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Marvel’s Spider-Man "Silver Lining" Review: A Conclusion That Swings And Misses

Following up on a critically acclaimed video game with additional content is tough. Following up on a game as well-received as Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 is an even taller order. The first two episodes of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps DLC were met with middle-of-the-road reviews, with a cautiously optimistic hope that Silver Lining - the third and final chapter of the The City That Never Sleeps - would finish off the DLC on a high note. Unfortunately, while Silver Lining is fun for what it is, the final episode fails to meet the mark in both new content and the overall story.

Spider-Man returns to action in Silver Lining, hoping to finally put a stop to crime boss Hammerhead. The whereabouts of NYPD Captain Yuri Watanabe are still unknown, but Mary Jane Watson continues to help Spider-Man track down Hammerhead’s thugs. During the first fight, the hot-headed Silver Sable intervenes, demanding the location of Hammerhead as she tries to recover the equipment and weaponry he stole. After a few more encounters, Spider-Man eventually convinces Sable to work together to takedown Hammerhead once and for all.

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The story concludes with Spider-Man and Sable going up against Hammerhead - who is now more machine than man - atop Sable’s base; a ship that is floating off the city’s coast. The battle requires a fair amount of defense and patience; a fighting tactic that was hinted at during the first encounter with Sable. Overall, the fight was one of Marvel’s Spider-Man’s easier boss fights, but it was a fun battle-dynamic to finally be able to work with a partner who actually provided some offensive support.

via PlayStation

Silver Lining does not bring too much to the table in the way of new mechanics or content, other than the three new unlockable Spider-Man suits. Honestly, it is a lot of the same as the previous episodes. Car chases through the city and overpowered enemies who can take you from full health to within an inch of your life in one punch are still prominent throughout the game.

Silver Lining’s major misses stem from a disservice to fan-favorite characters and a lack of closure with the events of the first two episodes. Black Cat - who was supposedly killed in the first DLC episode, The Heist - returns to help Spider-Man (you didn’t really think she was dead, did you?), but only for a brief cutscene that felt forced more than anything. Miles Morales also makes a few more minor appearances, which at this point, feels more like a tease than a fun (or interesting) nod to fans. Perhaps Black Cat and Morales will have a larger role in a sequel or future DLC content. Playing as Morales’ Spider-Man, at the very least, feels well overdue.

via PlayStation

If there is a bright spot to be found in Silver Lining, it would be in the newest side mission that sees Spider-Man swinging around the city in search of audio recordings that are left specifically for him to find. There is not much to the side mission, other than simply looking around for clues. However, the story that is uncovered from the recordings all but confirms the theories surrounding Yuri Watanabe’s whereabouts, setting up a perfect tie-in for a sequel or new DLC episodes.

There is no question that Marvel’s Spider-Man was one of the best games of 2018. While The City That Never Sleeps was a fun, albeit average extension of the original game, Silver Lining specifically was a bit disappointing in both content and its story, especially as a final episode in a three-part series.

2 out of 5 stars

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