Hot on the heels of The Heist, the second piece of the three part ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ pack for Marvel’s Spider-Man, New York is yet again on the brink with the Maggia crime family stepping in for a power play against the rest of the mob. Capo Hammerhead makes more of an appearance this time around, following the wake of the events in The Heist and the apparent disappearance and death (right!) of Black Cat, he now has access to a bunch of the weapons that were left behind by the Sable forces. It’s up to Spidey and his cop buddies to put an end to his reign, but considering this is the middle chapter in a trilogy, you should know things don’t go according to plan.
The story keeps packing a punch in Turf Wars. As with The Heist, it develops a loose end left hanging by the main game content by delving into Hammerhead’s area, which was lightly alluded back then. Still, even though the spotlight is on him, Insomniac was very smart in keeping his appearances limited throughout the DLC, and for the two or so hours you spend playing, he pops up at just the right moments. He’s played as a threatening and not at all thick-headed as you’d expect, given the physical characteristic he’s known for: you know, the metal plate lodged inside his skull that gives him incredible resistance.
I also liked how much development police captain Yuri Watanabe gets in this new piece of content. The emotional strain that her character goes through is very well portrayed thanks to the incredible character animation work that once again shines through from the main portion of the game. Same goes for the voice acting, although at times it suffers from some lag between audio and subtitles, which breaks the flow of conversation in awkward ways. Still, if you’re character arc twists, you’re in for a good one in Turf Wars.
Play by play, the critical path in this second DLC runs a bit more smoothly than the previous one’s, only because you rarely control anyone but Spider-Man throughout it. There’s a really short section where he throws one of his spidey-bots in for a little bit of spy work, but other than that, the entire run of Turf Wars is a web head only affair. That’s to say there’s a lot of combat in this one, with some multi wave fights that (literally) did not pull any punches — they had me replay them multiple times before I came out on top. It’s cool that like The Heist, Turf Wars also introduces a new enemy type, who’s basically a combo of two older ones from before, the jetpack grunt and the shield thug, a pretty tough nut to crack considering how varied the enemy groups are during this DLC. He likes to charge in and dive bomb you often, so taking a bullfighter approach will work to your advantage.
I found the progression in this one to be quite good, so much so that I didn’t really feel like taking breaks during it like I did with The Heist. On the other hand, I failed to do a whole lot besides the main content in this DLC, so I’ve yet to attempt any of the new Screwball challenges. Frankly they were far from being my favorite bits in the other DLC, so I don’t feel like they’re vital to your overall experience with this unless you REALLY like the combat. There are also a whole bunch of city wide crimes and the base infiltrations to take on that are exclusive to the instanced version of New York in this DLC, all of them (including Screwball’s) give a trophy if you’re into those. No need to be embarrassed if you are!
If you’re like me and love to switch around Spidey’s look with different suits, there are three new ones to pick up this time around, my favorite being the Iron Spider suit, the only good thing to come out of the comic book Civil War saga from a few years back, a red and gold look that really shines (bam!).
All in all, Turf Wars is a pretty good middle chapter. It sets some potentially cool hooks up for the closer that’s coming out soon, so if that pays off, ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ will shape up to be quite a companion for the already sizeable and extremely fun content in the main Marvel’s Spider-Man campaign.