Marvel’s Spider-Man Turf Wars DLC Review

Normally, developers keep us waiting for DLC, sometimes months after the launch of the original game.

But just several months removed from Insomniac’s launch of Marvel’s Spider-Man, we’re getting the entire City that Never Sleeps Season Pass before Christmas.

And while that’s a genuine thrill for those who can’t quite enough of the web-head and want more sooner rather than later, sometimes it shines through in the DLC content itself.

Please be aware, this review will contain some slight spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man and The Heist due to plot links. If you’ve not finished the game or first DLC yet, please stop reading this review now.

The Heist ended on a pretty hefty cliffhanger that certainly surprised and got people talking, but while the fallout from that does tie into Turf Wars, it’s perhaps not in the way you might expect.

Hammerhead’s goons are now running roughshot over New York City, causing chaos in their wake now they’ve managed to get their hands on Sable Technology. Yuri Watanabe and the Police Force are working with Spider-Man to take them down, but things aren’t exactly going to plan.

It’s a warzone out there and to make matters worse, Hammerhead has set up fronts all over the city which help him conceal the weapons from prying eyes. With random crimes also cropping up on the police scanners, Spidey and co definitely have their hands full.

And as if that’s not bad enough, Screwball is also showing up again with more of her challenges, hoping to get a few more Likes and Subscribers. We’ve all been there, Screwball..

If you enjoyed The Heist, Turf Wars is basically more of the same, although there’s a neater structure to it which makes the narrative flow much more freely and easily. All side missions actually feel relevant to the plot now, especially as this content is as much about Hammerhead as it is Yuri.

For instance, if you tackle all the Fronts before you finish the DLC, you’ll understand much more about the characters driving this content forward and have a clearer picture of their motivations than if you just tried to complete the DLC outright.

Oddly, while you’re controlling Spider-Man throughout the entire piece of DLC, he rarely feels like the main character in Turf Wars. Between the conversations with Peter and Miles, Spidey supplying evidence for MJ’s latest story, and Yuri’s growing obsession with the Maggia, Spider-Man often feels like a hunk of muscle following a trail, doing the leg – or webwork – of others.

And that’s actually really refreshing because it shows the strength of the secondary characters that Insomniac have created. While the events of The Heist directly impacted both Peter and Spider-Man with the introduction of Felicia Hardy, Spider-Man is caught up in the middle of someone else’s events in Turf Wars.

Turf Wars is a good piece of DLC that follows on from what The Heist started out but takes a completely different approach, tying more into the events of the base game now and really setting up the stage for Silver Lining and the inevitable sequel.

The main story does diversify the content just enough to keep things feeling relatively fresh. One section has you use your Spider-Bot to wander around a bar and listen into other people’s conversations. Another time you’ll have to track a mobile phone frequency. However, it’s never quite to the same standard as The Heist.

But Turf Wars does suffer from the same issues as The Heist. The street crimes are still a slog. Hammerhead Fronts basically feel like Taskmaster Challenges without the medals, and having Screwball challenges back again really dulls my enthusiasm to work through any of it.

There are of course some cool new suits for Spidey to wear, and a tough bad guy kitted up with a Sable Tech shield and jetpack, but Turf Wars definitely lacks the spark of The Heist. Not only is it short and a bit lacking in ideas, it genuinely feels like a middle-of-the-road DLC that bridges a thrilling beginning and what will almost certainly be an exciting end.



Pros

+ Shines the spotlight on Spidey’s secondary characters
+ Webslinging and wisecracking through NYC never gets old
+ Storytelling building nicely to an intriguing payoff
+ Great boss battle

Cons

– Content repetition is very noticeable
– Difficulty regularly frustrating
– Often feels rushed and very short


Marvel’s Spider-Man Turf Wars DLC 

7.5 out of 10

Tested on PS4

Code purchased seperately

About the author

Ray Willmott

Ray is the founder and editor of Expansive. He is also a former Community Manager for Steel Media, and has written for a variety of gaming websites over the years. His work can be seen on Pocket Gamer, PG.biz, Gfinity, and the Red Bull Gaming Column. He has also written for VG247, Videogamer, GamesTM, PLAY, and MyM Magazine,