Shortly before the worldwide release of Marvel’s Spider-Man on September 7th, Insomniac Games revealed their post-launch content plans in the form of a three-part DLC package titled Marvel’s Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps. This expansion includes new story missions, challenges, enemies and suits with each chapter set to debut between October and December.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Heist kicks things off with a bang as our hero finally crosses paths with The Black Cat aka Felicia Hardy. After receiving intel from Mary Jane regarding a planned robbery at the Manhattan Museum of Contemporary Art, Peter runs into his cunning ex-girlfriend and the Maggia Crime Mob controlled by Hammerhead. As the story unfolds and the former couples’ complicated relationship takes center stage, several twists and turns keep the plot interesting and the cliffhanger ending leaves some unanswered questions that will be revisited later.
The first chapter of this continuing storyline is fun and achieves the goal of giving fans more narrative content to sink their teeth into. Erica Lindbeck’s portrayal of The Black Cat is nothing short of remarkable despite how brief our time with her actually is. Even more interesting, the audio conversations shared between Peter Parker and Miles Morales in-between missions serve as great teasers for what’s ahead. It’s evident that Insomniac is planning to make Miles transition into the new Spider-Man a glorious event and I can’t wait to see how this all comes to fruition.
In terms of gameplay aesthetics, the formula essentially remains the same with a few additional changes here and there. Peter now uses science in the form of circuit construction puzzles and spectrograph substance pattern matching projects to reconstruct fingerprints and disable bombs. The addition of the Maggia crime organization and the ongoing threat of an impending gang war gives Peter new adversaries to deal with. Most noticeable and challenging are the new mini-gun brutes who can become a hassle when facing multiple enemies at once but are still satisfying to take down. Lastly, there is one brief Mary Jane Watson stealth mission in this chapter used to further the storyline.
During or after you’ve completed the story, there are a few additional activities for you to do including collecting Hardy’s Stolen Art pieces, defusing car bombs with the Spider Bot, ending various Maggia Crimes being committed throughout a few of the districts and participating in Screwball Challenges. The Hardy’s Stolen Art side content was intriguing because it dives briefly into Black Cat’s backstory and introduces us to a mysterious new character named Detective Mackey. The Screwball Challenges are in many ways like the Taskmaster Challenges from the core game but there’s no final battle with Screwball as that will most likely be saved for later chapters.
As a complete package, The Heist will take you between 90 minutes to 3 hours to complete with the additional content described above. There are three new Spider-Man suits to collect and seven more trophies to earn specific to this add-on. Considering that this chapter can be purchased either individually for $9.99 or part of the season pass for $24.99, some may feel disappointed by the shortened length. However, if you’re a diehard Spider-Man fan who has already completed the recently released Game Plus mode and want more content, then this is more than enough to keep you busy until the next chapter drops in November.
In closing, Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Heist is a short but profoundly satisfying experience. The character development behind Black Cat is top notch and the subtle teases of what’s next for Miles Morales as well as our heroes are sure to keep fans talking long after they’ve completed this action-packed adventure.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Heist for the PlayStation 4 provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.