Best answer: Yes. The entire DLC trilogy has stumbled in some places on its way to the finish line, but Silver Lining ends on a high note to complete package.
PlayStation: Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps ($25)
What's so good about Silver Lining?
Just like its predecessors, Silver Lining shines when it puts its focus on the characters and their relationships. While the story itself is interesting enough following Hammerhead's rise to power, Insomniac is best at character development here. Silver Lining features the fun-loving Peter Parker in all of his cringe-worthy joke glory, and hits some wonderful emotional beats when it delves into Silver Sable's character and what she's fighting for. She was already painted as more of an anti-hero than a villain, something that we see more of in Silver Lining. Watching her budding friendship with Spider-Man, along with the reasoning behind her actions (the civil war in her home country of Symkaria), makes her a much more three-dimensional character. This is what The Heist did well with its banter between Peter and Felicia Hardy, and what I felt that Turf Wars was missing a bit of; some heart.
Not only does Silver Sable's character get fleshed out more, but MJ and Miles do as well. They each have a few conversations with Peter over the course of the DLC, and while they aren't playable characters this time around, their inclusion even as NPCs made the entire experience much better.
The City That Never Sleeps had the unfortunate job of trying to make New York City a new and exciting playground when we've already traversed it in its entirety in the base game. Silver Lining, however, manages to do so by introducing Hammerhead's underground hideout. Though it's a short sequence of tunneling through the sewer system and into an abandoned subway station, it added some nice variety to the level design. I actually wish that Insomniac could have squeezed in more missions just like it.
And I won't spoil it here, but stick around for the post-credits scene. I have a feeling whatever sequel Insomniac is (probably) working on will be a good one.
What's bad about Silver Lining?
I'm getting tired of reiterating myself in every Spider-Man expansion review, but I really do hate Screwball. She makes her unwelcome return once again and has you go through a host of repetitive Screwball Challenges that I'm quite sick of at this point. My distaste for these challenges is only surpassed by my annoyance with her as a character.
In addition to Screwball's return, everyone's
favorite machine gun-wielding brutes are back. Thankfully I didn't have nearly as much trouble with them as I did in Turf Wars, but they still proved to be frustrating. It's almost as if Insomniac heard our complaints about them in Turf Wars and dialed it down a notch. Just not enough for my liking.
Annoying character returns don't match up to my disappointment with how Yuri Watanabe's story is handled, though. It's not so much that I think her development is bad, it's that there isn't a satisfying payoff for her story. Yuri is venturing down a dark road—one that was somehow thrown to the backburner and relegated to a few side missions and district activities instead of playing a larger role like it could have.
Should you buy Silver Lining?
If you've already invested your time into the first two DLC chapters, you'll want to see how it ends. Now that the complete package is out, it's definitely worth it to pick up the trilogy and play it through. There isn't much to be said in terms of gameplay variety, but more of the same isn't always a bad thing when the base game was so much fun to begin with. In my opinion, it's worth it for the character interactions alone.
The complete package.
The City That Never Sleeps leaves some loose ends untied, but overall is a fantastic addition to Insomniac's game that shines when it puts its characters above its story.
Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.
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