When the credits rolled on Marvel’s Spider-Man: Silver Lining, I became genuinely sad that Insomniac’s take on the Marvel hero has reached its final conclusion — at least for now. Silver Lining, which wraps up The City That Never Sleeps DLC saga, doesn’t pack the emotional gut punch seen in the main adventure, but it is a mostly fitting finale for the three-part expansion.
Unlike the previous two expansions, The Heist and Turf Wars, Silver Lining doesn’t really introduce anything new. But it does make better use of its main characters throughout its story and features the best side content of the trio of DLCs.
Silver Lining picks up right where Turf Wars left off. Hammerhead is in hiding with the ultimate goal of getting even stronger, and Silver Sable has returned to retrieve the supplies stolen by Hammerhead and his gang. Much like The Heist, Spider-Man ends up teaming up with an adversary for some missions. The dynamic between Silver Sable and Spider-Man isn’t nearly as playful as the one he has with Black Cat, but, of course, he tries to get her to lighten up with his terribly awesome jokes.
There’s a larger driving force behind Sable’s reckless determination than money. Without spoiling anything, Silver Lining does a great job giving her the depth that she didn’t have in the main adventure. One of the main issues with Turf Wars was the absence of Mary Jane and Miles Morales. Silver Lining remedies that through phone calls between missions. These calls are more than just small talk; they help further develop Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship, which is often strained by their busy schedule, and add to the burgeoning mentorship of Miles under Peter’s expertise.
In an interesting move, the main cliffhanger from Turf Wars involving Yuri Watanabe is relegated to optional side content. Collectables return as you have to scour Manhattan for nine crime reports. These are certainly worth seeking out, though. Each report comes with an audio recording that slowly unravels a mystery involving Yuri, the Maggia, and an unknown therapist. It actually may be my favorite side storyline in the whole Marvel’s Spider-Man experience.
In terms of mission variety, Silver Lining doesn’t bring anything you haven’t seen to the table. It took me closer to three hours to run through the story, making it the longest piece of DLC to date. All of the story missions involve hunting down and pummeling Hammerhead’s goons. A couple of the missions do take place in unfamiliar locations, which is pretty cool. Generally, though, you’ve played these missions before.
Fight baddies, knock out baddies, oh wait, there’s another wave of stronger baddies coming in. I honestly can’t complain too much about the lack of variety, as Marvel’s Spider-Man remains one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played this year. It’s still fun even when I’ve already knocked out the same type of underling a thousand times before.
Outside of the story missions and awesome collectibles side mission, new hideouts, Screwball challenges, and active crimes are available in numerous districts. The hideouts are still the best activity for making use of all of your gadgets and racking up huge combos. But the Screwball challenges, while tweaked a bit here, remain somewhat annoying.
Don’t get me wrong, the challenges are fun, and it’s cool to come up with new strategies to get top marks, but Screwball is beyond annoying at this point. Everything about her, from her obsession to followers to her laugh to the way she says “Spider-Man,” is borderline insufferable. I get that Screwball is supposed to be an infuriating thorn in Spider-Man’s side, but perhaps she’s too good at her role?
The three new suits round out the impressive collection in style. My personal favorite is Peter Parker’s suit from the excellent Into the Spider-Verse film, but the Cyborg suit is also quite neat. I played through the story wearing the Raimi Suit, the one worn by dance king Tobey Maguire. As you may have heard, Insomniac added the much-desired suit to the game as a surprise to coincide with the launch of Silver Lining.
Overall, I think Silver Lining is the best that The City That Never Sleeps has to offer. Despite its lack of variety, it makes the best use of its major characters and sends Marvel’s Spider-Man off in style.
Most of all, the silver lining here is that it’d be surprising if Insomniac didn’t return to New York City for more Spidey adventures featuring Peter and probably Miles Morales, too.
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