We here at The Technovore rarely review DLC. There are exceptions here and there but as a general rule, we pretty much just focus on the main games. However, I’m a huge fan of Resident Evil and since I’ve already played Separate Ways at the Tokyo Game Show (thanks Capcom!), I figured why not just do a short review of the DLC too?
So here it is!
What is Separate Ways?
Separate Ways is a DLC expansion for Resident Evil 4. It’s a mini-campaign of 7 chapters, set during Resident Evil 4, and shows what Ada Wong was up to in-between her contact with Leon in the main game. It’s available on all the platforms Resident Evil 4 was released on.
Our copy was kindly provided by the great people at Capcom!
I reviewed Separate Ways on the exactly same rig as our Resident Evil 4 review, with all settings set similarly.
Separate Ways isn’t exactly a new experience. It first appeared as an extra for the the PS2 version of Resident Evil 4, alongside a new weapon called the P.R.L. (Plaga Removal Laser) 412 (which isn’t in the remake).
However, like the remade Resident Evil 4, Separate Ways too has seen changes to its plot and environments that Ada traverses.
Ada has a couple of major differences to Leon; one of the main ones being the addition of her grapple gun.
Not only does it allow her to access areas that are inaccessible normally, it can also be used to draw Ada in to stunned enemies from a distance. Anything in between her and the target gets knocked down and can even be killed.
It makes hitting multiple Ganados at once a very trivial thing, which is great because Ada is almost always being swarmed.
Ada also encounters a couple of different bosses from Leon, including the return of the lovable U-3 boss that was conspicuously missing from the main game. The initial section with the hanging cargo containers from the original Resident Evil 4 is sadly missing, but the second part of the fight is replicated in the DLC.
The biggest change to Separate Ways is how Wesker now plays a much bigger role in it.
In the original, Wesker was off-site, directing Ada through her earpiece. In the new version, the ex-S.T.A.R.S. captain is down in the trenches with Ada, even going as far as saving her when her life was in danger.
He even makes an appearance in The Mercenaries mode (you unlock him by getting an A ranking on any stage as Ada), complete with his T-Virus enhanced powers.
It’s a no-brainer then to suspect that remakes of Resident Evil Code: Veronica and Resident Evil 5 will be coming in the next few years. Why else would Capcom want to feature Wesker so prominently otherwise? I just hope Steve Burnside has a much better voice this time around…
Getting back to Separate Ways, I finished the DLC in just over 4 hours without rushing through it, so it’s very conceivable to do it in 2 hours or less if you know what you’re doing. Most times, you can just rush through areas, ignoring the enemies if you don’t want to engage.
The only downside I have with the DLC is the minimal amount of extras you can get. The Chicago Typewriter (which is also in the main game) and a better knife. That’s it in terms of weapons. It’s disappointing as hell.
You can’t even bring in the unlocked weapons from the main game! I’m still scratching my head on why it’s not allowed, at least for subsequent playthroughs. What harm does it do?!
Due to that, replaying the DLC is pretty much pointless because there’s nothing really substantial to unlock. Thankfully, the initial playthrough more than justifies the price.
The Bottom Line.
If you want to experience everything Resident Evil 4 has to offer, then you NEED to get Separate Ways.
Not only does it shed some light on what happens from Ada’s point of view, it also fleshes out Wesker’s motivation into wanting the Amber sample. The new bosses are cool, the new set pieces are awesome (including the laser grid that was ripped right out the first Resident Evil movie) and the enhanced plot pretty decent.
It’s a shame then that the unlockables in the DLC are so pitiful. Unless you’re a hardcore completionist, there’s very little incentive to replay the game at all. Thankfully, the game is priced affordably, so there’s really no downside to playing it through once and then never touching it again.
Great DLC with underwhelming unlockables.
- Same great gameplay.
- New bosses.
- Wesker plays a larger role.
- Pitiful unlockables.
- Unable to use unlocked weapons from main game.