Impressions: Spider-Man’s Silver Lining ends the DLC trilogy on a high note

Thankfully, my fears proved to be unfounded. Silver Lining does have some noticeable weak points, but it makes up for those minor shortcomings with one heck of a resolution to the City that Never Sleeps storyline. Even better, the final DLC’s side activities contain new story tidbits of their own, tidbits which appear to be setting the stage for an eventual sequel. If you enjoyed the core Spider-Man’s story, Silver Lining absolutely makes the City that Never Sleeps DLC trilogy worth playing.

Old frienemies

One of the biggest draws of the Silver Lining DLC is the return of Silver Sable, the tough-as-nails female mercenary who clearly still has some trust issues. Despite leaving things off on friendly terms with Spider-Man in the base game, Silver Sable returns in Silver Lining full of fire and fury. Sable is naturally upset that newcomer DLC villain Hammerhead has been stealing her tech, and she’s also angry at Spider-Man for “letting” Hammerhead acquire the tech in the first place.

I had some issues with this opening setup at first. As base game players will remember, Sable made a pretty fast exit and didn’t really bother to round up all of her tech first, so why the heck is she blaming Spider-Man for its misappropriation? Did she honestly expect one man to keep tabs on *all* the tech she had deployed around the city? Funnily enough, J. Jonah Jameson makes this exact point in one of the DLC’s new ‘Just the Facts’ episodes. I never thought I’d find myself agreeing with Jameson’s blustering, but here we are.

Anyways, after a few scrapes with Hammerhead’s Maggia thugs, Sable finally realizes it’s better to work with Spider-Man rather than just snarling and shooting at him. Sable even functions as an NPC ally in some of the DLC’s later brawls, both on-foot and in her fancy SableTech jet. The player also learns more about Sable’s backstory and current struggles, mostly through expository dialogue with MJ. Speaking of which, there aren’t any mandatory MJ stealth sequences in Silver Lining, so rest easy on that front.

Working with what you have

Silver Lining doesn’t have any new enemy types, though jetpack enemies can now deploy hovering nullifier fields to discourage web-heads with a penchant for air travel. Instead, the final DLC chapter incorporates all of the different enemy types from both the base game and the previous two DLC chapters. Expect to fight whip enemies, baton-wielding melee enemies, large bruisers, bruisers with laser mini-guns, shield-bearers, and rocket launcher enemies to name a few.

The DLC’s side content, however, *does* have some new bells and whistles. There’s a new street-level crime category which involves defending stationary Oscorp trucks from waves of Maggia thugs. The thugs will periodically attempt to open the truck’s driver side door, forcing the player to act fast and ensure they don’t stray too far. As with previous Spider-Man outings, the street-level crimes can be a slog to work through, but the truck defense missions break up the monotony somewhat.

Aside from the new street-level crimes, players can also track down a series of crime scene recordings which lead into one heck of sequel teaser (no spoilers here). And then, of course, there’s the return of Screwball, gratingly obnoxious voice and all. For Silver Lining, Screwball adds a few new bomb challenges into her usual fare, and thankfully none of the challenges are very hard to complete. It feels satisfying to finally bring down Screwball for good, but if she were to take a hiatus in a theoretical Spider-Man sequel, I certainly wouldn’t complain.

Lastly, there’s some new Olympus Hideouts to clear out, and they’re just as grueling as they were in previous DLC chapters. Thankfully, there’s only three hideouts in total, and they’re still worth doing if for no other reason than the added story context they provide. Miles Morales also pops up a bit in the DLC, teasing even more potential for a sequel (multiple playable Spider-Men anyone?)

Finishing strong

As I mentioned before, there were some aspects of Silver Lining that didn’t gel completely with me. Some of the combat encounters, especially the final battle against Hammerhead, felt a bit unbalanced, but that’s more of a personal taste complaint than anything. Speaking of Hammerhead, he certainly comes off as more menacing than he did in Turf Wars, but I still don’t think he ever deserved “main villain” status in the first place. He’s intimidating to be sure, but when compared to what Spider-Man faced in the game’s base story, his bid for the criminal big leagues still feels forced.

Even with those minor detractors, Silver Lining still ends the City that Never Sleeps trilogy on a high note. I’m exciting to see what comes of the various developments teased in the DLC’s side content, assuming Insomniac has more Spider-Man stuff in the pipeline (I don’t know why they wouldn’t).

For those who enjoyed Insomniac’s Spider-Man but were holding off on investing in The City that Never Sleeps, rest assured the journey and the destination are both worth experiencing.