Publishers are pretty risk-averse when it comes to a major new release – and for good reason. Video games are expensive, and you don't want anything getting in the way of a return on that lofty sum of cash you've put forward just to make your game happen.
But surely DLC gives you a chance to tear up the rulebook and try your hand at messing with the formula? It's far less expensive, so there's a chance to try something new. Perhaps you test a new idea for a potential sequel or give players an entirely new experience.
The latter of those two is particularly vital for a game like Marvel's Spider-Man, as it's chock full of content already, and a lot of it repetitive in nature. Surely we don't want more of the thing we already had a little too much of anyway?
Well, that's exactly what Insomniac has delivered with The Heist, the first in a planned trilogy of DLCs that introduces new stories, villains, and things to do. Except it's not new – not really.
The story kicks off with Black Cat making a nuisance of herself and Spider-Man, once again, chasing after her to try and keep the situation under control. That's about as spoiler-y as we'll get in this review. Suffice to say, it leads to a bunch of new story missions that play out exactly like the story missions in the base game.
There's a lot of swinging around chasing stuff, fighting bad guys, performing crappy stealth sections, and trying to defuse bombs before a timer runs down. Combat's the only thing that feels remotely fresh, and that's down to the introduction of a new enemy type: minigun-toting 'big' henchmen.
These guys feel super cheap, though, as they block your punches with their miniguns, aren't susceptible to any of your gadgets, and deal insane damage with each attack. It doesn't help that the minigun has an insane range and is really difficult to dodge.
There's only two methods to deal with them, too: fill two focus bars and take them down instantly, or wait until their gun overheats, giving you a precious second or two to land a few blows. It just feels cheap and lazy – like the developers couldn't think of a better idea, so just bumped up the damage and survivability of an ordinary enemy.
Elsewhere, a bunch of new crime missions litter certain regions of the city and these are, again, exactly the same as before. Screwball, the crazy fan-chasing YouTuber-like has been released from prison in the interval, and she has a bunch of challenges for you to complete. Again, there's nothing new here.
The challenges come in three forms: fight bad guys, use gadgets to fight bad guys, and swing around the city destroying things. Perform well and you'll earn points, with the sole new feature being the ability to take photos of at set moments for more points.
Oh, and of course there's a new thing to collect! This time it's art prints, and you'll get a bit more of a backstory on Black Cat for doing so. There's only 10 of them, so it won't take you too long, but did we really need more things to collect?
Rounding out the DLC are three new suits, which you unlock by purchasing the DLC, completing the story, and beating it 100 per cent. None of the suits are anything to write home about, so we wouldn't advise you purchase this DLC just for them.
In fact, the entire experience is pretty difficult to recommend. It's just more of the same in a game that you're probably already burnt out on if you're done with the main game. It's mercifully short, though, running at about three hours max, and the extra story content is very welcome.
If you just want more of the Spider-Man universe, grab it for the story. Just don't expect anything new, because there isn't anything. Hopefully this isn't a sign of what's to come in future Spider-Man DLCs.
Marvel's Spider-Man: The Heist DLC is more of the same. All of the content feels recycled from a main game you're probably already burnt out on anyway. It doesn't help that the few new bits – suits and an enemy type – feel lazy and uninspired. The only reason to grab this DLC is for more of the story, which is as well done as ever, if a bit short – clocking in at around three hours max. If you're patient, grab it in a future sale just so you can see what happens next.