Released over a month ago, Marvel’s Spider-Man has been a permanent fixture on my PS4. I play it the way I played Spider-Man 2, which means there’s a lot of aimless swinging and random crime stoppage. Sure, I could have started a new game and gone through the five star story again (which, btw, I am doing right now on New Game+), but I wanted to make sure that my Spidey was pristine when the promised DLC was released.
Called The Heist, the DLC aimed to explain why Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat, was back in town, stealing from those who could afford it, which in the case of Peter Parker’s New York, means the mob. The story does not require you to have all of the Black Cat collectibles from the main campaign. In fact, starting the DLC sends you into a different instance of the Big Apple, one complete with its own smaller subset of collectibles specific for DLC. They award the same kinds of tokens, which are useful for folks who have yet to unlock all of the costumes or gadget upgrades.
Stealing from a group like the mob, specifically long time Spidey villain Hammerhead’s faction, is no easy task, but Black Cat makes it seem effortless, especially when compared to Spider-Man’s often slightly bumbling way of getting things done. While I don’t want to get into specifics, The Heist is exceptionally well-paced, and though it ends on a cliffhanger, to be continued in the next DLC release, the story paints its characters with a fine brush. In fact, the primary interactions between the three main characters, Parker, Hardy and MJ, is absolutely worth the time spent in game. Peter and Felicia’s complicated past comes up more then once, complete with a couple amazing twists, and the way the interaction is handled by MJ, is surprisingly adult, given how often situations dealing with exes slide into melodrama.
Outside of the story, The Heist introduces a new enemy type, a Heavy carrying a mini-gun. Topping the annoying enemy list by slightly edging out rocket henchmen, the new Heavy shows up at the end of the DLC’s first combat encounter, and is generally immune to most of Spider-Man’s gadgets. All in all, even with the inclusion of Mini-Gun Marty, the combat encounters are nice and challenging even on normal difficulty, with only the last one tripping me up enough to yell at the screen a few times before finally putting it to bed.
As I said earlier, The Heist does come with its own set of collectibles in the form of art stolen by Felicia Hardy’s dead father, Walter Hardy, the first Black Cat, as well as the return of everyone’s favorite reality TV streamer, Screwball, hosting challenges for challenge tokens. The challenges are enjoyable, with the combat encounters stressing both speed as well as placement, as you earn extra points by knocking out enemies within special Screwball zones. The races have you blowing up giant generators similar to the ones found when battling Electro in the main campaign. On top of that, just finishing the campaign nets you two new outifts, with third and final suit unlocking if you choose to finish everything the DLC offers.
Overall, getting a 100% completion in the DLC clocked me in at around four hours, with the story taking about two-to-three to work through. Given the quality of both the story and the side content, picking it up and its follow-ups too should be a no-brainer. Or at least it was for me. But then, I’m the sick fool currently playing through a new game plus on Ultimate difficulty. I’ll let you know how that goes when we check in on our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man next time.
Reviewer and Editor for Darkstation by day, probably not the best superhero by night. I mean, look at that costume. EEK!