Spider-Man had an incredible 2018 between his appearance in Infinity War, the unexpectedly excellent Into the Spider-Verse and, of course, Insomniac’s video game turn.
The City That Never Sleeps Season Pass has also provided some solid DLC that does a good job of tieing up most loose end narratives from the base game while serving Spidey fans new treats.
And Silver Lining certainly takes things in a direction that opens up intriguing possibilities for the inevitable sequel that will have you more hyped than you already were.
Please be aware, this review will contain some spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man and The City That Never Sleeps due to plot links. If you’ve not finished the game or previous DLC yet, please stop reading this review now.
Silver Lining takes place almost immediately following the events of Turf Wars. We left things off with Yuri putting a bullet in Hammerhead’s, uh, head, which on the surface, seemed to kill him. We find out this leads to Yuri’s expulsion from the police force. But as we also found out, unfortunately for Yuri, the resilient assailant still has more tricks up his Saber-tech sewn sleeve.
However, Hammerhead’s use of Saber tech throughout the DLC has caught the ayre of Silver Sable herself. Sick of her technology being used for chaos and destruction, she’s back to put a stop to his tyranny once and for all.
Her appearance in NYC isn’t quite what Spidey is expecting, though. From the onset, it seems their temporary alliance from the base game has become strained again and Spidey may not have it quite as easy as he first thinks. Can they work together long enough to stop Hammerhead?
Silver Lining really doesn’t deviate from Turf Wars or The Heist in terms of the overall structure. Hammerhead Crimes are back one last time, relying on you stopping cars and punching through Sable Tech goons.
Olympus Hideouts are also pretty much identical to what you’ve seen before, battling through waves of foes, then sending the coordinates to a new ally who takes back the gear from the bad guys.
And yes, Screwball Challenges have one last go-around, sticking to what we’ve already seen and played through before, rewarding you with skill with different medal types. If nothing else, you have to admire Insomniac’s tenacity in sticking to their guns across all three episodes.
However, new Crime Scene Recordings offer up a really shocking and intriguing storyline thread that not only encourage you to go swinging around the city looking for hidden clues but will definitely keep us all speculating until Spider-Man 2 drops.
What’s clear, though, is that Silver Lining, much like the entirety of The City That Never Sleeps, plays it safe and sticks well within the guidelines set by the base game. That’s no bad thing, but it’s important to recognize that the narrative is the real driving force here, as it has been throughout.
And the way Insomniac gradually piece together backstories for the characters we’ve been introduced to throughout this journey offers well-executed development in massively open world space.
Silver Lining is slightly lengthier and bigger in size compared to Turf Wars and, as expected, offers a climax that both caps off this entire ride, while offering more questions than answers. But just like the previous two pieces of content, offers some thrilling sections to really sink your teeth into.
Something Insomniac have got just right, though, is the progressive difficulty in these DLCs. In The Heist, you spent most of the time fighting standard muggers and brawlers, with a few having upgrades. Turf Wars took things up a notch with the enemies putting the powerful tech to good use. But Silver Lining is just plain brutal.
You’ve got rockets coming in from your left, enemies charging toward you from the right. Hench goons and shielded folk bearing down on top of you, while other enemies fight from range using electronically charged whips. Basically, if you stand still for longer than a second, you’re going to get mauled.
Insomniac’s insistence on keeping Hammerhead the central antagonist throughout The City That Never Sleeps is surprising but interesting. Like Mr Negative, he’s not one of Spidey’s more illustrious villains, but he’s been really fleshed out to the point that this story told is not one that’s common or familiar.
However, Insomniac have smartly spliced in plenty of references even casual Spidey fans will pick up on that strongly hint at the direction they’re heading in for the sequel.
While Silver Lining is certainly a concluding arc to this chapter of game development, it never feels like an ending. Much of over-familiarity will wane on you, but it’s clear there’s much more to come from this franchise.
Even though Silver Lining has plenty of optional extras to mop up once the final credits roll, it’s hard not to be more excited about the future. In that, the DLC has served its purpose perfectly.
+ A satisfying conclusion to this story arc
+ Characters fleshed out and lots to speculate on for the future
+ Good chunk of content
+ Spider-Verse Suit is great!
– Overly familiar and more of the same
– Intense difficulty frustrating and hard for those who’ve taken a break between games
Marvel’s Spider-Man Silver Lining DLC
8 out of 10
Tested on PS4
Code purchased seperately