Checking Out Resident Evil 4’s Extra Content
Checking out Resident Evil 4’s Separate Ways, Assignment Ada, and Mercenaries.
So it’s time for my Resident Evil 4 follow up! At the end of the month, I posted my review for Resident Evil 4 for #MaybeinMarch and mentioned that I’ll be returning to it to talk about the extra content that unlocks after you finish the game once. And well, here it is! This will obviously contain spoilers.
I did Separate Ways first. Separate Ways stars Ada Wong who you encounter a handful of times in the main game and you don’t really know why she’s here until the end where she takes the Plagas sample, though Leon knows she’s working for Wesker. The only time you see from her perspective is during a short cutscene with Krauser. Well, Separate Ways aims to show us what she was doing and shed some light on some aspects that were unknown from Leon’s point of view. This jumps between 5 chapters and takes about a quarter of the time of the main game (about 4 hours) where you go from the Village, Castle, and the military base. It turns out that Ada was the one that rang the bell signifying that Bingo was about to start, she was supposed to get to Luis before Leon did, she went into the maze after talking to Leon, Los Illuminados strangely has a battleship, Leon didn’t kill Krauser and he very well would have returned for revenge if it wasn’t for Ada, and you get to play as her as she’s getting the rocket launcher for Leon. In addition, since you’re in front of Leon most of the time, you get to see why things were in Leon’s POV like the Graveyard puzzle used to have the Church door key. You also get to see the conversations Ada has with Wesker throughout, you can even spot Leon fighting when they both cross paths, and her reports that you get to listen to or read at the end of each Chapter.
It was pretty interesting to see what Ada was doing, what she ended up influencing what you see with Leon, and some easter eggs. Of course, Separate Ways also brings in some inconsistencies in the meantime. I also love that Ada gets her own text when examining stuff so we get to see her thoughts. It was pretty funny how hers was focused on how dirty everything was (which yah, same girl), so totally roasted paintings, and she just noped out of that struggling white bag in the Prison (again same) which Leon will soon open.
To be honest, I was not liking Separate Ways during the first 2 Chapters. It just threw you so many enemies, that seem to just always grab you and hit you, and you just didn’t have enough ammo to deal with them. It was also very obvious that this was harder than the main game and it certainly didn’t help that you can’t upgrade your weapons and you don’t have as much fire power as you did when you’re going to these locations earlier than you did with Leon. If I wasn’t already going to write this, and that I wanted to unlock the gun, Chicago Typewriter, you get for completing Separate Ways, I most likely would have dropped this. However, my thoughts really changed when going in Chapter 3. I’m not too clear why, but I’m guessing it’s due to just having more firepower by this point as you can buy more guns from the Merchant. And I also didn’t mind not being able to upgrade the guns here by the end, which would have put you even tighter for money.
It did feel a bit weird having both bosses in Chapter 5, but they weren’t much of a hassle at the end of the day. Krauser’s fight was hard, mostly since the first platform is so small, but his attacks require QTEs and remembering that you can shoot his feet. It gets easier once you go to the other platforms for sure since there are bigger and has ways of blocking Krauser from getting to you quickly. Despite having no access to the crossbow right here, it wasn’t so bad. I did have the crossbow with Lord Saddler, with I believe 30 arrows, and after getting used to aiming it, the only difficult aspect was that he has that one ranged attack that doesn’t give you a dodging QTE. After giving him a healthy dose of damage, he eventually exposes his mouth eye and at first, I didn’t know you had to knife it. Thankfully, once you do, it only takes maybe 2 arrows to expose it again (which, it happened right where he was right in front of me so I got that button prompt).
Also, there was a weird decision here where all the cutscenes here are the original pre-rendered ones. Which… yah don’t look good anymore. Considering Assignment Ada’s cutscenes were remastered, I don’t understand why Separate Ways, which plays a much more important part and is actually canon, wasn’t. I heard Capcom lost the files, but surely they would have had enough money to remake them for those returning to this title and those that are first playing.
Next up was Assignment Ada, which isn’t canon as far as I can tell. If it’s meant to be, it’s certainly in a weird position where it has to be right before Leon arrives. Anyway, this is a quick mode where Ada is tasked to collect 5 Plagas samples for Wesker. Wearing an actually practical outfit for the occasion, Ada starts right on the island and needs to make her way into their facility. From there, she has find the samples that’s spread out from each other, with one being held by Krauser. You then just need to just walk out and call for pickup.
If you looked at my enjoyment level of Separate Ways and flip them, you’d get my thoughts on Assignment Ada. At first, I was excited to see how Assignment Ada would go, however, it got frustrating. Why? The J.J.s. They just keep showing up along with a group of other enemies and every time I died to them multiple times until I finally got lucky enough to pass. It’s even more frustrating as you have to redo all you did before since the checkpoint is when you first entered the area. It doesn’t help that Ada doesn’t have a shotgun in this mode. The Krauser fight was also frustrating as this feels like his hardest encounter yet. You’re facing him in a narrow walkway, but he always seem to dash to me when I was trying to get some distance, always dash when I’m trying to aim for his legs, and that darn attack where he flips and slams his mutated arm down still gets me despite doing the QTE as I couldn’t help but be cornered against a wall. I ended up looking up some tips and found out that exiting and going back in will put Krauser at the other side and he retains the damage he received if you exit again. Though, I never could get a sniper shot in (playing with a controller and all). Though, I ended up dying while doing this and I wasn’t too sure if the damage is retained through Continues, so I ended up ditching that tactic, as I also ended up with less ammo and health items, and hoped for the best.
Finishing this only unlocks the Chicago Typewriter for Separate Ways, which I wish I knew before I already finished Separate Ways.
Also apparently just a knife is so effective on Krauser too, which I randomly ended up finding out a day later and I wish I could try out.
Mercenaries was the last one I played and it really got me annoyed. This is basically an arcade style mode where you’re tasked with killing as many enemies as you can before the timer reaches zero. Killing enemies net you points and getting a combo of kills nets you even more. Depending on your score, you’ll then get graded from 1 to 5 stars. The scores matter as this is used to unlock more characters and the Handcannon for the main game. You start with Leon, but you can unlock Ada, Krauser, HUNK, and Wesker; with you being able to play 4 maps: Village, Castle, Base, and a new Waterworld area. While you’ll be facing regular enemies that show up, bosses will occasionally spawn in which are harder to take down, but will net you a lot of points. In addition, you can find bonus time in each map in case you need more time. There are some just on the ground, but the ones found in chests gives you
I first planned to do all of these all in a row and unlocking everything. Even knowing that the gun unlock tied to Mercenaries, the Handcannon, involved getting all 5 stars on all maps with all characters. I thought “How hard could it really be”. Oh, my sweet summer past me, naïve to how Mercenaries was. It may be due to already being annoyed and frustrated with Assignment Ada, but I was very annoyed with Mercenaries. And I guess it didn’t help that Leon is considered the worst one out of the bunch from the community (which I definitely agree on). So, with Leon seriously souring on me in Mercs, I decided that I’d just at least unlock every character. And that I did. Well, not until after I went to sleep so I can come back fresh to it.
Leon is for sure the worst ones out of the bunch. He starts out with the Blacktail and a Riot Gun. The Riot Gun sure helps in crowd control, and he is the only one with a shotgun, but it was just a struggle trying to even break enough to get 1 star. I ended up looking up tips on how to get a high score with Leon (and yah, it’s not helpful just saying it was easy for you, random strangers from years ago) and I happened to just make it past 40,000 and net me a 4 star rating. Which unlocked Ada, who is a but better than Leon. Ada starts with a Punisher, TMP, Semi-auto Rifle, and Incendiary Grenades. The Rifle easily takes down enemies in one shot, she kicks some butt with her Punisher, the TMP definitely comes in handy especially when your combo is just about to go out, and Incendiary Grenades help out when I remember to use them, but she goes down fast and TMP ammo drops the most, with Rifle ammo not dropping or barely dropping. She only took me maybe 3 tries until I got 4 stars with her to unlock Krauser. And man, do I love Krauser. He only has his crossbow and 3 Flash Grenades, but his crossbow will take out enemies in one hit. Not to mention you’re guaranteed ammo for it. You can also have his arm turn into his arm blade to attack one enemy as long as it’s glowing red, which will take out the bosses automatically (and is definitely useful to the crazy chainsaw guys in Waterworld). The only thing is that you have to get used to aiming with the crossbow and it loads slowly (which you can use flash grenades if you have a group of enemies coming down on you). Next up was HUNK, who was just okay. He only has a TMP and Hand Grenades. He lets you kill enemies fast and stagger crowds, plus TMP ammo drops in high quantities so unless you’re staying in one place and not paying attention, you most likely won’t run out. Not to mention he has a insta-kill melee move. Though, the TMP doesn’t stagger the bosses, especially for Waterworld’s whose chainsaw boss swings erratically as he moves forward. And lastly, Wesker. He comes in with a Semi-auto Rifle, Handgun, Killer7, and a bunch of Grenades. Not to mention his melee attacks are so powerful. He really makes you feel powerful as you’re playing him. However, he doesn’t come with any backup ammo
Of course, these characters are stronger and weaker on certain maps (well, Leon struggles on all anyway). But, if I had to rank the different Mercenaries characters based on my own opinion, I’d say: Krauser > Wesker > HUNK > Ada > Leon
Well, now if I choose to, I’ll be able to use Ashley’s invincibility costume and the weapons unlocks if I choose to replay or torture myself with Professional difficulty. I, for one, am excited to have Ashley in her suit of armor.