I had a blast with Resident Evil 4 remake when it came out earlier this year. In fact, I loved it so much I put over 70 hours into it, platinumed it along the way, and waited eagerly for Capcom to announce future plans for the title. Well, they freaking did it, because the Separate Ways expansion, which launched only 3 days after its official announcement, is the sweet cherry on top of Capcom’s survival horror magnum opus. For those unfamiliar, this piece of DLC content has you taking control of Ada Wong and experiencing her behind-the-scenes adventure while Leon is busy saving the president’s daughter.
The narrative runs in parallel to the base game as we see Ada work for the infamous Albert Wesker to retrieve an object known as The Amber. Several segments of the expansion intertwine and intersect with scenarios that we got to experience in the main game, such as Leon fending off the villagers before we discover it was Ada who rang the church bell to dispel them. You’ll be retreading familiar grounds, visiting several areas that you visited as Leon in the base game, but also experience some new locales as well. What’s new here is that Ada is equipped with her own handy dandy grapple hook gun that allows her to zip through levels with elegance along with a special optical implant that allows her to scan for clues and footprints.
You might think that this grapple hook is just a gimmick that allows Ada to glide through specific, pre-dedicated areas, but it’s actually a lot more complex than that! For starters, after you stun an enemy, you can grapple to them and deliver a roundhouse kick, which wasn’t possible with Leon before. After you meet up with the Merchant, you can also buy an upgrade that enables you to use the grapple hook to rip off enemy shields, which is a complete game changer. Certain combat encounters also make use of her grapple hook to strategically zip through environments to gain the upper hand. Overall, it’s a refreshing new mechanic that puts an interesting twist on combat.
The majority of the gameplay loop remains the same as the base game, where you spend most of your time stealthily taking down enemies, solving cryptic puzzles, or fighting a major set-piece boss battle. Optional side mission requests make a welcome return, and have you either shooting down blue medallions or hunting for famous sewer fish! Expect to fight familiar enemies and confront familiar faces, but also be prepared to face a never-before-seen antagonist that seems to be hunting Ada while Leon is doing his business.
Separate Ways is broken into a whopping 7 chapters and takes around 3-4 hours to complete, depending on your skill level and chosen difficulty. Keep in mind the original DLC from back in 2005 had only 5 chapters, so Capcom definitely went above and beyond here! For a humble $9.99, there is so much content packed in this expansion, considering Resident Evil is the type of game that excels in replayability. Multiple challenges are available for you to tackle, including completing Professional difficulty with an S+ rank. Achieving these allows you to unlock additional costumes and collectibles that grant you infinite ammo or some other perk to encourage you to play through the game again. I’m already mentally preparing myself to tackle the hardest difficulty from scratch so that I can unlock the best perk in the game as this is the type of gameplay that I die for.
If you already experienced the base game for yourself, then you already know how impressive the technical performance is on the PlayStation 5. The same speaks for Separate Ways, which is accessed in the main menu as a separate game mode from the main story. Load times are quick and speedy thanks to the PS5’s SSD. Frame rates are stable and buttery smooth while maintaining excellent visual quality and fidelity. The DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback are also utilized when shooting your firearms and zipping between ledges. Immersion is taken to the next level when even the controller speakers are used during in-game voice calls. It took me a while to get used to hearing Wesker’s voice so close to me.
Even though this isn’t unique to the Separate Ways expansion, Capcom has also added free additional content in The Mercenaries arcade mode, which now features Ada Wong and Albert Wesker as playable characters. Additionally, the PSVR2 version of Resident Evil 4 is also coming for free to existing owners of the PlayStation version, which is just amazing! Hats off to Capcom. Bravo.
Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways DLC
The Resident Evil 4 remake Separate Ways expansion is a flawless DLC, and serves as a valuable and engaging conclusion to the Las Plagas saga. Capcom has done the entire remake of Resident Evil 4 right from top to bottom. Stepping into Ada’s high heels and grappling from rooftop to rooftop feels exhilarating and refreshing as we get to peek into her side of the story. Now I want a full game with just Ada alone! After all, who doesn’t love her?