After catching the season pass for Spider-Man on sale I excitedly bought it. Needless to say I enjoyed the game on its release and was hungry for more. Does it stand up to the brilliance of the main campaign?
At a Glance – 8.5/10
If you loved Spider-Man on its initial release than The City That Never Sleeps DLC is absolutely worth your money. It has a cool ongoing plot that introduces a few new villains, gives a nice tease for the future of the franchise, and further fleshes out some characters from the main game. If you weren’t a huge fan of the original side quests and activities than you likely won’t find anything here to change your mind–they are all pretty much the same thing.
This DLC pack does something that not many season pass or add-on content can claim–it continues story threads of the main game after the campaign has ended. When I picked up the expansion I really didn’t know what to expect, so I was thinking it would be similar to most open world add-ons where you would have a quest somewhere in the main world and the characters within it would act like you hadn’t beaten the last boss.
Instead the DLC picks up directly after the main game, and while there aren’t enormous spoilers, there are certainly dialogues that pertain directly to some near to end game reveals. Again, not the most earth shattering stuff, but you’ll probably want to have completed the main course before diving into this beefy Spidey dessert.
Originally I had considered separating out the episodes in the way they were originally released and reviewing each, and that is due to the fact that each episode differs in its quality. Experiencing it all at once, however, is the way I would advise most anybody to consume this DLC, and so that is the way I’m reviewing it–as an entirely stand alone adventure outside of the main campaign and as a whole.
The first episode begins with a daring heist that Spider-Man is sent to foil, and it is here that he runs into his old frenemy Black Cat. One of my favorite things about the main campaign is echoed here as this is an experienced Spider Man who has already had significant history with the feline inspired thief. It is brought up in side conversations and phone calls that do a great job of painting a picture of the relationship these two share. The overall plot that begins here weaves through all three episodes, but this first episode is focused primarily on Black Cat and her hijinks along with a growing threat from the Maggia (aka Marvel’s version of the Mafia).
The first episode feels the strongest due to the intrigue of Black Cat, but the story throughout the entirety of the DLC is well done. You’ll see and hear from Silver Sable again, whose story line just kind of ends in the main story, and her and Spider Man have several funny scenes together. As it is in all of the trailers it probably isn’t much of a spoiler that the somewhat B-lister Hammerhead becomes the main villain of the DLC, and while he is no Sinister Six material, he gets the job done. All of the voice acting is as stellar as it was in the main campaign, with Yuri Lowenthall absolutely killing it as Peter Parker once again.
All three packs add a variety of side quests to do, but they all sort of fall into a few categories. I felt that this is where the DLC was weakest, with slightly differing versions of the same side quests you’ve spent dozens of hours completing in the main campaign. For instance there is one character named Screwball who is a popular streamer, and has basically released convicts onto an unsuspecting public which coaxes Spider Man into performing on her stream. These range from a timed race to disarm bombs to large throwdowns the likes of which you’ll be familiar if you’ve completed any of Taskmaster’s challenges in the main campaign–the primary difference being highlighted zones where you are encouraged to defeat enemies within to boost your score modifier. Bases are back as well, and there are a few new crime types to stop, but in general you’ve seen a version of all of this before.
All of these are interesting in small doses, and there is a good balance so that completing everything there is to see in each is not a gargantuan task. The whole campaign probably lasted me around six to seven hours, but your mileage may vary if you want to go for the Gold in all challenges. If you complete 100% of the DLC you’ll unlock a few costumes as a reward that are far and away the best of the bunch and dive pretty deep into Spidey lore.
My favorite thing about The City That Never Sleeps was that it added to the lore of the main game without making you feel like you are missing out on something if you just choose not to partake. The biggest fans will get to see the birth of a new villain from the comics, witness another minor villain not fought in the campaign, and see some really cool hints about what is to come in the inevitable sequel. Overall it is a fantastic addition to the main game–albeit one with some slight repetitiveness–that makes me even more excited to eventually play the follow up.