Silver worth gold.
Insomniac saved the best for last: Spider-Man: Silver Lining is what I wanted the first two chapters of The City That Never Sleeps DLC to be. Great character work across the board is not only fun in the moment but raises intriguing, farther-reaching implications for the story. And with diverse missions and a clear sense of resolution, this is just a much more satisfying day in the very dangerous life of Spider-Man.
Silver Lining’s story will only run you about an hour and a half at most, but its missions are some of the most varied of the three DLCs thus far, and all were a joy to play. Silver Sable’s return is a treat. I found her to be a bit forgettable in the main campaign, but with her dual desires to retrieve her gear from Hammerhead and work toward helping her home country, Insomniac has done a nice job of adding depth to her. Voice actor Nichole Elise’s strong performance proves less is more, as Sable can often say as much with an outreached hand as Spider-Man can in several puns – which she, amusingly, has very little patience for. The interplay between the two is a highlight of not just Silver Lining but of the entire City That Never Sleeps DLC trilogy.
Silver Sable’s return is an absolute treat.
Of course, Hammerhead is still at large after last month’s Turf Wars, and I was concerned that the rematch would repeat the mistake of padding out his boss battle with needless frustration. But instead, round two is challenging yet fair, and fun in its escalation. It’s actually one of my favorite boss fights in all of Spider-Man, as it bucks the rinse-and-repeat style of the main campaign just enough to feel fresh.
The rest of the story missions mix in great stealth sections, some fun all-out brawls, and even an amusing Peter Parker section. Often in part due to integrating new environments, there’s a variety here that reflects the main campaign in microcosm to consistently fun effect.
And yes, there are the predictable side missions to attend to, but they mostly culminate in something more interesting this time around. There are plenty of samey crimes to stop and some boring Screwball challenges which lead to a ho-hum final mission — she continues to be my least favorite part of the DLC chapters. But a collectible-focused side mission that actually makes good use of the environment and includes a fascinating throughline, plus a meaningful ending to the new warehouse fights, give weight to what could have been light filler.
Insomniac has me very excited for where these characters go next.
Outside the action, Insomniac has once again done a great job of fleshing out Spider-Man’s relationships with the ensemble cast. More so than the last two DLCs, in Silver Lining Spider-Man’s interactions with MJ, Miles, Sable, and more feel like they’re building the world and the people within it rather than just servicing the story in the moment. The scenes between Peter and Mary Jane prove once again how actors Yuri Lowenthal Laura Bailey combine for one of the best on-screen interpretations of the couple in any medium. Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s talks with Miles have some pretty exciting implications for the future that build on the main story’s finale. And the state of Spidey’s life with several characters from all three DLC chapters has me excited for where Insomniac takes them all next.
Silver Lining works in its own right as an exciting journey more so than the last two chapters. There’s enough meat within the story (though it does go by quickly) to make for a singular, satisfying short tale, while also even making some of the lesser aspects of past DLC work better in this new context.