Last month, Insomniac Games' fantastic video game adaptation of everyone's favourite web-slinging superhero debuted and now, Black Cat joins him in the first chapter of the episodic The City That Never Sleeps DLC pack.
The Heist consists of a handful of story missions as well as some bonus challenges and odds and ends. The story begins with a break-in at the art gallery. After fighting dozens of Hammerhead's henchman, Spidey soon witnesses Black Cat stealing a peculiar USB drive and from then on, their odd relationship goes through a thrilling albeit brief roller coaster ride. Although I'm not usually one for comic books, I must admit that watching Spider-Man and Black Cat interact was genuinely exciting. There are moments that seem heartfelt yet you never know if that will eventually lead to deception. The constant back and forth told through Black Cat's ambiguous undertones and mysterious intentions as well as Spider-Man's bewildered reactions is nothing short of intriguing.
Story aside, the actual missions within The Heist are varied and exciting. The opening art museum scene is mostly full of tough combat but from then on, you'll find yourself defusing bombs, chasing Black Cat through New York City, and even cooperating with her during one segment. The couple of times that you chase her are very different as at first, you don't have any of your super-powers then after that, you have to quickly propel yourself down a subway tunnel which I thought was quite the rush. Being able to command Black Cat to stealthily take down enemies during one part provided a refreshing change of pace to the otherwise intense combat, especially after battling the new super-tough dudes with Gatling guns. It may not be long, but the story is definitely action-packed.
Along with the story missions, there are a couple of extra collectibles and side-missions to tackle. First off, you can search the city for Hardy's stolen art as well as prevent the Maggia's crimes from succeeding. However, the coolest addition by far is Screwball Challenges that task you with destroying certain towers as quickly as possible. Doing so is easy but the challenge comes in the form of a tricky scoring system. Basically, each challenge features photo opportunities that you can trigger by soaring through towers. Therefore, finding the right balance and timing everything just right in order to maximize your score becomes an impressively rewarding challenge.
As I've already touched upon, this piece of DLC is rather short as it merely contains a few story missions that will only take about a few hours to beat. Of course, if you want to master all of the optional content then you can add about an hour or so, depending on your skill level. Although this isn't much of a downside, you'll probably be annoyed that it ends on a cliffhanger. I guess the entire chunk of DLC collectively known as The City That Never Sleeps is simply one story told in three parts which is annoying considering fans have to wait about a couple of months to be able to play through the whole thing. It would have been better if they released it all at once.
Finally, I want to mention one annoying segment of The Heist that drove me nuts. At one point, you have to control a Spider-Bot to defuse bombs within a small area. In order to do so, you have to listen to quiet beeps and basically locate the bombs with your ears. I turned the volume way up and still had difficulty finding them all. Thankfully, you can memorize where they are so you can defuse the known ones immediately to get them out of the way but after that, it can turn into a wild goose chase.
As the first piece of DLC for Marvel's Spider-Man, The Heist offers a few exciting story missions and some very cool extras. That being said, it's very short-lived and the fact that it ends on a cliffhanger is sure to annoy many fans.
- + Exciting main missions that feature a decent amount of variety
- + Story with Black Cat is thrilling to watch
- + Extra collectibles and missions are fun
- - Fairly short as it can easily be completed within a few hours
- - Defusing bombs can be pretty irritating
- - Ends with a cliffhanger