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Review: Separate Ways finally makes the RE4 remake feel complete

I'm a huge Resident Evil 4 fan, and with Separate Ways I think RE4 remake is finally complete
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The original Separate Ways — an Ada-focused side story for Resident Evil 4 — felt like an extra. It was fun, but it was added into Resident Evil 4 while being ported to the PS2 – it was never intended to be essential to the story, and the timeline didn’t align perfectly with what Leon did in the game. It didn’t need to, mind, it was just more fun to have once you’d finished with the main story, limy like The Mercenaries mode was. The new Separate Ways DLC for RE4 remake is entirely different.

Ada’s story now makes perfect sense, aligns with everything we see Leon do without any holes, and most importantly, Ada Wong is really cool. As soon as you see a melee prompt pop up when you’re a distance away from an enemy, tap that button, and see Ada grapple gun her way into a finishing blow, you know everything you need. She kicks ass, and unlike the original side-story, Separate Ways now feels like an essential part of RE4 remake’s narrative.

Though what’s arguably far more exciting than how it completes the story is how it completes the remake itself. Fans were upset that Lord Saddler’s creature, “It”, didn’t make the cut, and the Village’s ski lift shootout was similarly absent – but Separate Ways brings them back, and recontextualizes them.

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Why didn’t Leon fight “It”? Ada already took ‘em out. Where was the second El Gigante fight following the cabin siege? Actually, Ada dealt with that, too. The ski lift shootout? Well, the original ski lift is broken down, but there is a brand new one that mimics the original for Ada to take on. All of the small omissions that were only really remembered by die-hard fans weren’t scrapped after all — they were given to Ada in order to streamline Leon’s story.

Every returning feature or section puts a big smile on my face, and even when Ada backtracks through areas that Leon has already cleared out, she’ll find new foes and new paths thanks to her grapple gun, so it rarely feels like a retread. Ada does find herself running through familiar parts of the Castle’s Battlements and the like, but then you’ll return to the Laboratory filled with Regeneradors and it just happens to be the tensest encounter with them in the entire game. It leans into the horror side of the series without stripping away all of your weapons and tools, like past entries have resorted to.

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Even the laser hallway returns – yes, the dumb, ridiculous, QTE-dense laser hallway – with fewer QTEs, but even more spectacle and bombast, while being tailed by a brand-new, fearsome bioweapon. It still has the pacing and texture of RE4 remake’s main game, but condensed. It’s also surprisingly meaty, and is longer than Resident Evil 3 remake, which is quite the achievement for a DLC packed with great moments and setpieces.

But to bring the mood down just for a moment, I sadly have to say that Ada’s voice actor left something to be desired. Fans complained about her performance in the main game – to the point of actively harassing the voice actor, which is absurd – but I didn’t feel we’d heard enough of her to make a judgment. Now that Ada’s got her own campaign and spotlight, I have to say that she feels underwhelming, with some of her dialogue just not bouncing off the other characters in a way that feels natural. It’s a minor frustration, but does impact cutscenes.

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Resident Evil 4 remake was brilliant as it was, but I think we were all left wondering where Separate Ways was, especially after Leon namedrops it in his last conversation with Ada. Now that it’s here, it’s genuinely so much better than I could’ve expected. All of the blankspace left in RE4 remake’s story have been filled in more neatly than the original ever was, and yes, it does end by teasing where the series could go next.

Separate Ways is the DLC we didn’t know RE4 remake needed, and it’s up there with the best DLC content we’ve ever had for a Resident Evil game. It’s a bit of a shame that this side-story of the original game was carved out to be paid DLC, but when the package is this good, it’s hard to moan. If you enjoyed Resident Evil 4 remake, then Separate Ways is an absolute essential.

Score: 9/10

Version tested: PS5

  • Visuals: 9/10
  • Audio: 7/10
  • Gameplay: 10/10
  • Performance: 8/10

RE4 Separate Ways technical performance

It’s identical to the main game on PS5 – as you would expect. If you want a truly smooth 60fps experience, make sure to turn off Ray Tracing and the Hair Strands effects, but you can pick one of those and still hit 60fps most of the time, or at least with imperceptible drops on a VRR display.