Silver worth gold.
By Jonathon Dornbush
Insomniac best saved last time: Spider-Man: Silver Lining is what I wanted the first two chapters of The City to never sleep DLC. The great drawing work across the board is not only fun at the moment, but also raises exciting, long-lasting consequences for history. And with various missions and a clear sense of disintegration, this is just a much more satisfying day in Spider-Man's very dangerous life.
Silver Lining's story will only drive you in an hour and a half, but its missions are some of the most varied of the three DLC's so far, and everyone was happy to play. Silver Sables return is a treat. I found her to be a bit forgettable in the main campaign, but with her dual desire to pick up her gear from Hammerhead and work to help her homeland, Insomniac has done a great job of adding depth to her. Voice actor Nichole Elise's powerful performance less evidence is more that Sable can often say as much with a drawn-out hand as Spider-Man can in several puns – as she entertainingly has very little patience for. The interaction between the two is a highlight of not only Silver Lining, but of the whole city that never sleeps the DLC trilogy.
The Silver Sables return is an absolute treat.
Of course, Hammerhead is still due to last month's Turf Wars, and I was worried that rematch would repeat the error by deepening its boss's struggle with unnecessary frustration. But instead two round are challenging yet fair and fun in their escalation. It is actually one of my favorite champions throughout Spider-Man, as it spins clean and repeats the style of the main campaign just enough to feel fresh.
The rest of the story missions are blended into huge stealth sections, some fun all-out brawls, and even an entertaining Peter Parker section. Often, partly because of integrating new environments, there are a number here that reflect the main campaign in microcosm for consistent fun effect.
And yes, there are predictable side tasks to participate in, but they culminate most for something more interesting this time around. There are lots of homosexual crimes to stop and some boring Screwball challenges leading to a high-end mission – she continues to be my least favorite part of the DLC chapters. But a collective-focused side mission, which actually makes good use of the environment and includes a fascinating line-up, plus a meaningful conclusion to the new storage camps, emphasizes what could have been lightweight filler.
Insomniac is very enthusiastic about where these figures go.
Outside the action, Insomniac has once again done a good job in eradicating Spider-Man's relationship with the ensemble cast. More than the last two DLCs, in Silver Lining Spider-Man's interactions with MJ, Miles, Sable, and more, feel that they are building the world and the people in it rather than just servicing history at the moment. The scenes between Peter and Mary Jane again show how the actors Yuri Lowenthal Laura Bailey combines for one of the best screenshots of the couple in any medium. Meanwhile, Spider-Man's lectures with Miles have some rather exciting implications for the future, based on the main story finals. And the state of Spidey's multi-character life from all three DLC chapters has excited me as to where Insomniac takes them all the next.
Silver lining works in itself as an exciting journey more than the last two chapters. There is enough meat in history (though it goes fast) to create a unique, satisfying short narrative while improving some of the minor aspects of previous DLC work in this new context.