Overall, I am pleased with the first DLC for Marvel’s Spider-Man, called The Heist, but I feel it could have been longer. It took me 3 hours and 22 minutes to complete almost everything, except the crimes in different districts (I only completed half of those).
The story in The Heist focuses on Felicia Hardy AKA Black Cat, and Spider-Man is tasked with finding out the reason for her unwelcome return to New York City. Insomniac seem to have a knack for crafting their characters with quality and they have absolutely nailed their rendition of Felicia Hardy. One of the things I really enjoyed was how Peter and Felicia had history; this is not the first time they’ve met and been at odds with each other. This was highlighted throughout the story, and it helped flesh out this Spider-Man Universe even more. At the heart of this DLC is a story about Black Cat’s motivations, and why she is involved with the Maggia crime family. Is she just thieving for a paycheck? Or is there more to it this time? The conclusion to which, I found to be satisfying and left me wishing the next DLC was out already.
I couldn’t bring myself to take a break while playing through The Heist. I needed to see how it ended and was eager to learn more about the Maggia family, Insomniac’s new version of Black Cat, and just how our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man fits into the mix. The story was well balanced between high-stakes gameplay and moments of levity. All things considered, I am extremely excited to see where the story will pick up in the second DLC, Turf Wars. In my opinion, The Heist’s story was a success, even if it was a tad short.
The other new content added to The Heist DLC is the addition of new Side Activities for Spider-Man to partake in while completing the main story, or after it (I’d recommend rotating between Main Missions and Side Activities). The new Activities added are ‘Maggia Crimes’ which include; halting ‘Money Laundering’, sending a Spider-Bot to defuse car bombs, and stopping ‘Protection Rackets’ at stores. There’s also ‘Stolen Art’ to track down, of which there are ten. ‘Screwball Challenges’ that consist of Two Combat Challenges, two EMP Challenges, and one Gadget Challenge.
In these Combat Challenges you need to reach a high score while fighting enemies, every now and then a portion of the ground will light up purple (Screwball calls them “Photo-Bombs”). If you defeat enemies inside this area it will set up a perfect shot for Screwball, thus earning Spidey bonus points towards his high score. These were extremely fun, and helped add an extra layer to the regular wave-based fights from the Main Game. In the EMP Challenges, you need to use your webs to jam up EMP’s while following a trail, and at certain points, Screwball will highlight a Photo-Bomb that you can Web-Tunnel through to add to your high-score while looking stylish in the process. The Gadget Challenge requires you to use the Suspension Matrix in combination with the Trip Mine to obtain a high score, during this challenge Screwball also makes use of the Photo-Bombs for a chance at extra points.
I enjoyed each of these new Side Activities. They weren’t entirely different from the kinds of things we’ve seen in the Main Game, but they added a refreshing twist that made them even more entertaining. In comparison, I preferred these Challenges over the ones in the Main Game. They had more style and flair to them, and this is something I would love to see Insomniac Games continue in each chapter of The City That Never Sleeps DLC Series.
Also included with The Heist are three New Suits to unlock and add to Spidey’s ever-growing collection. On the left is the Scarlet Spider II suit. I like it, but feel it could’ve been swapped out for something else seeing as we already have the original Scarlet Spider Suit in the Main Game. In the middle is the Resilient Suit, which is my favorite out of the three, but I’m not a fan of the fact that the lenses don’t move at all. On the right, is the Spider-UK suit. Again, I feel this one could have been swapped for something better, but I completely understand why those who reside in the UK will enjoy this suit.
Unfortunately, none of these suits come with a Suit Power. I feel this was a missed opportunity, since part of this game’s charm, and ultimately what made unlocking suits in the game so addicting, was seeing what new Powers you would unlock with them. Insomniac if you’re listening, please consider adding Suit Powers to the three suits coming in the Turf War DLC. Having this as a feature in the Main Game, but not in the DLC is an odd decision, and I won’t be surprised if other Spider-Man fans feel the same.
In conclusion, this DLC provided a good story centered around Felicia Hardy AKA Black Cat. I thoroughly enjoyed playing through The Heist, and I am looking forward to the next instalment of DLC for Marvel’s Spider-Man, Turf Wars. But players who B-Line through the story first will probably feel a little disappointed with its overall length.
I also wasn’t a fan of how this new DLC added no new Skills/Gadgets to Spidey’s arsenal. It would have been nice to see a new Skill Tree with new abilities to unlock, that you could have brought back with you to the Main Game upon completing the DLC. That being said, however, this was still a very entertaining piece of DLC, I just feel it would have been even better if they added more of that core gameplay loop we all loved so much. Instead of focusing solely on the story, give players more to unlock. It will help round out the overall experience when compared to the Main Game, and in turn, will result in even better DLC for Marvel’s Spider-Man.