That’s one way to end the year! It seems that Insomniac Games decided to leave the best piece of downloadable content for The City That Never Sleeps expansion for last. With wonderful characters, fantastic moments, and some neat character advancements, this final piece sets up a potential sequel as it closes the story with resolution.
Just like previous installments, the Silver Lining story is no more than two hours. However, this third expansion features the best of both previous installments and offers the most varied in terms of gameplay. Picking up right as Turf Wars ends, Hammerhead is ruining the city and former friends are turning into enemies. Silver Sable also returns to clean up her mess and needs help from Spider-Man.
What I liked about this final piece of content is how straightforward the content is. The story is simple and doesn’t complicate things. The second thing I enjoyed is the relationship that begins to build between Spider-Man and Silver Sable, as he tries to get her to crack a smile and throws his infamous quips her way. There’s some good material that got me smiling along as well.
Continuing from Turf Wars, Hammerhead has equipped his henchmen with all of Silver Sable’s high-tech gear and they are running amok across New York City. It’s up to the Symkarian mercenary and the wall-crawler to save the city. In contrast, Sable is much better here than she was in the main campaign. This expansion was the perfect way to expand on the character and allow her to do more than grimace in the background.
Hammer it in
Hammerhead is somewhat forgettable, and I wasn’t a huge fan of using him villain for Spider-Man. However, his boss battle is enjoyable and ends the optional campaign off in satisfying fashion. Insomniac took the character in a direction that I’ve not seen done before. Hammerhead is much more capable than we’ve seen him in other games or even the cartoons.
Of course, we also get the most grating villain the Spider-Man has to offer and having to play through these missions irked me, especially the final mission that was a nuisance to complete. That’s right, the Screwball missions started off harmless enough but devolved into some nasty instant-fail chase sequences at the end. The camera would often be unable to keep up with Spider-Man or Screwball, or she jettison off far too fast for me to even catch her. This lead to a series of having me restart the missions and become frustrated.
Lastly, Gang Bases are back again and quickly turn into tedious missions with nasty difficulty curves. The main campaign and the expansion felts immensely different regarding their difficulty level. I moved from playing on normal level to easy for the remainder of The City That Never Sleeps. Combat became overwhelming and overbearing as time went on, and I had little incentive to continue grating my nerves with the bogus difficulty.
With each expansion comes new suits! Included in Silver Lining are three new suits: the Aaron Aikman suit, the Cyborg suit, and Into the Spider-Verse suit from Sony’s new animated film. As a surprise, Insomniac also dropped the highly-requested but not deserved Sam Raimi suit.
The best part of this expansion was the relationship between Spider-Man and Silver Sable. Their banter and chemistry paint a good picture for future sequels. Seeing Miles once again was nice, and we’re getting closer to his reveal as another Spider-Man. The best way to play the new campaign is, any other option dilutes the experience and leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Silver Lining saves the season pass and teases the future in exciting ways.