Marvel's Spider-Man The City that Never Sleeps Review: The Heist

Insomniac Games has begun to drip feed us their downloadable content for Marvel’s Spider-Man. The City that Never Sleeps is being released in three separate chapters each one containing story, side missions, and challenges. The first DLC chapter entitled, The Heist, introduces us to the Black Cat, a.k.a., Felicia Hardy.


As I mentioned in my original review, Marvel’s Spider-Man was a solid experience with minor issues, and some buggy wall crawling moments. While The Heist does not directly change any of those core Spider-Man movement issues I previously stated, it offers more story in this developed world and elaborates on the characters that were only spoken about in the original campaign.


*SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*


Scarlet Spider II Suit

Story


Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, has returned to New York and is stealing priceless art pieces again. The 28-year-old Peter has already been introduced to this Black Cat, and just like the comics, they shared, what we will call, romantic moments together. The initial in-game encounter seems to be taking place after the events of the original campaign and only features Mary Jane as Peter’s contact for information regarding the Black Cat’s new scheme.


Black Cat claims that she is working for Hammerhead and the New York mob because they are holding her child. The news of Felicia's child strikes Peter to his core as he begins to question who the father of this child could be, and since he can’t get a straight answer to the question, he starts to panic. Peter’s sense of responsibility triggers and he helps Black Cat with her mission in hopes of saving an innocent child.


Later in the story, during a cutscene, Black Cat reveals that this plan against the mob was purely selfish. She has no child and is merely trying to take money from Hammerhead. I personally found this to be predictable, but that’s what happens when you are a long time Spider-Man reader. After the big reveal, Hammerhead gets word of Felicia’s plans, and he orders his crew to place bombs in her penthouse. Moments before she walks into her apartment, Peter calls Felicia warning her, but before she could hear everything he had to say, the bomb explodes. This whole sequence happens so quick that I didn’t even realize the story ended until the screen went dark the credits began to roll on The Heist.


The credits rolled long enough for me to think about what had just happened on screen, prior. I was shocked. I didn’t expect Felicia's story to end so quickly. After the credits, we see Peter and Mary Jane in a diner discussing the last thing Peter saw. “And I haven’t heard anything since,” Peter tells MJ.


I am sure the Black Cat will return in some way, but the cliffhanger blew me away. Hearing Peter’s yell for Felicia through my headset sold me on the grief he felt in that moment. The following chapter entitled “Turf Wars” will release in November and I am looking forward to what they have in store for us in regards to Hammerhead and Black Cat.


Side Missions


There is only one real side mission in The Heist, and it tells us a little about the history behind Felicia Hardy and the Black Cat persona. There was a Black Cat before Felicia, and it was actually her father, Walter Hardy. For years, Walter stole priceless works of art and sold them on the black market. He had become so proficient in cat burglary that he began to hide the art pieces throughout the city to sell later on. After being captured by the police, Walter went to prison and was never heard from again. Spider-Man is tasked with finding those art pieces and returning them to Detective Mackey.


This is a simple collection mission offered in the game and gives you an easy task to do while web-swinging between main missions. While finding the paintings is not tricky, the side quest provides a satisfying ending when you collect them all.


Screwball Combat Challenge Projector

Challenges


Challenges are back in Marvel’s Spider-Man, but Taskmaster is gone. This time our not-so-friendly online streamer, Screwball, has returned from the campaign! She has projectors scattered throughout the city waiting for you to complete some difficult challenges. She offers combat, gadget, and bomb challenges. They can be somewhat complicated when you want to receive an Ultimate score on all of them. I found myself repeating the one gadget mission two or three times simply because the game offers no real incentive to use gadgets in most combat sequences. Since I hadn’t played the game since launch, I had to readjust and remember how to quickly switch from one device to another to achieve a higher score.


The Challenges in The Heist give you no reward at the end. You don’t find Screwball, and you don’t get any rewards other than the final Spider-Man costume offered in the DLC. So unless you really want that suit - which is my favorite - or you just want to get all of the game’s trophies, you can skip the challenges.


On the US PlayStation Network, a standalone version of “The Heist” is being sold for $10 and to me that doesn’t seem worth it. The single chapter of the DLC is not worth that price. I would recommend that you buy The City that Never Sleeps Bundle for $24. I can’t tell you that the other stories will be good just yet, but I can tell you that if you are at all interested in the story; you will want to finish the following DLC chapters.


How many of you have already purchased the DLC Bundle? Are you going to wait for all the chapters to come out? Let us know in the comments section below.

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