The City that Never Sleeps has been quite a mixed bag for me after the main game is easily in my top three games of 2018. Split into three chapters but connected by the same story, the first two DLC’s featured rather short story missions starting with Black Cat manipulating Spidey into helping her whilst the second in Turf Wars focused on Detective Yuri Watanabe and her paying the price for seeking vengeance against Hammer Head. Now in Silver Lining the story comes to a close and gave me the opportunity to reflect on all things Spider-Man PS4.
I will say that this is probably the shortest of the three chapters to this expansion DLC story, but it brought everything in it and aspects to the main game story full circle which I really appreciated. Most of the action will come in the side activities but the conclusion to the main story has a returning Silver Sable back in New York and is quite frankly, really pissed off with our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Why, well she is rather unhappy that in her absence Hammerhead was allowed to pretty much take all the SABLE tech he wanted under Spider-Man’s nose and she has returned to take it all back whilst delivering some justice of her own.
Now those who have played the main game will know that she already had a less then friendly relationship with Spidey from the main game, and this chapter opens with her pretty much just coming straight for Spider-Man in a nice opening fight which will test all the player’s reflexes as Spidey desperately tries to talk her down before she quite literally blows his Webbed head right off his shoulders. Right from the off this does feel like the concluding chapter and there is very little to the story outside of the goal to stop Hammerhead who by this point has fully committed to using SABLE’s Olympus Project to transform himself into an unstoppable cyborg, which may annoy some traditionalist Spider-Man fans. All the setup has been done in the previous two chapters so this final part does not waste any time getting to the point of it all but does take the time to allow a return for some characters whilst Spider-Man and Silver Sable work towards the same common goal.
The side activities all take place across a larger region of the map then the previous chapters and again will have more crimes for Spider-Man to stop from Hammerhead’s gangs and will also see the return of Screwball and her challenges. Base battles come in the form of the Olympus Hideouts scattered round where Hammerhead has been stockpiling SABLE medical supplies which need recovering but for me the fun element came in the form of the Crime Scene Recordings where unsolved crimes have been mysteriously left for Spider-Man to find and investigate. It will take longer to complete the side stuff then to complete the main story and for this finale, I honestly did not mind. I completed the main story in just about 90 minutes, taking the time to only do a few of the side activities so again, this is rather short story wise but I wanted to save the side stuff to the end as that is the most fun to have with this DLC and well worth doing if you want to complete the full new set of DLC Spider-Man suits to wear.
Difficulty is turned up a notch as with previous ones and the frustration of having Spider-Man with all his abilities even without his web gadgets, having his butt handed to him by Silver Sable to kick things off did annoy me. The Hammerhead thugs are not only using the SABLE guns they had in Turf Wars, but now are using full SABLE Armour as well which makes them a real challenge even if like me, you have a fully maxed out Spider-Man and fully upgraded gadgets to use. I do understand why they made the DLC tougher than the main campaign and even ignoring the difficulty you chose to play on by being much tougher so that this end game level content is just that, an end game challenge making players use all the skills they have picked up through playing the main game and the DLC to be the best Spider-Man they can be, and this DLC expansion has put those skills to the test.
I also love the little side story elements such as Miles still continuing his training by Peter who is finally starting to understand why he was not just put into a costume and sent out to fight crime, the lesson of “with great power comes great responsibility” whilst never actually said to Miles, is shown to him in how Peter insists he does his school work before his Spider work such as learning physics and math in order to better understand web-slinging and his strength. This is all a follow up to what we saw in the main game and the pacing has been so sensible in having these three extra story chapters build to what will probably be in the sequel game, a playable Miles Morales Spider-Man. Now last week I had the pleasure of Seeing ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; which you should definitely go make time to see if you have not already seen it, and it really did enhance my enjoyment and experience with this DLC and the main game as a whole. You can see how much detail, respect and love Insomniac games have put into this DLC and game and they are truly world building in every way with Spider-man, Peter and Mary Jane as well as Miles Morales and by doing it so carefully they can really turn this into an iconic gaming series such as the Arkham Series did for Batman.
Of course with the recent loss of Stan Lee, everything to do with Spider-Man is heightened for me as a MARVEL fan, and as this DLC comes to an end, I think back on my time with the main game giving me pause to think about how amazing it is to see Stan Lee’s legacy in the very safe hands of Insomniac Games, and you can feel their dedication and commitment for his creation in every thing they do, including very heartfelt and beautiful tribute to Stan as the DLC reaches its end. As an entire expansion, the City that Never Sleeps gave me more of what I loved about the main game, being Spider-Man and fighting crime in New York, being its hero and friendly neighbourhood webhead. By splitting it up into three parts it helped give me a reason to return to the game each month after the game launched in September but it also suffered as a result of being cut up with shortness of main story and plenty of filler side activities but now completed with Silver Lining, it leaves me happy and thankful to have had more story to experience and more bad guys to beat up.
The City That Never Sleeps had some great moments to the story but also began to set the scene for what may come next with little easter-eggs planted for Peter and Mary Jane, the villains Spider-Man may come up against and a new hero in Miles Morales, a new Spider-Man that can also build on the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse going forward which is a huge win for Sony PlayStation, Sony Pictures and MARVEL. If you have yet to pick up this expansion then please do so, you wont regret it and now can you can play all three chapters fluidly without a month’s wait in between it actually flows really well by expanded the world and stories told in the main game and as I said earlier, it all comes together in just a beautiful celebration of the legacy that Stan Lee left behind.
I just hope the wait for more Spider-Man stories by Insomniac games does not take too long to come, because this is the best Spider-Man gaming experience you can have right now and I am already excited to see what happens next!