The City That Never Sleeps series of story-based DLC got off to a strong start with The Heist, delivering a compelling narrative following a troubled villain who had some history with our titular hero. While the story aspect of the DLC was perfectly fine, the available activities were ripped straight out of the main game with some minor diversions which gave the whole experience a sense of deja vu, especially if you’ve played the main game to full completion. However, besides the optional side stuff, The Heist set up a mini-story arc involving the mafia presence in New York City.
You looking at me, punk?
Turf Wars continues on from The Heist with the main focus being Hammerhead, the ruthless mob boss with a steel plate in his head that he uses to smash people. We also get to explore the life and qualms of Yuri Watanabe, the police detective helping you out in the main game, as well which does a good job of fleshing out the character. However, the overall story in this episode felt like it was filler for the conclusion since there isn’t much to dissect or get excited by.
It was more than serviceable, delivering some fun and interesting romps throughout New York City again, but compared to the previous episode, a lot of personality and charm was missing. The Black Cat was a fascinating character to follow and the rapport that she and Spider-Man had was what made the content so enjoyable. However, in this episode, it just felt like some tough guys trying to prove their masculinity by doing horrendous acts and there’s nothing really to be gained from it.
A little screwy
To make things a little worse, the trend of reused side-activities didn’t get any better. The main attraction this time is a bunch of Hammerhead’s hideouts that you need to eradicate that are exactly the same as the base capturing missions we’ve already done. It’s a little less merciful, however, and the enemies relentlessly throw themselves at you to the point where I died a few times which was rare considering I never really died in the game otherwise. There is one new enemy type which is a thug with a state-of-the-art shield who can pummel you from a distance and those mini-gun heavies make a return from the previous episode.
The main attraction this time is a bunch of Hammerhead’s hideouts that you need to eradicate that are exactly the same as the base capturing missions we’ve already done
You also have city crimes and nothing has changed in this field either. There’s one new activity in the form of a convoy protection mission, but it’s not much different from the car chases that we’ve got before. And Screwball is back, taunting you with her internet lingo and streaming challenges. There are different challenges this time around, but they’re still the combat and stealth challenges we’ve done before just with Screwball’s twists as well. The new gadget challenge is pretty fun and unique which is a point in the DLC’s favour.
A little sticky
Turf Wars relied heavily on the strengths of the core game to carry it. While it may be more of the same and pretty lacklustre on a narrative level, it still has the wonderful mechanics and strengths of the core Spider-Man experience. Compared to The Heist, it’s definitely the lesser experience, but its inclusion is necessary to the overall story that I believe they want to tell. The conclusion to this City That Never Sleeps saga is one that you need to pay attention to since everything we have done up until this point leads to it and if I read the writing on the walls, it’s going to be explosive.
While the majority of this review was spent bemoaning the DLC, it’s still worth your time and a good addition to the DLC saga that they’re trying to create. You’ll get a good three hours of enjoyment out of it if you decide to 100% everything as I have. And it’s more Spider-Man. You can’t go wrong with more Spider-Man.