This 12 months’s Resident Evil 4 is without doubt one of the biggest remakes of all time, however purists — or not less than those that had already performed the PS2 model — will let you know it was nonetheless lacking one thing. When the Nintendo GameCube unique was ported to Sony’s second residence system, it got here bundled with new campaigns all about aspect character Ada Wong. Separate Methods was an important of the bunch, and 6 months after the PS5, PS4 remake’s launch, it is again as DLC for Capcom’s latest masterpiece. 18 years later, it has the identical impact: Separate Methods meaningfully expands the Resident Evil 4 story and gives a tantalising purpose to return to among the best video games ever.
Advised from the angle of the mysterious red-dressed character, Separate Methods reveals what Ada Wong is as much as whereas Leon S. Kennedy is busy saving the president’s daughter. She’s there on a mission from Albert Wesker to steal the Amber from the clutches of Osmund Saddler, with Luis appearing as sidekick. Seven chapters fill within the gaps when Ada is off doing her personal factor, which broaden the bottom sport’s village, fortress, and island places with new areas and options to make them appear and feel contemporary for a second go to.
It performs like a “Best Hits” tackle the unique expertise as Separate Methods strikes at such a breakneck tempo there’s little time to take a breather. Already conversant in the controls and the unbelievable, action-focused gameplay loop of the PS5, PS4 remake, Capcom cranks issues up a notch with extra enemy density and more durable boss battles in amongst lots of the identical spots from Leon’s marketing campaign. Principally forgoing the explorative nature of Resident Evil 4, the growth is extra condensed and linear to make battle its foremost draw. You will observe an analogous construction as the bottom sport (beginning within the village earlier than heading contained in the fortress after which offshore to the island), however new devices give Ada’s narrative its personal really feel and magnificence.
Her trademark grappling gun is what units Separate Methods aside essentially the most, permitting Ada to shortly traverse the setting and keep away from hazard or attain new areas. With grapple factors indicated by round in-game icons, you’ll be able to swing concerning the map and get the drop on enemies ought to they be in vary upon touchdown. The gizmo is simply as helpful throughout commonplace fight encounters: upon staggering a Ganado, you’ll be able to observe up with a ranged melee assault that makes use of the grappling gun to drag Ada in direction of an enemy and end them off with a swift kick to the top. Whereas the weapon is simply usable when the sport says so, it ties into the extra agile nature of the character.
That is demonstrated greatest by the actual fact stealth is a way more viable method within the DLC. Whereas it’s doable to keep away from a struggle or two as Leon, the unique title by no means actually feels purposefully designed to assist covertness and firefights on the identical time. In distinction, Separate Methods allows you to fairly comfortably clear lots of its situations with out firing a bullet, as an alternative counting on Ada’s knife to do the soiled work. And when she does go loud, new weapons just like the Blast Crossbow and a sawed-off shotgun diversify your loadout past the pistols, rifles, and sub-machine weapons of the bottom marketing campaign.
There’s even a brand new puzzle-solving mechanic known as the Interactive Retinal Inquiry System. Letting Ada scan footprints and keypads, she’s capable of monitor characters or work out what numbers have to be pressed to unlock a door. With its personal little HUD to accompany monitoring, it is an additional layer to Separate Ways in which leans into Ada’s spy-like tendencies.
All of it makes for a narrative that ties neatly into the general plot of Resident Evil 4, whereas feeling distinct sufficient to make Ada very a lot her personal character. Cutscenes reveal how Ada impacts a number of the occasions in Leon’s marketing campaign, however then Separate Methods goes above and past with neat, context-sensitive touches. For instance, it is revealed Ada is the one who rings the church bell initially of the sport to rescue Leon from the Ganados horde attacking him within the village. Nonetheless, in case you discover the church space a bit as Ada, you will hear Ashley crying inside as she waits for the blonde-haired heart-throb to rescue her.
Small particulars like this actually elevate the expertise, particularly for followers. In reality, the growth brings again a handful of scenes from the 2005 unique that did not make it into the complete remake. It was a pleasing shock to be taught these fan-favourite sequences hadn’t completely fallen by the wayside even when they did not seem of their unique context.
One other spotlight is the boss battles. Ramón Salazar’s right-hand
man monster, the Black Gown, will get its due throughout a number of encounters that discover a extra supernatural aspect of Resident Evil 4 — maybe a nod to a course Capcom thought of for the 2005 unique throughout growth. In the meantime, fights with El Gigante and Osmund Saddler play very otherwise to their base sport counterparts, making every brawl a pleasure yet again.
The one subject Separate Methods runs into is a way of disjointedness, which comes from the actual fact it has to plug within the gaps of a separate marketing campaign. Notably when Leon is concerned in a cutscene, the DLC will out of the blue fade to black and a time skip will happen. You will regain management in a special space with a special goal, missing a proof of what received Ada to that time following the cutscene. It feels a bit awkward within the second, as if Separate Methods is a collection of standalone situations stitched collectively quite than one cohesive narrative.
That stated, it does not less than handle to supply a formidable quantity of content material. Your first playthrough will take as much as six hours to complete, after which you’ll be able to go for higher ranks and unlock particular weapons in New Recreation+. To place that into context: a bit of DLC for Resident Evil 4 is similar size because the entirety of Resident Evil 3. That assertion might be extra damning for Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 follow-up than the rest, however to get the identical quantity of playtime out of an growth continues to be spectacular.
Separate Methods is about pretty much as good a DLC of this measurement can get, filling in narrative gaps and expertly tweaking a elegant gameplay loop. Enjoying as Ada Wong feels totally different sufficient because of new devices and weapons, whereas expanded areas present contemporary surroundings for a second go to. A way of disjointedness frays the sides, however Resident Evil 4 feels entire with Separate Methods by its aspect. A worthy growth for considered one of 2023’s biggest titles.