Sony’s State of Play broadcast on September 14 included the surprise revelation that a new DLC campaign is coming for the Resident Evil 4 remake. In the new campaign, Separate Ways, you take the role of Ada Wong and play through what she did behind the scenes while Leon carved a path through Los Illuminados.
The surprise here wasn’t so much that Separate Ways was coming as that it was coming out so soon. The RE4 remake all but says out loud that we’d get an Ada-focused expansion, and the original 2005 RE4 shipped with its own version of Separate Ways when it was ported to the PlayStation 2. Capcom itself was relatively quiet on the subject until the State of Play.
Resident Evil 4 Remake Separate Ways DLC Preview: Here We Stand, Worlds Apart
In advance of SW’s release on September 21, Capcom sent us some footage from the full version of the DLC, which details Ada’s tools, arsenal, and tactics, as well as some of SW’s level design.
As in the original game, SW goes further into what Ada was doing during the Illuminados incident, including her partnerships with both Luis Sera and traditional Resident Evil antagonist Albert Wesker. This gives you the chance to see RE4’s environments from a different perspective, sheds some light on a few incidents from the original story that previously went unexplained, and adds some new, exclusive stages to RE4.
You Gotta’ Keep ‘Em Separated
Naturally, Ada is as capable a fighter as Leon, and has her own set of melee prompts and finishing moves. She can also land stealth kills and parry incoming attacks with her knife.
The biggest difference between Leon and Ada is that Ada enters the game with her grapple gun. This lets her catapult herself up to distant locations, such as rooftops and towers, as both an escape method and a way to reach areas that Leon couldn’t.
Related: Resident Evil 4 Remake Review
Grapple points are marked with a context-sensitive prompt in the game’s UI. This gives Ada nearly free rein on maps like the castle’s battlements that were notoriously difficult for Leon to cross.
Ada can also use the grapple gun to target stunned enemies at a distance, which pulls her over to them to deliver a melee attack. While it doesn’t look like the prompt for a grapple/melee combo will appear if you’ve got your gun readied, it does mean that Ada can zip around the battlefield to kick fools in the jaw, as opposed to Leon having to run up and kick a guy.
Capcom showed off a fight that Ada has against a Gigante where she’s able to use nearby rooftops as a refuge from the Gigante’s attacks, but at the same time, the Gigante can knock down an entire building to get at Ada.
Conversely, though, once Ada’s been able to expose the Gigante’s weak point in its back, she can use her grapple to attack it from a distance, with some of the same crazy Spider-Man-style sequences she could use in 2012’s Resident Evil 6. If she’s not doing 12 backflips and a physics-defying round-the-world swing, then it’s not really Ada Wong.
Knowing How to Accessorize
Like the 2005 version of SW, Ada can gather treasures and pesetas to buy upgrades from the Merchant. As in the RE4 remake, Ada can run some exclusive side missions for the Merchant in exchange for Spinels, which in turn can be traded back to him for rare items.
That’s probably where you’ll end up buying at least a couple of her guns. Ada retains her own arsenal of weapons from the original SW, which includes some firepower that Leon didn’t get.
We already saw her pistol and submachinegun in action in RE4, but Separate Ways adds a unique shotgun, a sniper rifle (notably, she has the bolt-action SR M1903 in Capcom’s footage, rather than the semi-auto rifle she got in SW 2005), and both flash and hand grenades.
The big upgrade Ada gets by comparison is access to a medieval crossbow, with explosive-tipped arrows. This appears to be intended as Ada’s nuclear option.
One weird change in the remake is that, instead of Leon’s binoculars, Ada has a high-tech contact lens with a zoom function.
This doesn’t appear to have any major gameplay implications, aside from letting her survey areas before entry, but it’s a big upgrade for a game that’s ostensibly set in 2004.
In the original version of Resident Evil 4, Separate Ways was the second bonus chapter to star Ada. The first, Assignment Ada (a.k.a. Ada the Spy), was a combat-focused, questionably canon minigame that became available after you cleared the main campaign.
As Ada, you shot your way through most of the Illuminados’ island compound, ending with a fight against Jack Krauser. While Capcom’s footage didn’t feature any segments of the game with Ada on the island, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ada storm the place on her own.
Separate Ways is planned for release on September 21 for $9.99. It will arrive alongside a free update that adds Ada and Wesker as playable characters to the RE4 remake’s Mercenaries minigame.