Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Released: October 23, 2018
Copy supplied by publisher
Releasing the first batch of post-release DLC for Spider-Man right in-between the launch of two of the year’s biggest games doesn’t exactly scream “good timing,” but considering this is the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive ever we’re talking about, Insomniac Games likely won’t have too much trouble attracting some people away from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 … at least for a few hours. That’s because you can see and do everything in Spider-Man: The Heist, the first of three installments in the larger “City That Never Sleeps” package, in just a few hours, adding up to an enjoyable, if somewhat insufficient follow-up to what is unquestionably one of the best games of the year.
The Heist kicks off sometime after the events of the main story, with Black Cat being the main focus. Mary Jane is with Peter for most of the ride, though largely as a voice in your ear capacity and even Miles makes a brief appearance, but the plot is firmly centered on Felicia Hardy’s return to town. Actress Erica Lindbeck’s portrayal of Spider-Man’s antagonistic former flame (the game establishes early on that the two have a romantic history, leading to some truly awkward exchanges between Peter and MJ) is wonderfully flirtatious and sympathetic, and the story does a fine job of teasing out revelations so that Black Cat’s true intentions aren’t glaringly obvious. If you’re hoping for a radical reinvention of the character, you’re not going to find it here, but this is certainly one of the best Black Cat storylines I’ve personally encountered.