Given the amount of people who have earned the platinum trophy for Marvel’s Spider-Man, there are assuredly a large number of players who are hungry to return to Insomniac’s take on Spider-Man’s world. To satisfy that desire is “The City That Never Sleeps”, a trio of story add-ons with the first being The Heist, focusing on a character who was featured in a side-mission in the main game: Black Cat. While Marvel’s Spider-Man first piece of post launch downloadable content will certainly give you more time with the web-slinger, it feels less like a standalone piece and like the main game feels a little padded to extend its overly brief length.
Taking place after events of the main game, The Heist sees Spider-Man investigating a disturbance at a museum only to find that it’s linked to Black Cat as well as a long dormant crime family who are looking to fill the power vacuum left vacant by Wilson Fisk. As Black Cat was featured in the main game, there was fear that The Hesit would feel like something that was pulled out from the main game in order to get the game out for its September release date. Thankfully that isn’t the case, as The Heist touches on things that happened in the closing moments of the main game – even one of the post-credits scene – so if you haven’t finished the campaign proper, you might want to do so before jumping into this first piece of DLC.
The story fills in some more back story between Peter and the Black Cat, fleshing out their relationship from his time as Spider-Man until before the game starts, which is interesting, but it fails to be an interesting on its own and mostly hints at bigger things to come. Spider-Man and Black Cat hardly share any screen time and classic Spider-Man villains are only hinted at instead of making an appearance. A new side-quest has you collecting pieces ten pieces of art from across the map and it too has its own mini-story, but its outcome is far too obvious to be interesting. Even though the story feels like a mere start of something greater, at the very least you do get to hear more of Yuri Lowenthal as Spider-Man having terrific banter with Laura Bailey’s Mary Jane and Erica Lindbeck fits into the cast nicely as this universe’s Black Cat.
From a structural standpoint, The Heist is made up of what you come to expect from the main game with a few fights, stealth sequences, the simple match-the-line and guide the circuit puzzles and a few missions where you track the bombs with the spider-bot thrown in for good measure. Those who breezed through the campaign will get a challenge from the fights that make up The Heist as they throw in a lot of enemies with rockets and a new heavy-type who carries a mini-gun, but the stealth sequences seem overly long. You do get to work with Black Cat in one of them though, and it hints at mechanics that hopefully will come in future sequels with other characters. The only really stand out set-piece is a chase that starts out great, but eventually it heads indoors where things get less fun and it reminds you in a bad way of the cramped interior levels of games like Spider-Man 3 (2007).
Apart from the story missions and new collectibles, The Heist makes up the remainder of its playtime with yet more random crimes, but they only occur in four of the game’s districts so they don’t over stay their welcome too much. Those who are hunting for trophies need also only complete one district too instead of all of them. For anyone who ran out of opportunities to earn Challenges Points in the Taskmaster missions, new opportunities open up in The Heist revolved around Screwball who also showed up in the campaign. The character is Gwenpool in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 levels of annoying, but the missions she has in store for you are fun to do. The best of the bunch are combat missions, but they have a twist where you get more points if you defeat enemies in a circle that moves around and it harkens back to Insomniac’s Ratchet and Clank days.
If you’re looking for more of Marvel’s Spider-Man after tracking down every collectible and getting every trophy the main game has to offer, The Heist will more than satisfy, but it doesn’t really offer anything that new and is perhaps better diving into after all three parts of “The City That Never Sleeps” are finished. You do get more information about Peter’s past life as Spider-Man and his relationship with the Black Cat, but what story is present in The Heist itself won’t see any type of pay off until next month’s chapter at the least. The Heist doesn’t feel like the throwaway side-stories that made up a lot of Batman: Arkham Knight’s post-release content, but it doesn’t exactly excite either.
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