(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.
“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.
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 I wish that the Screwball missions would have been replaced by something that further complemented the DLC plot like this mission, as every conversation that took place between Spider-Man and the soon to be retired police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.
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.