Much like the original Resident Evil 4, 2023’s remake (RE4R) also has the Separate Ways DLC. Capcom has developed and published quality content here and the DLC is a great addition to the franchise. We experience Ada Wong’s side of the story and how it weaves and intersects with Leon Kennedy & Ashley Graham’s in some surprising ways. We also see how the femme fatale of the series operates in shades of grey but possibly changed after meeting Leon and the events of RE2. There is also the addition of Ada and Wesker to Mercenaries as an excellent addition alongside the DLC.
I’m especially glad this content came out following the backlash against Ada’s voice actress Lily Gao. I enjoyed her performance and some others disagree which is natural of course. I think we can all agree that the fact the situation devolved to social media attacks was horrible behaviour by a vocal minority.
If you have read this far, you have to check out Ian’s RE4 2023 remake review based on the PS5 version. Separate Ways is available now on PC, PS4 & PS5 and Xbox Series S/X.
Ada’s path crosses paths with the franchise again in Separate Ways
I am a huge fan of the Resident Evil franchise and was thrilled to experience more of the RE4 remake. Let the TC team, including Iain and myself, know what you think as well in the comments.
Separate Ways tells Ada’s story as she seeks the mysterious and unique amber connected to the Las Plagas parasite. She does so while Leon searches to save Ashley Graham, the president’s daughter at the same time and place. The opening cut scene shows a kick-ass Ada compared to the spy-like Ada in RE2. Much like Leon now being in the Secret Service, a lot seems to have changed for Ada too. Seemingly working for Wesker, Ada seems more willing to get her hands dirty but still convincing others to help her e.g. Luis Serra. But especially with Leon here, how will Ada’s moral compass affect her completing her mission?
Separate Ways connects Ada and Leon’s paths narratively and mechanically From combat to navigating the environment, the game uses this merge incredibly well and even acknowledges it with Ada’s dialogue. I really enjoyed seeing this perspective, especially after playing the main campaign and it fills in some blanks. Small moments like Leon grabbing villagers’ attention to aid Ada’s stealthy approach to big moments like learning Ada rung the church bell to save Leon.
A long way from Raccoon City
Since the RE2 Remake, the series has done fantastic on building fresh and interactive combat and Separate Ways is no different. Ada continues to be kick-ass throughout with similar combat to the base game but Ada has a few tricks up her sleeve too. Navigating the area feels fresh thanks to the grapple gun and other gadgets which are incorporated into combat. These gadgets also come into play as Ada and Leon’s paths intersect and end up influencing each other such as destruction in the village forcing other paths to be found.
To help with keeping up with the bad guys the merchant helps with much-needed items from guns to green herbs and upgrades much like the base game, including managing inventory. The only part of Separate Ways I didn’t love was points of the story felt padded out but still engaging and intriguing enough for me to continue, especially as Wesker was more involved in Ada’s story than the original DLC in 2004. Speaking of Ada and Wesker, both are now also included in Mercenaries mode. They each have their own skillset and moves, breathing some more fresh life into Mercenaries.
Graphics & Audio
Separate Ways delivers an amazing-looking addition to the game while still being faithful to the broad strokes of the original. 18 years since the original means the remake here can utilise current-gen consoles and the capability of present-day PCs. This all shows in the design of the rural Spanish setting/environment, combat, the characters & monsters and more. When I wasn’t gripping my controller in fear I would be appreciating how fantastic it all looked and how smoothly it ran.
The Resident Evil franchise has always been great at conveying a spooky atmosphere with the audio and Separate Ways is no different. From the ominous silence when exploring to the intensity of fighting waves of enemies was all heightened by the sound design and score. I mentioned earlier my opinion on Lily Gao’s portrayal of Ada but I enjoyed the voice acting here and the sounds of NPCs, villagers and creatures. How the audio became part of gameplay like enemies calling out when alerted worked very well too.
Separate Ways’ main campaign has a playtime of 7-8 hours based on my playthrough on standard difficulty. However, just like the base game, there are many more hours of content thanks to challenges, achievements and unlockable items. Not to mention when playing on PC or console there are new achievements/trophies there too for the completionists out there. Then there is Mercenaries mode now including Ada and Wesker as playable characters. A big announcement that came with the Separate Ways release is the news of RE4 coming in VR this winter.
I had a really great time playing Separate Ways. In recent years at least, Capcom clearly know what they’re doing with their long-running franchises. Everything I enjoyed at RE4R was here but tailored to match Ada’s style and personality. Seeing how it weaved and blended with the base game as well was fantastic and intersected with Leon’s journey. Just like the base game as well it looks and sounds amazing. A good thing too with the many hours of content available. I am really looking forward to seeing what comes next for Capcom and the game series. Plus I’m still holding out hope for a Code Veronica remake!
Thanks for reading my review of Separate Ways, I hope you enjoyed it. I also reviewed The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom if fantasy RPGs are your cup of tea.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.