Here it is, the final installment of The City That Never Sleeps. After starting off with a bang in The Heist, Insomniac Games had a slight stumble with the darker and more difficult Turf Wars. The last installment in the trilogy, Silver Lining, wraps up some loose ends while planting seeds for future plot lines in a satisfying conclusion.
If you’ve read our original review, or any of the other two reviews for the DLC packs, you’ll know that the gameplay for Marvel’s Spider-Man is fantastic. Luckily, it still is. I’ve found it fun to return to these packs after some time off, and playing other games, and re-learning the controls. Spider-Man controls wonderfully, it’s easy to swing around the city at a blazing speed or utilize the variety of gadgets to take down bad guys in fights. Unfortunately, Silver Lining doesn’t add anything new to the mix. Pretty much the entirety of the new content (new hideouts, crimes, Screwball Challenges) is remixed versions of what you’ve done before.
I’ve raved about the story in The City That Never Sleeps and Silver Lining wraps up the loose ends in a great way. At the end of The Heist, we’re left wondering about the fate of Black Cat, while the end of Turf Wars teased a mech-powered Hammerhead. But it’s not just the sewing up of these plot threads that makes the story so wonderful, but the way Silver Lining expands on Silver Sable herself, and the return of the relatable dialogue that was missing from Turf Wars. You will learn more about the for-hire mercenary, what makes her tick, and why she is so pissed that Hammerhead has been stealing her equipment. She also provides one of my favorite moments in the game from such a simple, yet perfectly timed gesture.
Mary Jane joins Spider-Man after Captain Watanabe makes a grim decision at the end of the previous episode. The conversations between MJ and Peter instantly made me smile, partly because of the chemistry and excellent voice-acting of the two actors and partly because of how I’ve found myself similarly talking to my fiancée. At one point, Peter makes mention about how the two never have a normal conversation, and so they decide to give it a whirl, but with a superhero twist. Even when MJ explains that she has to leave, the way Peter reacts is touching, and anyone that has to be away from a loved one for an extended amount of time will understand his situation.
But MJ isn’t the only one that returns. After Hammerhead blew up Black Cat’s apartment at the end of The Heist, her fate isn’t shown until the mid-point in Silver Lining. I want to leave this as ambiguous as possible; I wasn’t a fan of how short the developers sold her. It wasn’t whether or not she dies that was the issue, but more along the lines of how short-lived this plot thread became. For a DLC pack that only lasts three hours, though, I guess I shouldn’t have expected much.
I’ve always been fond of how developers treat DLC packs. On one hand, you want to give fans as much story and depth as possible, but on the other hand, DLC packs traditionally don’t sell that well, so I’d imagine writers don’t want to dangle too many plot points throughout them in case fans that pick up the inevitable sequel won’t be confused. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by how much the overarching story in Spider-Man’s career progresses, let alone, by the potential teases that Insomniac seems to have integrated into Silver Lining. I’m sure we’ll get to see more of MJ, and how new developments have changed her character, but also the fate of Captain Watanabe. After reaching her breaking point in Turf Wars, one of the new side-quests introduced brings her down a dark path. I can’t wait to see how Insomniac takes this story; I’m just worried how people that will miss this DLC will react to her in the next game. Oh, and Peter seems to have fully embraced his mentoring of Miles, with a fun stinger at the end.
Side note here, once you’ve finished the main story, stay tuned for one final podcast featuring J. Jonah Jameson.
In addition to the new challenges and story, Silver Lining once again lets players unlock three new costumes. Insomniac has done a fantastic job with the new additions, one of them being a costume from Into the Spider-Verse that brings everything full circle, and this trio is the best of the bunch.
Silver Lining is a satisfying conclusion to The City That Never Sleeps. The character developments are the best in the trilogy of DLC packs, the new costumes are some of my favorites, remembering how amazing the gameplay of Marvel’s Spider-Man is, and the teases for the eventual sequel are fun. While not everything works in this pack, you can’t go wrong spending a few hours swinging around New York for one last ride.