The remake of “Resident Evil 4” launched with critical acclaim and strong sales back in March, and now the awaited “Separate Ways” DLC is finally here. Ada Wong’s side story has more going on this time around and makes for what is arguably the best piece of expanded content the “Resident Evil” series has put out.
Those who played the base game know that the spy Ada Wong is heavily involved in the game’s events, but prefers to stick to the shadows serving a more clandestine cause. Her main goal is to extract a powerful bioweapon called “the Amber,” yet she also has to deal with being infected by the same parasite that plagues the main characters, Leon and Ashley.
Seeing this retold version of events was interesting enough, but the best moments come at the end, where
you can see an expanded version of the base game’s conclusion that hints at where the remake series is going next.
Gameplay is mostly the same, but with the added twist of Ada having her grappling hook to navigate the environment. Even though Ada’s story does have her going through some new areas, there are many recycled locations from the base game.
Thankfully, the combat encounters feel different enough that this expansion doesn’t feel like a rehash with a different character. Ada’s exclusive boss fights are interesting for the most part with one exception that brings back an annoying boss from the original game that wasn’t in the remake.
Ada also has an expanded arsenal that gives her access to more weapons to buy from the merchant. While she doesn’t have that many exclusive weapons that weren’t in the base game, her having more options gives the expansion some replay value that the original “Separate Ways” didn’t have.
The new explosive crossbow is a lot of fun to use, and being able to craft ammo for it means you don’t have to rely on the game’s random loot to find more bolts. It’s also a good companion for the grappling hook in combat encounters, as players can use it to kite groups of enemies before taking them all down with explosives.
The overall pacing of this DLC is a lot better when compared to the original or even the regular campaign of the remake. It feels like a quick, condensed version of the game that goes through different areas without a lot of the setup and backtracking that the base game has.
There’s no doubt that this version of “Separate Ways” is better than the original, yet it also manages to stand on its own as a great expansion even without comparing it to its predecessor. It’s so good that it makes me hope that Ada will be in a remake of “Resident Evil 5” should Capcom decide to make it.
While Ada’s voice actor still falls short when compared to the rest of the cast, her character is a lot more fleshed out this time around, and it does wonders for this expansion. It’s also a great value since it’s only $10 for what is a four- to five-hour campaign that is worth replaying. When rating this purely as an expansion the “Resident Evil 4” remake, I have to give “Separate Ways” five stars out of five.