Spider-Man is back and hot on the trail of violent crime boss, Hammerhead, in the second DLC chapter of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps. The new episode, appropriately titled Turf Wars, picks up right after the events of the first chapter. Turf Wars is saved by its story, which does does a good job of keeping players engaged with content that does not otherwise bring anything new to the table, while potentially hinting at future content that may be yet to come.
The game begins with NYPD Captain, Yuri Watanabe, narrating the events of The Heist DLC. She notes that Black Cat is missing and presumed to be dead, before dropping players into a massive firefight between the warring Maggia families. Hammerhead eventually comes into the picture, giving Spider-Man his first up-close-and-personal interaction with the crime boss. Hammerhead captures and kills a group of police officers, but Spider-Man shows up just in time to save Yuri. The encounter (and ensuing events) take Yuri to her breaking point, with Spidey caught in the middle as he tries to get to Hammerhead before a vengeful Yuri does something that she will regret.
The episode feels relatively short, coming in at under roughly two-hours of playtime. Turf Wars brings with it new side missions that see Spider-Man searching the city for Hammerhead hideouts, as well as more Screwball-related missions. It also brings with it three new Spider-Man suits, including his bulletproof Spider-Armor MK I, Marvel’s Mangaverse comic books’ Spider-Clan suit, and the original Iron Spider suit from The Amazing Spider-Man comics.
Other than that, Turf Wars gives players more of the same.
Villain encounters in Turf Wars once again see hordes of thugs that come at Spider-Man in waves, creating more button-mashing combo strategies with no real feeling of accomplishment. There are, however, a considerable amount of chase and escort missions, which help break up the monotony of the thug battles. A new, stealthy Spiderbot mission also adds a fun gameplay dynamic that helps to move the plot along.
The story is Turf Wars’ saving grace. Insomniac does well to instill a sense of dread and urgency throughout the story, as Spider-Man tries to bring Hammerhead to justice, while Yuri plans to end him entirely. Along the way, old friends from the original story also make their presence known, such as Hammerhead using Silver Sable’s weaponry, which could prove fitting, as the next round of DLC is titled, Silver Lining.
And that is really what makes Turf Wars worth playing: the possibilities of what may be to come in the third and final DLC episode. Silver Sable coming back to the Big Apple would certainly make sense, considering her presence continues to be felt throughout the two available DLC episodes. Miles Morales makes another “appearance” via phone call to Peter, asking to come along on a mission or two to use his new abilities - something all Spider-Man fans would no doubt love to take advantage of in-game. Finally, Yuri’s drive and willingness to do whatever it takes to bring villains to justice falls in line with the mentality of her comic book alter-ego of Wraith. It would be a fun comic book tie-in to see that transformation make its way to the final chapter of The City That Never Sleeps.
Turf Wars expands on Hammerhead’s goal of returning New York City to “the glory days” of mob rule, but does not provide much else, other than hope for what is to come in the final chapter.
Be sure to stay tuned to The Gamer for our review of the third and final round of The City That Never Sleeps DLC, Silver Lining, which will be released next month.
3 out of 5 stars.