2023 has been quite the year for Resi fans, with Resident Evil 4 Remake surpassing all expectations in serving up a revamped version of a stone cold classic that may actually go down as the definitive version in the long run. We certainly thought so here at Pure Xbox, dishing out a perfect 10/10 score in our review, where we described it as “the Resident Evil 4 you know and love, now bigger and genuinely, actually, better than ever.”
Now, in keeping with all versions of Resident Evil 4 that came after the original GameCube release, this slick new remake has been expanded in the form of Separate Ways, a roughly five hour romp that sees you play through Ada Wong’s side of the story as she infiltrates the same unnamed rural village at the behest of Albert Wesker.
The core fun in Separate Ways was always mostly in seeing key events from the main story play out from slightly different angles as Ada and Leon occasionally cross paths, and all of that has been kept intact in this brand-new version. However, as with the core game, there are now plenty of changes and switch-ups that’ll keep returning players on their toes. Of course, we won’t ruin any of the surprises here, it’s a fairly short adventure that you should 100% go into unspoiled, but needless to say the additions, excisions and changes made make for a slice of DLC that absolutely bangs.
This is a DLC remake that hits the ground running, kicking Ada’s adventure off in the grounds of the castle area, where you’ll immediately get to grips with her stealth kills and rappelling around environments as she faces off against cannon fire and a whole bunch of Los Illuminados. It’s an explosive start, and one that sets you up for a jaunt that fires you from one fun set-piece to the next, rarely letting up as Ada gets to grips with her emotions and the internal struggle over which side she should really be on.
There will be plenty of Batman comparisons, given all the rappelling and dropping down to stealth whack baddies, and Ada even has her very own version of detective vision that allows her to pick up on and follow clues, such as footsteps. The core gameplay here is a delight, giving you new ways to dispatch old foes, fancy rappel attacks and fast movement to stick baddies before they know you’re there, and Ada comes packing some serious heat from the get-go, letting you know right away that this is a much more action-centric adventure than Leon’s. The seven chapters you’ll blast through are a rollercoaster of excellent boss encounters, tense stealth sections and zipping around environments as you’re stalked from the shadows by an all-new threat in the form of a monstrous robed figure who’s intent on taking you down.
It’s fairly breathless stuff that makes sure to cram in as much as it can to its short running time, but it also manages to give you breathing space along the way to take in the delightful scenery, and brings some new revelations and story beats that even returning players will get a kick out of. It does a great job of remixing areas that you’ve been through with Leon too, places that are familiar but play out differently now, as well as providing a smattering of new locations to sweeten the deal further. It’s also nice to see the merchant make a return with a shop stocked full of weapons – heck, you’ve even got some blue medallions to take out and side missions to complete in order to beef the running time out a little. Indeed, you may be able to stretch things out to the seven hour mark if you take your time and, for the low price of entry, that seems like a pretty good deal to us.
Overall, if you loved the main game, you’re gonna love what Capcom has done with Separate Ways. This is a smart and slick revision that gives Ada more in the way of realistic emotions and options to deal with, making her a more fully-formed character, whilst also removing some of the more annoying segments of the original DLC. It ups the ante in terms of action and set-pieces, looks fantastic, sounds great – we love that super spy music – takes the time to please fans with some of the locations and story beats it throws in and, in the end, it’s in keeping with the very high standard set by the unmissable main game. Capcom’s hot streak continues!
Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways is a delicious slice of DLC that serves up more of the same high standard survival horror action we got in the main game. Smart changes have been made here, this is a more believable and fully fleshed out Ada Wong, and she’s thrown into a seven chapter adventure that dishes out some excellent boss fights, explosive set-pieces and fun surprises for new players and returning diehard fans. If you enjoyed Resident Evil 4 Remake, this is unmissable stuff.