Spider-Man DLC: 10 Things The City That Never Sleeps Must Include
MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW
The next big release on the gaming calendar might be October’s Red Dead Redemption 2, but fans shouldn’t forget about the DLC for Marvel’s Spider-Man, the first of which – The Heist – is set to release October 23.
The first part of the City that Never Sleeps arc, this particular entry will focus on Black Cat, who featured off-camera in one of the base game’s side missions. The ending teases that the character, who goes by the name of Felicia Hardy in the comics, is planning something big – even going so far as to outfit the web-slinger with a brand new, Black Widow-inspired costume stashed away in her temporary hideout.
It’s unclear what the other packs will include though, and while Insomniac’s latest title is as close to perfect as a superhero game can get, there are a few things that could be improved for the DLC.
Fans are now fully invested in this version of the Marvel Universe, and with the time and resources available to further enhance Sony’s latest console exclusive, there’s a good chance this add-on content will genuinely be worth the wait.
More Open World Locations
Insomniac’s recreation of New York is wonderful, detailed, and stunning to look at at. It’s also pretty big, but once players unlock all the swinging upgrades, they’ll find themselves zipping from Harlem to the Financial District in no time at all.
This isn’t an issue per se – quick and satisfying traversal is the cornerstone of any good Spidey game, and Insomniac have undoubtedly delivered in that area. It’s just that once you’ve seen it all, going out on patrol around New York can feel somewhat repetitive. It’s imperative, then, that the studio look to enhance the setting in the add-on content, whether that be via the addition of new side-missions and weather effects, or just by adding another place to visit.
In 2005’s Ultimate Spider-Man (a game that was, until recently, the best Spidey game on consoles), the action was split across Queens and Manhattan. Spidey’s OG stomping ground has since been overlooked in the medium however, and though it doesn’t boast the same aesthetic of NYC itself, it’s a key pillar of the Spidey mythos and one worth exploring all over again, should the opportunity be made available.
Failing that, giving players the opportunity to hitch a ride to Liberty Island – or swing on over to Roosevelt Island – would be great too.
What’s Happened To Norman Osborn?
While it doesn’t make sense to wrap up any of the threads sparked in the ending until a sequel, those big revelations surrounding the Osborns have to be teased further in the DLC.
With Harry recovering in a symbiote and the black costume saga sure to follow – not to mention the pumpkin bombs lying on Norman’s desk – the future is looking both bright and terrifying for Insomniac’s Spider-Verse. If more seeds can be planted in the DLC though, then it’ll make each story must-plays, as the direction Insomniac are taking the narrative takes on an irresistible new form.
It’s not been confirmed if Norman will appear in the DLC, but wouldn’t it be interesting if he was Black Cat’s key target? If she’s after something in his lab, then things could get even more interesting – especially now that he’s resigned from office a complete disgrace and with the Hague, if we’re to believe Morgan Michaels, sure to secure a prosecution.
Undeniably one of the best things about Insomniac’s Spider-Man is that it embraces the Marvel Universe; for every landmark referencing the Avengers, Doctor Strange or ALIAS Investigations, there are about a dozen backpacks that flesh out the lore even further.
But it’s not enough. While it’s great to see Insomniac place such a great emphasis on the wall-crawler, a story set in New York can only go so far without another hero coming into the mix. By the time the third act comes around, and Rykers’ inmates are wreaking havoc across the city, it makes no sense as to why Daredevil, the Defenders or Doctor Strange weren’t enveloped in the fray – the Avengers have an excuse of course, but Spidey shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden alone, even if it is his game.
And that’s why, come October, Insomniac should introduce the first of many cameos to come. Spidey’s teamed up with countless figures over the years, and though a tantalising tease of a collaboration with Tony Stark during the game’s opening is pretty exciting too, who better to start off with than Daredevil himself, Matt Murdock?
The occasions where Spidey and the Man Without Fear team up have always been highlights in the comics, and with ol’ hornhead said to light up the small screen once more in the third season of Daredevil, now’s as good a time as any to introduce him to this new mythos.
The Future Foundation Costume
In case you hadn’t noticed already, Spider-Man PS4 is a game full to the brim with alternate costumes. There are 28 to be exact, all worth using for various reasons, but there have been a few notable omissions.
For context’s sake, it’s easy to see why the black suit was left out. Spidey’s likely to don it in the sequel, and while it’s the most high profile absentee, there are other outfits that should’ve gotten the nod too, a key one being Peter’s Future Foundation suit designed by Reed Richards.
When Johnny Storm passed away in the comics (he’s back again – don’t worry), it was his dying wish that his best friend Pete would take his place on the Fantastic Four. This leads to the creation of the Future Foundation and a change of uniforms too, which Spidey happily agrees to.
As far as designs go, it’s one of the best the character’s ever sported, and one that’s already appeared in previous Spidey titles. Make it happen, Insomniac.
Dual Play-Style Combat With Black Cat
Though there are plenty of reasons to compare Marvel’s Spider-Man with Batman: Arkham, combat and stealth isn’t really one of them. While yes, the wall-crawler possesses an abundance of interchangeable quick-fire gadgets and an instant takedown button taken straight from Rocksteady’s seminal series, the emphasis on speed, movement and verticality trumps Arkham’s combat by throwing a whole host of variables into the mix.
One area where it is yet to match Arkham, however, relates to that series’ dual play feature from Arkham Knight. It allowed players to have Batman and Robin team up and take down a room full of thugs together, and while Insomniac couldn’t really copy this feature tit for tat, a version of dual play that enabled players to actually fight as Black Cat would be fantastic.
Spidey should still be the lead of course, but Felicia is a fantastic character and one players should get to play as in the DLC. The redesign is brilliant, and with the back and forth between the pair set to be an obvious highlight, Insomniac are starting off Spidey’s post-release content with a bang.
A Supervillain Turf War
The second entry in the City that Never Sleeps DLC is titled Turf Wars, and given how one feud ends in the game, we think we know how this one’ll play out.
With Spidey having played a few mind games to defeat Scorpion and Rhino by turning them against each other – with the two even coming to blows in the fight’s climax – it’s likely there’s a lot of bad blood between the pair. With Fisk behind bars as well, and the Raft no longer secure, it could be that both villains get overly ambitious and try to stake a claim to New York. Failing that, the DLC could also introduce new villains feuding with each other – perhaps even some that were referenced in the game’s many backpacks.
The likes of Sandman, Hammerhead and more are all yet to be appear in the game, and though it would be easy enough for Insomniac to bring back characters they’ve already used, introducing a pair of fresh faces would really make the DLC worthwhile.
Silver Sable Returns With The Wild Pack
Players may not have been given the opportunity to face off against Symkaria’s finest mercenary in the main story, but with the third DLC being called Silver Lining, there’s a decent probability that players won’t have to wait long for her to return.
The climax to the game’s second act saw Sable reconsider her business and leave New York, but she does so as a firm believer in Spider-Man. If she were to return in the DLC sans Sable International, however, then it would it not make sense for the Wild Pack to be introduced too?
Sable’s group are never far behind her in the comics, and though they haven’t been referenced in-game yet, now would be the perfect time for them to appear.
Flashbacks From Before Harry ‘Left’
Although part of the joy of discovering Insomniac’s world lies in all the unspoken history contained within, when it comes to the relationship between Harry Osborn, Mary Jane and Peter Parker, it’s definitely worth exploring further.
Everyone is familiar with this particular friendship dynamic, but something that really hammered home the tragedy of Harry’s condition would really help flesh out the story and ensure that, by the time he inevitably returns in the sequel, the impact can be felt to its fullest.
The main story was full of anecdotes all about Peter, MJ and Harry’s high school and university days, and though you can really sense the nostalgia in every line, having players actually revisit these experiences first hand – even if only for a brief amount of time – would add even more depth to a dynamic already rich with drama.
Playable Miles With Spidey Powers
Spider-Man’s story ended on the perfect note by having Miles and Peter reveal their powers to each other, and while we can expect Miles to suit up in the sequel as Spider-Man, it’s likely that the DLC will delve into this journey too.
As for Miles’ gameplay, well, Insomniac have actually already teased what’s to come. In the comics (and now in this universe too), Miles has a special venom sting and an active-camouflage ability. When MJ enters the lab in Norman’s apartment, it’s revealed that Oscorp are experimenting on spiders with a view to developing those two respective powers, and with it likely to have imbued Morales with those abilities, the gameplay potential is there for all to see.
Miles and Peter had a great friendship in the main story, so it would make sense for Insomniac to spotlight that dynamic in the DLC as well. Even if Miles doesn’t suit up as Spidey just yet, having Pete impart some classic Parker wisdom (the crimefighting kind, of course) would really help make the wait for the sequel just that little bit
An Update To The Advanced Suit
Let’s be clear: Insomniac’s Advanced Suit is perfect. There isn’t much that could be done to improve it, but in Insomniac’s version of Spider-Man, it feels as though it would be a natural evolution for Peter to make a new suit – as he did before fending off Ock in the finale.
The Advanced costume also has obvious brand recognition now, but there’s a way to update it without losing that by taking inspiration from another Spider-Man costume: the superior one sported by Otto Octavius when he took over Peter’s body in the comics.
The Peter Parker of this Marvel Universe is a born innovator, and while it took an intervention from Otto to provide the first aesthetic alteration to his iconic costume, one would hope that it won’t be the last.