Spider-Man PS4 – The City That Never Sleeps: Silver Lining Review
(Note: This review contains light spoilers for the Turf Wars & The Heist DLC packs. If for some reason you’re reading this and haven’t played the main story, come back when you have.)
The City That Never Sleeps: Silver Lining is the third installment of Insomniac’s Spider-Man PS4 DLC package. In this chapter, Silver Sable makes a return to New York after a resurrected Hammerhead continues to steal Project Olympus tech for his own personal use. Silver Lining begins only a short time after the climactic events of Turf Wars, concluding Spider-Man’s journey to clean up the city in the aftermath of the main story. After being confronted by Silver Sable about his inability to stop Hammerhead and his goons from acquiring more tech, the two forge an unlikely partnership in order to bring the mobster down once and for all.
While Turf Wars certainly carries a more emotional component of the DLC trilogy, Silver Lining is easily the most fun to experience. After a quick recap of events by Mary Jane, we’re thrown into the first mission that highlights Silver Sable’s abilities. Although we caught small glimpses of her in the main game, this mission positions Silver Sable as a formidable presence for the rest of the chapter. Whereas Black Cat presented an intellectual foil to Peter Parker, Silver Sable offers a powerful counterpart to Spider-Man – both in terms of her physicality and technological prowess.
Main Story & Characterization
One of the best aspects of The City That Never Sleeps as a whole is they way that is brings a sense of stakes to the story. By exploring the various interpersonal relationships that Spidey has with Black Cat, Yuri Watanabe, and now Silver Sable, the DLC always grounds itself in character. Much like Felicia Hardy, Sable treads the line between ally and antagonist, which makes her eventual partnership with Spider-Man all the more engaging. The dynamic between these two is perfectly captured in Silver Lining.
Even though Silver Sable had a limited presence in the main game, her absence and subsequent return adds a lot of color to that was sorely missing before. In many ways, Peter is as much to blame for the loss of the Project Olympus tech as Sable is. That adds to the tragedy of Peter’s plight. No matter how much Peter gives, he’s still failing to control crime in the city. Sable isn’t given enough time to have a super deep arc, but her return provides a great deal of context for her backstory. Without getting into spoilers, this DLC adds a lot of humanity to Sable’s motivations.
Much like it’s two predecessors, the major problem with Silver Lining is that it’s far too short. Although the third chapter does finish the story nicely, it’s also forced to wrap things up a little too quickly. Some logical leaps are taken, and it forces the plot to play out in a rushed manner. Aside from this, the most exciting aspects are the small moments. The various phone calls to MJ and Miles are often more exciting than the story itself, because they add juicy hints about where the sequel might go.
Challenges, Collectibles & Side Missions
Silver Lining is easily the most robust chapter in the DLC. Through the use of three new side missions, we get another a set of collectibles, new base challenges, and more of the dreaded Screwball challenges. While the base challenges are significantly more difficult than before, they play into a side story that sheds a new light on the Sable employees that we’ve fought so many times throughout the game. Similarly, the collectibles mission offers a satisfactory wrap up for Yuri’s arc in the DLC, while teasing a different side of the disgraced NYPD captain that can be explored in the eventual sequel.
On the other hand, the conclusion to the Screwball storyline is absolutely forgettable. Everything about these challenges, along with the character as a whole just feels like nothing but filler. These challenges aren’t even fun to play, and the final chase with Screwball has a payoff that ends up being meaningless. It’s just annoying trying to finish this mission in the first place. Even though the rest of Silver Lining does a wonderful job of using the side missions and collectibles to reveal character, the Screwball story simply adds nothing to the game.
As with the previous chapters, there are three new suit skins, along with a special addition that is sure to make fans of the game very happy. The first is the Aaron Aikman Armor Suit, a nod to the Earth-31411 version of Spider-Man. Up next, we have the Cyborg Suit, which is the Earth-2818 version of the character from the Superior Spider-Man run of comics. Third, we have the Into the Spider-Verse skin, a great nod to one of the year’s best superhero movies. Finally, the developers have included the much-requested “webbed suit” design from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. Although this skin is added as a part of the main game and not just the DLC, it’s also proof that game developers will eventually give into the whims of fans. All joking aside, this skin is a naturally welcome addition and easily one of the coolest in the game.
Is The Silver Lining DLC Worth It?
As with the previous two chapters in the story, Silver Lining doesn’t really work on its own. Taken as the third and final chapter in a larger story, Silver Lining makes for a passable, but ultimately anticlimactic ending to The City That Never Sleeps. It will probably be best remembered for being a transition between this game and the sequel, but it’s also nice to learn more about these characters in the aftermath of the main game. If fans have already played the first two parts, there’s no question that Silver Lining is worth playing through as well. Ultimately, for a hefty price of $25 for the entire DLC package, it’s a surprisingly small amount of content. Only the hardest of hardcore Spidey fans should feel the need for it. Everyone else might want to consider skipping the DLC altogether, or at least waiting until it inevitably goes on sale.