Published on November 2nd, 2023 | by Nathan Misa
Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways DLC PS5 Review
Summary: A solid 5 - 6 hour content expansion for fans who can't get enough of RE4 Remake.
Resident Evil is a franchise well-known for substantial DLC offerings, and Separate Ways continues that trend, expanding upon the already content-filled package Resident Evil 4 (2023) with a fresh perspective.
Separate Ways is the tale of Ada Wong, the enigmatic double agent, femme fatale and sometimes ally of Leon Kennedy that players occasionally encounter during the main Resident Evil 4 (2023) campaign. The DLC focuses on Ada’s exploits during the events of the main game, occurring concurrently with Leon’s search for the President’s daughter.
As such, you play this DLC from Ada’s point-of-view, directly experiencing her urgent journey to retrieve a sample of amber from lovable scamp Luis Serra on behalf of franchise bad guy Albert Wesker (who looks just as menacing, cold and detached from the mere notion of humanity as ever). Of course, the original Resident Evil 4 (2005) had its own Separate Ways mode too, so this DLC is itself a remake too, but it goes in a much more different direction compared to the original.
Ada’s a much more complicated person than the facade she puts on in front of Leon during the main campaign, and overall, the DLC does a great job of filling gaps in the main game’s plot, such as where Luis went off to and who Ada was working for. It gives more context to key scenes, while directly showing how Ada was able to get around the village and act so efficiently (and save Leon multiple times). There’s a few neat easter eggs to past games scattered throughout that Ada will comment on and reference, which was also a neat touch.
Anyone who has played Resident Evil 4 (2023) – read my review – will know what to expect in this expansion in terms of gameplay. You’re thrown right in the deep-end, pursued by hordes of Los Iluminados and a new and terrifying enemy known as the Black Robe, but Ada is far better armed than Leon and you get the same opportunities to expand and upgrade your arsenal courtesy of the mysterious Merchant, who is back again to sell his wares and provide a small list of side quests to quickly accumulate some rarer rewards (the treasure map, again, is a must). There’s also several boss fights that will test your mettle as they are generally more difficult (at least on Hardcore) than most in the base game.
Ada’s main gameplay differentiator is her grappling gun, allowing you to bypass obstacles, stealthily kill Ganado, remove shields from enemies, pull yourself over to foes and cover far more ground faster than Leon ever could, though you can only use the gun at fixed points in the environment. Ada also has computerized contact lenses that allow her to scan the environment and solve puzzles, which is in line with Resident Evil’s zany interpretation of double agents. It’s not used as extensively as I expected, but it’s a cool visual show nonetheless.
In terms of presentation, Separate Ways looks and plays just as good as the base game; shooting is slick and impactful, character models and level textures are nicely detailed, and the Los Illuminados are as creepy and terrifying to fight as ever. Ada’s animations also differ from Leon, being more agile and graceful in her melee attacks, parries and dodges while retaining that same calm, cool and collected edge that both characters have exuded since RE2. You also get the same graphical options between prioritising performance (60 FPS) or visuals (better fidelity, lighting and ray-tracing), with the former mode being my personal pick. Even though it’s a cross-generation game, Resident Evil 4 Remake’s visuals are a clear technical marvel.
One point of contention among the fanbase is the voice acting quality of protagonist Ada Wong, again voiced by actress Lily Gao (who played Wong in the 2021 live-action film, Welcome to Raccoon City). Gao’s take on Ada, which seems to be in the ballpark of a cold, calculated and detached double agent, is interesting, but I found many of her lines to fall flat, or otherwise sound strangely out-of-place. This expansion is an intimate window into remake Ada, but I don’t think I quite got that insight (or level of attachment to the character) with Gao’s subdued portrayal as I had hoped. That said, Ada is undoubtedly an intriguing character and bad-ass agent, and her motivations are explored to a satisfying extent in this bite-sized expansion.
In terms of content, several environments are naturally all reused from the base game and slightly modified to convey the DLC is set just before Leon makes his way through the village and castle areas, but there are also many new puzzles, enemy variants, bosses and areas exclusive to the DLC. It’s a 5 or 6 hour journey depending on your chosen difficulty level, and there are more trophies/achievements and unlockables should you choose to go through the DLC again – completionists will be in it for the long haul.
The Final Verdict
Separate Ways is easily one of the biggest budget add-on expansion packs to release this year, adding more high-quality content to the already stacked 60+ hour package of Resident Evil 4 (2023). For AUD $15, it’s honestly a no-brainer if you enjoyed the base game and want more survival-horror goodness to enjoy (and a sneak peak at where this reboot Resident Evil universe is heading).
Primary Format – Games – Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One
Game Genre – Survival-horror
Rating – R18+
Game Developer – Capcom R&D Division 1
Game Publisher – Capcom