Spider-Man's Heist DLC is fun but familiar

adminOctober 23, 2018


Screenshot: Kotaku (Spider-Man)

My favorite part of the new downloadable new addition to the new Spiderman On PS4, a hungry and exhausted Peter Parker is eating a pizza on the roof of an apartment building with the skyline of the city behind him. The families of the mafia at war, the stolen art, a love triangle between the Black Cat and Mary Jane can wait. Everyone has to eat. Even Spiderman.

The scene is highlighted in this first chapter of The City that Never Sleeps, a three-part extension paid to the game that begins with this week's installment, The Heist. It is a break with an expansion that is fun but repetitive, one that repackages the ideas of the main game, but presents nothing new and presents few surprises.

The Heist occurs after the main game events. The crime families of New York have resurfaced to fill the void left by the defeated villains at the end of the campaign. Mary Jane receives a suggestion that one of them plans to break into the Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan, and Spider-Man will review things. There he finds Felicia Hardy, also known as the Black Cat, who tries to steal a particular painting and, apparently, is allied with a criminal family called Maggia, directed by Hammerhead. Black Cat, Spider-Man then finds out, he has his own motivations. There is a gang war and a love triangle.

Looting museums was probably not the place where this guy saw himself in 20 years when he originally signed up to be a gangster.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Spider-Man)

The entire adventure is cordoned off in a separate part of the menu screen, so that when you are playing the DLC you are playing the DLC. Everything happens at night, with the spontaneous events of the main game replaced by those related to Maggia, most of which will be familiar, except one that includes deactivating car bombs with the spider robot.

Much of this develops in a pattern: go to the checkpoint, hit the bad guys, learn a little more about Black Cat and why the antihero thief has suddenly decided to return to Parker's life. As someone who enjoyed fighting the main game and launching a website per ton, that routine still provides a welcome list of additional to-do items. As a fan of SpidermanThe penchant for trying to do the right thing, but somehow annoying everyone in the process, seeing it clumsily trying to navigate simultaneous working relationships with both MJ and Black Cat was immensely satisfying.

The opening mission is a good example of how the moment-by-moment procedures of the DLC often feel confusing. The museum in which it is located is large, including side galleries and a main room that is large enough to surf the web, but nothing in the scale of the most memorable locations of the main game, such as Grand Central Terminal, for example . It has ventilation shafts and hangers from which you can silently silence the webbed enemies, but everything feels a little flat and chaotic, not unlike the Expressionist paintings that line the walls.

The Heist is full of forgettable mafias with strange haircuts.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Spider-Man)

There are enemies scattered throughout the lobby and corridors on the second floor over such long distances that sometimes you can tear down small groups without provoking a bigger fight. The encounters are not orchestrated with precision nor do they make good use of sight lines and ventilation shafts. Eliminate the waves of bad, that you end up doing several times between the collection of fingerprints and the review of the images of the security camera, does not have desire to interrupt a robbery but to break a convention. At the end of the mission, you have the task of preventing enemies from escaping through the front door with stolen works of art, while others throw rockets at you.

The rest of "The Heist" feels similarly decomposed. Maggia hideouts, crime scenes and street fights are mixed together. The developments of the plot with the Black Cat involve an intriguing secret that has little to do with what you really do as Spider-Man, which has not changed in any way with respect to the main game. Compared to the intrigue of super villains that involves Sinister Six, hitting the mobsters feels like a pedestrian, especially when you bring your entire arsenal of gadgets and state improvements to the original campaign.

Most of "The Heist" reskins the base game. Instead of collectible backpacks, players retrieve stolen art pieces hidden throughout the city by the first Black Cat, Walter Hardy. The grunts of Maggia with which you fight are variations of the types you've fought with before. There is a gangster holding a Sable gun instead of a mercenary Saber, a guy with rolled up sleeves and a vest going into a jewelry store instead of a random street thug who does the same. There's a new guy, a big strong guy who wears a gatling gun, but he's defeated with a downed focus meter or a lot of nets and hits, like many other strong enemies in the main game.

The two characters have the greatest chemistry of all the couples in the game for a long shot, thanks in part to the contrast between Parker's naive ignorance and the way Hardy pities him.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Spider-Man)

"The Heist" does not introduce new abilities or stick powers. There are three new suits: the tough suit, the Spider-UK suit and the Scarlet Spider II suit, but each one is purely cosmetic. Nor is there a bosses' fight, nor a villain with the charisma of Doctor Octopus or Norman Osborn.

The saving grace is that combat and movement in Spiderman It's still amazing. I checked the game, I completed all the secondary content, I got all the trophies and I still entered "The Heist" enjoying every second of web-induced stunts. While there are no really new ideas here, it's still a fun time. It took me about five hours to finish everything playing hard. Now that the maximum difficulty of the game has been added, anyone who wants to really prolong the experience and find some challenge should probably play it in that environment.

"The Heist" ends in a cliffhanger that leads to November's "Turf Wars," which will be followed by December's "Silver Lining." I hope Insomniac Games has been saving their best tricks for these last chapters. "The Heist" shows that they do not. You do not need to reinvent Spiderman so it's worth going back, but I'd prefer to experience something that feels new.


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