When Marvel announced that Insomniac games would have the opportunity to take the reigns of its very own Spider-Man property, fans were, needless to say, excited. And when Insomniac released its take on everyone’s favorite web-slinging hero, the rave reviews flooded in with praise for the game’s beautifully modeled version of Manhattan, the perfect mechanics driving the web-slingers traversal of the cityscape, and the wonderfully scripted sequence of events that takes place of the course of the game. Spider-Man has taken leaps and bounds over what we thought a Spider-Man game could be, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst things The City That Never Sleeps DLC brings to Insomniac’s Spider-Man.
10 ScrewBall - The Worst
While Insomniac’s take on Spider-Man brought some incredible additions to its version of Manhattan, one of the additions most fans weren’t too fond of was the inclusion of the villain Screwball. Now, maybe it’s the fact that her side quests are among the least enjoyable in a game filled with some incredible moments. Or maybe it’s just that character is so well written, and by that, I mean obnoxious. Regardless of what the issue is, most players weren’t exactly eager for more of her or the tedious and sometimes aggravating side quests associated with her.
9 Aggravating Stealth Missions - The Worst
Speaking of aggravating missions, The City That Never Sleeps has also brought your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man some truly aggravating one-shot stealth missions. Now, we’re all fans of a good challenge, especially when it gives us an excuse to use the game's fantastic stealth mechanics, but there’s a limit to everything. And this limit comes when you’ve restarted the same mission over and over again because of some guy, who’s not even on screen, spots you in a fashion that is both maddening and seemingly impossible. Even the wonderful stealth mechanics these missions are centered around have a hard time holding them up.
8 The Wait Between Releases - The Worst
While The City That Never Sleeps delivered some amazing moments, it all happened in a rather short amount of time. It’s entirely possible to complete the entire three-part DLC in about ten hours. Even less if you’re simply working your way through the story missions. That’s why it seems like it would’ve been a much better idea to just release the entire DLC as one cohesive unit rather than breaking it up into three (barely) fun-sized pieces. One their own, the individual arcs can seem rather lacking in new gameplay that has been brought to the table.
7 Feels Like It Should’ve Been Part Of The Main Game - The Worst
Hitting on a similar beat to the point made above, The City That Never Sleeps just feels like it should’ve been released with the main game on day one. There are some essential parts of the story, some character development, and the closure of certain storylines that just felt missing in the game, to begin with. Now maybe we’ve been spoiled DLC releases like that of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s or maybe it’s because we could always use a little more Spidey in our lives, but it feels like there was so much more that could’ve been done.
6 Turf Wars - The Worst
While there were plenty of things that The City That Never Sleeps got right, its second chapter Turf Wars seemed to have fallen a bit short. Turf Wars definitely had some things going for it, and it really stepped up the level of challenge that the player and Spidey faced with some of the stronger henchmen being a real pain in the neck. It also managed to flesh out Hammerhead’s character, a classic Spider-Man villain, while adding an Insomniac new spin on his story. But it just didn’t hold up to the standard that had been established by The Heist and Silver Lining.
Related: Marvel's Spider-Man "Turf Wars" Review
5 The Acting - The Best
There are also many things that the original game got right that continued into the DLC releases, and the voice acting is certainly one of them. Everyone from Spider-Man himself, voiced by the energetic and quippy Yuri Lowenthal, to the stern and duty-bound Yur Watanabe, voiced by actress Tara Platt. There’s definitely a lot to be excited about beyond the actual gameplay. With so much love and attention put into the performances by such great voice actors, there’s plenty to look forward to when the inevitable sequel is announced.
4 The Writing - The Best
As anyone that has played the game can attest, Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 is a fantastically written game. The beats of the plot, the turmoil the player feels as Peter Parker’s life comes crashing up against his responsibilities as Spider-Man, the consequences of his actions as Spider-Man reverberating throughout his entire life and the people closest to him, and last but not least, finally getting an older, more experienced Spider-Man. Not to mention all the unique twists Insomniac managed to work into the story without corrupting or betraying the original materials. The writing team over at Insomniac has really done some great work, and that’s not something that changed with the release of The City That Never Sleeps.
3 The Challenge - The Best
One of the major complaints that plagued Spider-Man’s release (besides the new game plus update taking, for some, much too long to release.) was the fact that through it all, the game just wasn’t that tough. While the experience does manage to get a bit more challenging towards the conclusion of the main story, many fans were left hoping for a bit more of a challenge while they swung through the streets of Manhattan. The City That Never Sleeps definitely managed to up the ante as far as the difficulty level was concerned. With much more difficult stealth missions as well as many more exo-skeleton-wearing henchmen, it seems like Insomniac really heard the fans calling for more of a challenge.
2 Developing Side Characters - The Best
Another thing that the main game got right was really involving the side characters in both Spider-Man and Peter Parker’s life. It was really interesting to see Spidey’s relationship with the responsible and structured Yuri Watanabe grow, especially knowing where her story might lead. With the release of The City Never Sleeps, we go to see that relationship grow even deeper, as well as getting to see Yuri’s character really put to the test in her conflict with Hammerhead as he attempts to take control of the crime families in New York. We also go to see Silver Sable’s return to New York for some real one on one time with everyone’s favorite web-slinging hero.
1 The Spider Clan Suit - The Best
And last but certainly not least, the suits. Most specifically the Spider Clan suit. Unlocking the vintage suit in the main game was probably one the most satisfying moments of the entire game unrelated to the story. Insomniac wasn’t going to let The City That Never Sleeps be outdone by the main game on that front, so they decided to drop the much-adored Spider Clan suit. It may not be the most immersive suit to thwip around Manhattan in, but it’s definitely one of the most fun. Fans of the vintage suit from the main game definitely have an excellent reason to pick up The City That Never Sleeps.