REVIEW: Marvel’s Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps – The Heist DLC

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The Heist

Marvel’s Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps – The Heist is the new DLC and the first of three missions in the City Never Sleeps story pack from Insomniac Studios game Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 exclusive. The Heist DLC is set up similar to the main game in that there are story missions, crimes to stop, side missions, and three new suits. The main story follows Black Cat as she works with the Hammerhead gang to steal a painting which turns out to contain a hard drive. With Mary Jane’s help, Spider-Man must uncover, Black Cat’s, Felicia Hardy, motive and come face to face with a former lover.

As a Spider-Man fan, this game has not disappointed and I was slightly dejected, although not surprised, that the Black Cat missions in the main game never led to a showdown. This DLC picks up where Spider and the Cat left off after he tracked down her loot. Much like the main game doesn’t bother with an origin story, this DLC doesn’t either. Felicia and Peter’s past relationship is well established at this point and quickly becomes an awkward subject for Peter considering him and Mary Jane are now together again.

The side mission consists of taking on Screwball’s challenges, similar to Taskmasters challenges and finding previously stolen artwork from the original Black Cat, similar to the backpack missions in the base game. I much prefer finding the stolen artwork as each piece offers a clue into Felicia Hardy’s history and childhood while also providing some fantastic Spider-Man lore that fans new and old can appreciate. I did not enjoy the Taskmaster challenges in the game and while the screwball challenges aren’t as difficult they are still not fun. Screwball’s challenges are a mix of beating up goons within a certain time limit and destroying EMPs, similar to the drone challenges from Taskmaster.  I personally struggle with those types of mission mostly because I do not have fast reflexes or the precision needed. Take this all with a grain of salt since I play with a Hori Mini Wired GamePad and have serious joint pain. 

The crime missions consist of the traditional car chases and beating up thugs but also adds missions requiring the use of the Spider-bot to hunt down bombs under cars. This also utilizes the puzzle mechanic to disarm bombs on and in various buildings. The Spider-bot is easy to control and it isn’t particularly difficult to get the hang of those missions. In my playthrough, I continued to use the Insomniac suit but right off the bat the “Resilient Suit” is able to be worn while the other two, the Spider-UK suit and the Scarlet Spider II suit, can be unlocked after completing the story mode and district activities.

Left to right: The Scarlet Spider II Suit, The Resilient Suit, The Spider-UK Suit

In regards to the main story, Peter and Felicia’s chemistry is perfect and Erica Lindbeck as the titular Black Cat herself is purrfect, pun intended. Insomniac captured the character’s personality and look spectacularly, more spider and cat puns ahead. The new sleek black suit is similar to Catwoman’s redesigned suit for Arkham Knight. However, this flirty feline has a significantly less broody love interest. Yuri Lowenthal continues his fantastic performance as Peter Parker. Within the comics, Peter and Felicia have a very flirtatious fling and it is well crafted within the game as well. To quote J. Jonah Jameson, “Spider-Man should stop thinking with his web shooters.”

The Heist

Mary Jane is not only Peter’s current love interest but also the brains behind a lot of this DLC. In addition to feeding Peter clues, MJ gets her hands dirty by investigating Hammerhead gang further and taking players on a stealth mission. Insomniac’s version of MJ remains one of my favorite parts of the game. Unlike Spider-Man or Black Cat, Mary Jane relies completely on stealth to get things done. While playing as her, players cannot be seen and must rely on tactical uses of lures, a stun gun, and stratetically placed boxes.  As with Spider-Man comics, Peter’s girlfriends always trump Peter. The love triangle between her, Peter, and his old flame Felicia is fantastic and reminds me what I love so much about Spider-Man comics.

Overall, The Heist DLC was a much-needed distraction for me and reminded me how much I love this game. I look forward to the next story installment which will be out in November with the following hitting consoles December of this year. Until then, Spider-Man and The Heist are now available on PlayStation 4 with the main game also offering a New Game+ mode.

Marvel's Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps - The Heist DLC
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TL; DR

Overall, The Heist DLC was a much-needed distraction for me and reminded me how much I love this game. I look forward to the next story installment which will be out in November with the following hitting consoles December of this year.