Spider-Man: The Heist Review

(Warning: full spoilers below)

Spider-Man’s first DLC pack “The Heist” doesn’t answer the burning questions left by the end of the main campaign, or bring us any further to a costumed Miles Morales. But after playing through it, I found that it doesn’t need to.


She’s got a point

“The Heist” begins with Spider-Man intercepting a robbery at a museum where he encounters ex-girlfriend Felicia Hardy, better known as the Black Cat. Cunning, deceptive, and flirtatious, Black Cat has some of the best chemistry and scenes with Spider-Man of anything that was even in the main game. Their cryptic past is investigated through bits of dialogue whilst chasing, tracking down, and even fighting alongside each other. This is blast from Peter’s past is further complicated by the inclusion of Mary Jane, who assists Spider-Man by tracking down leads and making hilarious remarks and inquiries regarding their old relationship.

Mary Jane also receives her own segment in the DLC. While central to the Heist’s plot, it felt too familiar to her previous missions from the main story, and was not very fun as a result. Hiding behind boxes and sneaking around gang members in order to get from point A to point B is a disappointment and I hope that the next two DLC packs give MJ expanded gameplay options and scenarios that aren’t stealth-based.


Easter eggs abound

While we don’t play as or see Miles here, we do get a conversation with him calling Peter to ask for Spider-Man lessons. While not the tag team duo setup that some may be hoping for, it still continues where the two left off if only a little bit. If anything it may foreshadow a larger role for Miles down the line.

Challenge missions make a return featuring annoying F-list villain Screwball and her burning desire for likes and views on her social platforms. While some new challenges are fun such as being limited to combining two gadgets to take down hordes of enemies, others are borrowed from the main campaign and make it repetitive as a result.

Similar to the backpack tracking in the main story, Spider-Man can embark on a quest to track down Black Cat’s father’s old stolen items, which further expands on her backstory. I wish that the Screwball missions would have been replaced by something that further complemented the DLC plot like this mission, as every conversation that took place between Spider-Man and the soon to be retired police officer who tasks Spidey with this was interesting and gave me a new perspective on who this version of Black Cat is.

Just the Facts with J.J. returns as you patrol the city and his commentary on everything from kids’ social media usage to Spider-Man’s alleged romance with Black Cat is just as entertaining as ever and serves as a welcome return.



Completing all the new challenges plus the main mission took me just over two and a half hours. “The Heist” doesn’t win any points for brevity but makes up for it with a fantastic final fight that has Spider-Man and Black Cat fight side-by-side and ends with a heavy cliffhanger.

Oddly, there seemed to be a handful of technical issues with this DLC as my game actually crashed during a Screwball mission. This was accompanied by multiple framerate dips when the fights that had multiple new enemies on screen at once. I played this on a PS4 Pro, so I was surprised to see these make their way into the final product.

The Verdict:

A short but entertaining return to Marvel’s Spider-Man introduces one of the best new characters to this game’s universe. Challenge missions are repetitive and the infamous analysis puzzles make a return, but it’s not enough to deter me from enjoying an ever evolving world that may yet answer the biggest questions that the story left us with. I’m eager to play the second DLC “Turf Wars” next month.



Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man

When I played Spider-Man for the first time at San Diego Comic Con this year, I walked away with questions that made me worry about the final product. I knew that they had nailed the swinging. Mere minutes with the game assured me of that. I knew that Yuri Lowenthal had nailed the snarky quips that Spider-Man is known for. I knew that I would be able to go almost anywhere in New York that I wanted, and tackle objectives as I saw fit. But other Spider-Man games before this have accomplished these without being very fun or memorable. What I did not know was if these unknown factors would be able to complete the package and make the final product live up to what everyone was hoping for.

Would the story be engrossing and engaging? Would Miles Morales and Mary Jane share the spotlight alongside Spider-Man? Will the combat be interesting?

The answer, which I arrived at well before eagerly completingĀ  nearly every task, mission, and side mission the game has to offer was a resounding yes.


It definitely did not take me 10 minutes to get this shot.

Peter Parker’s relationships with his friends are pivotal in transforming a generic New York City into one that feels like the Marvel universe. We see him struggle with changing careers with being on time to his commitments. We watch as he attempts to reconcile things with Mary Jane, and see Peter help strangers in his community. Combat may make someĀ “feel” like Spider-Man, though I would argue that all of Peter’s relationships with the main cast make me feel like I’m “with” him throughout everything. I found my main motivation to keep playing and completing every quest the game threw at me was just to build and explore character interactions and watch Peter become a greater Spider-Man as a result.

Miles Morales and Mary Jane are not only central to the game’s story, but playable as well. Although they cannot engage in combat, they are creatively implemented to explore sequences and gameplay that really wouldn’t make a ton of sense if I was in control of Spider-Man.

Perhaps drawing inspiration from the Batman Arkham series, Spider-Man has hacked into the city’s radios, and as a result can listen in on J. Jonah Jameson’s conspiracy theory show where he talks to his listeners and brings people on so that he can trash talk Spider-Man, which changes depending on where you are in the game. This sort of touch made the world much more engrossing, and gave me an idea of how the world at large was reacting to the events around me.

NYPD captain Yuri Watanabe is in constant communication with Spider-Man and the two’s banter together quickly made their dialogue moments some of my favorite in the game and showcased just how much care went into the voice-over for the game.

A sizable rogues gallery is also on display and features some of Spidey’s most famous villains along with a new one made for the game.

Combat is something that ended up being more than my initial hands-on led me to believe. Just as the game is free roaming, so too is the combat. You are only limited by your imagination as you punch, kick, web, launch enemies into the air, dodge rocket launchers and then send them flying back at enemies. The possibilities are seemingly endless but it’s never overwhelming nor does it ever come across as unbalanced. I never felt that I was at a disadvantage for running out of ammo for a specific web gadget or if I did not have a full focus meter to activate my suit’s special power. I was only ever limited by my imagination. As cliche as that may sound, I truly believe that Insomniac created a fine tuned system that other developers can learn from.


Like combat, photo mode is limited only by your imagination.

While there are many things that Insomniac has done right, there are a few annoyances. Though Spider-Man is an action game, many sequences require a puzzle to be solved in order to progress. The puzzles themselves aren’t difficult or boring, but there are only two kinds and we see them ad nauseam . The tediousness quickly became a negative and I hope that the upcoming DLC forgoes them altogether.

Another annoyance is stealth. Spider-Man is able to use high ground and distance to dispatch foes quietly with one button press. At any time I can see if my stealth take-down is “unsafe” and will alert enemies. However, once you clear everyone out, the game automatically triggers the next wave, who are already on alert and run straight for you. It’s strange that there’s little reward outside of fewer enemies to punch, and this made enemy hideouts a huge chore to clear out.

The game clocks in at just over 20 hours depending on how many extra missions you choose to accept and how quickly you can speed through everything. Overall the game feels short, but not to a fault.


Is it cliche to describe the game as “Amazing” if it’s true?

The Verdict:

Spider-Man is a triumph by developer Insomniac Games and unsurprisingly earned the accolade of being the fastest selling PlayStation 4 title of all time. While there are occasionally small annoyances, the game is an absolute joy to play regardless of how much you enjoy superheroes movies or comic book stories. The combat and narrative alone make it among the most polished titles in the vast PlayStation library. I eagerly await the upcoming DLC missions.

Score: 9/10