Despite all the love I tend to give the Batman: Arkham series, the one thing Rocksteady never could seem to get down was DLC. The few attempts they made were good, with the four boss Arkham Knight DLC standing out most in my mind, but they never added anything substantial. Sure, it was nice to see where Killer Croc ended up after he broke out of Arkham, or dealing with another instance of Nora Fries being torn from her husband’s cold, icy grip, but it was never anything other than that.
The same couldn’t be said about Insomniac’s post-story releases for Marvel’s Spider-Man, with part one, The Heist, more than blowing me away by not only adding new content, but continuing to improve on the formula that made Spider-Man so incredible. Part two, Turf Wars, picks up a little after The Heist’s explosive cliffhanger. Light spoilers to follow.
Hot on the heels of Hammerhead and his branch of the Maggia’s crime families, Turf Wars picks up with a raid run by Detective Yuri Watanabe. Spider-Man runs some interference and enters the warehouse from a different route, removing members of Hammerhead’s gang while searching for the flat-headed mafioso. Sadly, it turns out that Hammerhead was squarely on top of the intrusion, and Yuri is forced to watch her squad get headbutted to death before Spidey is able to arrive.
The rest of the story takes on a far darker tone than anything thus far in Insomniac’s Spiderverse. While it feels like it moves a little fast at times with the speed of her descent, Turf Wars zooms in with a laser focus on Yuri and her struggle with organized crime, and shows how far she is willing to go when she feels like she’s lost everything. It certainly wasn’t what I expected from the story, especially with as quickly as it seems to forget about Black Cat, though I imagine that will come back to the forefront with the final chapter. It adds some real emotional depth to a character we thought we knew from the main story. I was a bit sad to not see everyone’s favorite arachnid law enforcer make a return, but looking back on the beats, that kind of comedy just wouldn’t have fit with the heaviness of it all.
As they did with The Heist, Insomniac has added a new wrinkle to combat in the form of a new henchman with more Sable tech. Where the first DLC saw the inclusion of a Minigun Brute, Turf Wars addition is an upgrade on the standard shield minion. Coming into the combat arena with a power shield that burns off webbing, as well as a jet pack that allows for a horizontal charge attack, these newcomers are not quite as annoying as their larger, more heavily armed cousins, but hot damn, giving more than one any kind of freedom in the fighting area is a ticket to Hurtsville.
The additions to the enemies you fight makes me wish that there was something else to spend my abundance of tokens on. Costumes for the DLCs are given out with the completion of both the story portion and the extra content, and Turf Wars features both bases and more Screwball challenges. While they seem to be getting tougher, Spidey stagnates a bit once you have everything unlocked. Yes, I still gain power with the smaller, incremental upgrades that come with every level gained above 50, but some more suit tech wouldn’t be amiss.
That said, there’s simply nothing to not like about this DLC. It continues an already great story, adds weight and characterization to an already established Spider-friend, and, as a bonus, awards two of my favorite costumes in the bunch. If you’re looking for more Spider-Man to play, and I mean, why wouldn’t you, Insomniac continues to provide ample reasons to swing around New York. Beyond just swinging. Which is still fun, btw.
Reviewer and Editor for Darkstation by day, probably not the best superhero by night. I mean, look at that costume. EEK!