modern Resident Evil experience.
This is exactly where the Separate Ways DLC for the game fits it. This unlockable from some versions of the original game has been given the same treatment as the remake. It’s got a revamped story, uses an engine that makes everything look stunning, and provides that core Resident Evil challenge, but I don’t think it’ll be that fondly remembered.
Related: Resident Evil 4 Remake Review
Follow Ada Wong
Separate Ways follows the character Ada Wong through the events of Resident Evil 4 Remake. Her story is a lovely side plot that adds some context to events players probably didn’t even think about. It adds to the relationship between Ada and Leon without the need for the pair to meet all that often, and works incredibly well from a storytelling perspective.
Ada’s main concern is obtaining an item from Luis Serra, who you see a lot more of in this DLC. It’s a chance for both side characters to shine without Leon taking up the spotlight, and they don’t shy away. I preferred my time with these two over the entirety of the base game’s story because of how lively and intricate their influence on the Resident Evil world is.
While story is nice, this DLC, which will take players between 3 and 5 hours to complete all 7 of its chapters, lives and dies on its gameplay. Thankfully, it’s exactly the same as Resident Evil 4 Remake, but the condensed nature causes a side-effect that might put some players off.
Short and Sweet
I must caveat everything I’m about to say with the fact that Separate Ways is designed as an endgame DLC. An in-game warning advises players to finish the base game before tackling it, and I think that’s sound advice. This DLC is far from easy, and anyone approaching it with very little time in the main story is going to have a terrible time. There’s a reason the original version had this expansion tucked away as an unlockable for finishing the base story.
Ada’s tale is a whistlestop tour of Resident Evil 4 Remake’s locations, from the initial village locations through the castle, mines, and everything else Leon is subjected to. Provided you’ve finished the base game at least once, this won’t seem like the neck-breaking journey it is to newcomers who might ignore the warning.
Every step in Separate Ways feels like turning a corner in a battle to face down 10 enemies with nothing but a butter knife. It plays so well into the action survival horror nature of modern Resident Evil titles. One second, Ada will be fully stocked with weapons and ammo, but the next, you’ll have burned through it all and have to make impossible rifle shots to kill a boss.
To me, it felt very much like the game based its boss fight difficult on the ammo Ada has in her inventory as they begin, but I’m probably seeing patterns where they don’t exist. While the boss battles of each level are tough and can even feel like a slog, especially in Chapter 5, the relative peace between them is fantastic.
There are puzzles to solve and notes to read. It’s an entire Resident Evil game packed into a few short hours, but that time can be extended by completing side missions for The Merchant or simply exploring every path. There’s a lot of space for challenge runs just in this DLC, and it felt good to be playing something so compact yet dense with items to find and use.
Smaller and More Agile
Ada packs a grapple gun that’s used to get her across to pre-determined points on every map. These are fun and make traversal a joy, something that could be quite tiresome in the base game.
The grapple comes into its own during combat, though. Ada is far more proficient in battle, helping her defeat tougher combinations of high-level enemies. She can grapple enemies to melee them from afar and avoid missing a crucial kick, she can haul herself onto rooftops to avoid attacks and gain an advantage, and she’s never scared when the odds are stacked against her.
At one point, players have the choice to take out a horde of enemies or rush through them and grapple over groups of them to reach Ada’s goal. I adore this because it puts a tonne of choice into player’s hands. You can fight and reap the rewards, or run and benefit from a shorter chapter. Of course, skipping so many enemies has consequences, and that’s just another small part of what makes tis delightful yet small package so great for fans.
I love playing as Ada because she’s fabulous. Nothing phases her, even when she’s at a complete dead end or being pursued by the relentless Black Robe, an enemy players will become very familiar with, for the tenth time. Her loadout is stacked up pretty quickly through the short story, which helps a lot.
By the time I was into Chapter 5 I was storing weapons to ensure I had the best equipment possible for taking down enemies. The Red 9 was top of the list, and everything else just slotted in around it so I could use Ada like the killing machine she is.
Even outside of her murderous prowess, though, Ada has gadgets that would make Leon blush. Built-in high-tech detective vision keeps the quieter moments feeling impactful because of an added sense of urgency to find someone or something. It’s a great little way to ensure players are never bored even in a DLC that’s relatively short.
I had a blast with Resident Evil 4 Remake Separate Ways, but I can’t help but feel it won’t be for everyone. This DLC doesn’t hold your hand, in fact, it tries to bite it off. The base game never made me feel as stressed or up against the wall as Separate Ways did, and I know some players will find it too much.
With that said, this tight DLC is perfect for anyone who had a great time with the base game and just wants more. It’s always incredible to see classic games in the series revitalized for modern audiences, and I think Separate Ways is the best Capcom has done since it began making remakes.
8 / 10
|+ Fantastic high level Resident Evil 4 Remake gameplay.|
|+ Can be short but there’s enough optional content to make it feel worth the price.|
|+ Fills in holes in Resident Evil 4 Remake’s story fans may not be aware of.|
|– The relentlessness of bosses and combat can feel overwhelming.|
|– Ammo scarcity becomes too much at multiple points.|
|– Could be extended slightly longer with more intricate side objectives in at least one location.|
Gamepur was provided with a PlayStation 5 code for the purpose of this review.