The SPIDER-MAN PS4 DLC has all been leading up to this. The first episode’s promise was slightly squandered by the second episode’s tame outing and now it’s just up to Silver Lining, the final installment, to neatly wrap up the post-release content and lay Spider-Man out to rest. Silver Lining does give the webslinger the ending he deserves but is more impressive in how it also elegantly sets up a sequel.
Silver Lining picks up on the heels of Turf Wars where Hammerhead’s mysterious evil plan was almost at its head. His goons have been armed with Silver Sable’s high tech mercenary gear, thus making them more deadly and calling for the fiesty Symkarian to make her return to the Big Apple to claim back her weapons. It’s a three-pronged war that’s making the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’s neighborhood a little less friendly.
While Turf Wars was more of a buildup, Silver Lining brings the climax and drama that the previous chapter sorely lacked. Silver Sable kicks that action into gear as her go-getter attitude is more about diving head-first into danger and improvising along the way. Dragging Spider-Man either directly or indirectly through the narrative is a thoughtful way to show the contrast of the characters while also injecting the plot with more adrenaline. Minor twists and turns pop up along the and add a welcome sense of unpredictability to the fairly straightforward main plot of taking down Hammerhead.
Spider-Man Silver Lining DLC Review – Looking to the Future
The small details and spaces between the lines are what makes Silver Lining noteworthy both in relation to itself and on a grander scale. Silver Sable’s personal stakes in the plot give her presence more weight and proper motivation for actions. Hammerhead’s weird scheme takes an unexpected turn with a surprise cameo, which adds a much-needed flair to taking down an otherwise average B-tier villain. Spider-Man and Mary Jane still have a cute, realistic relationship with all the appropriate charming banter. Since the main plot follows a fairly standard set of big beats, it relies on these smaller touches to give it its own flair.
But it’s the sequel-baiting smaller details that give it more of a bigger appeal that extends outside of these episodes. J. Jonah Jameson aside, almost everyone goes through some sort of transformation in Silver Lining that propels them out of where they started at the beginning of these episodes. Villains are created, heroes are born, and people are pushed outside of their comfort zone in ways that will have consequences that reach far beyond a few pieces of DLC.
These moments are woven into side and main missions, which gives importance to both sets of activities. Each character’s final moments in this installment are just a tease; barely giving you enough to go on but enough to get your mind thinking of the many exciting possibilities the next game has in store for these characters in the future. Listing them all out would spoil the surprises that Insomniac has slowly been planting with each downloadable entry.
And while each installment has had a line here or there alluding to another game, Silver Lining is the most egregious—and successful—with its hints. It successfully echoes the ending of the main game and the Marvel Cinematic Universe films in how it is satisfying in its own right but not afraid to tantalize you with a short glimpse of what the future possibly holds.
Spider-Man Silver Lining DLC Review – The Same Ol’ Spidey
Silver Lining doesn’t give much of a glimpse of what the gameplay will be because it is still the same as it ever was. Using New York as a jungle gym remains exhilarating and pummeling Hammerhead’s goons still thrives off the deep, fluid combat system. And while there are no new enemies this time around like the last two episodes, missions seem a little more designed to either show you some new areas or take you on fast-paced chases throughout the city; both of which add some flair the objectives.
Although these new areas don’t come with new mechanics. It’s not surprising since it follows the trend in this DLC but having no new abilities remains to be a missed opportunity. Spider-Man‘s aforementioned gameplay is still rewarding and controls well but more gadgets and moves would have given the downloadable content a bit of its own flavor. Its three suits continue the trend of being great deep cuts or intelligent contemporary picks but the continued lack of suit powers doesn’t give the gameplay any new dimensions.
The city is also still in its own sectioned off part of the menu which unnecessarily isolates it from the main game, negating any ability to fluidly move between DLC and main game content. Insomniac obviously had a reason to separate the three episodes but that doesn’t mean it was the best decision for the game since it would have benefited being one, big city with everything in it.
Silver Lining ends The City That Never Sleeps with grace but its grander ambitions make it more than yet another Spider-Man chapter. Through inventive side missions and its main campaign, it sets the foundation for the currently unannounced sequel to hit the ground running. And while DLC doesn’t always have to tease a follow-up, it shows this downloadable saga’s nobility to push forward and be unafraid to push forward and break new ground. Although that motive didn’t extend to the untouched gameplay mechanics, its ability to balance its immediate and impending story make it essential for those who want a solid tale now along with the individuals who want to look miles into Spider-Man’s future.