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Spider-Man PS4's Turf War DLC Finds Spidey Fighting On All Fronts

Blood in the water.

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Things get dark in Turf War, the second episode of Marvel's Spider-Man's DLC campaign. After the relatively lighter and slower investigation into Black Cat's plans with the mob in The Heist, the first of three expansions that make up a campaign called The City That Never Sleeps, Spider-Man finds himself thrown into a full-on gang war at the start of the second. Turf War is The Empire Strikes Back of the campaign, and throughout the two or so hours of story missions trying to stop the powerful mob boss Hammerhead, Spider-Man is completely embattled and potentially outmatched.

Turf War doesn't pull its punches. Cops are dying, gangsters are threatening witnesses and openly committing murders, and Spider-Man is struggling to keep up with it all. The basic structure of the game remains the same--there are missions scattered around New York as part of the story campaign, and in between them you can wander around doing whatever you feel like--but the nature of Turf War makes every objective feel dangerously time-sensitive. When Hammerhead's men threaten to kill an informant, you'll want to swing across town to stop them. When gangsters prepare to attack police convoys and take their weapons, you'll be concerned that your presence is needed. This chapter is at its best when it feels like Spider-Man really is at war--and he's losing.

It helps that Turf War feels significantly more challenging than vanilla Spider-Man. Another new batch of enemies, these ones wearing jetpacks and sporting shields, join the array of enemies from both the base game and The Heist to make for some pretty dicey encounters. More than one fight in Turf War will put seasoned Spider-Men through their paces, especially if they're a bit rusty from the month off between the two DLC chapters. Scraping through some fights against an extremely well-outfitted enemy as Spider-Man swings madly from one crisis to another perfectly fits the tone of Turf War.

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Spider-Man PS4 is at its best when it's taking close, intimate looks at the game's characters, and in Turf War the game casts that spotlight on Yuri Watanabe, Spidey's high-ranking friend in the NYPD. Yuri is operating with a personal vendetta against Hammerhead that builds in the early part of the DLC, and as she and Spider-Man try to stop them, his reliance on her authority and her reliance on his superpowers are weaknesses that strain their relationship and have serious consequences.

Yuri saw some characterization in the base game, but she was largely a voice on Spidey's radio advising him where to go. Here we spend more time with Yuri as the battle between the gangsters rages and she and Peter Parker grapple with their own exploited personal failings. You might wrap up Turf War's story campaign in a couple hours, but thanks to the frantic pace and challenging difficulty, those hours will feel fraught. The speed and challenge bring a bit of a different pace and tone to Marvel's Spider-Man, the variety of which makes Turf War new and fresh, while the dark focus on character channels the best parts of the game's main story.

As you clear Turf War's campaign, you'll also find a small handful of new open-world events to New York to complete, mostly just to give you a little more to do in this chapter. Like in The Heist, there's not a lot to them and you've gotten a taste of some or all of them before now, but they provide a few solid reasons to hang around the game after completing the story chapter. The gang war leads to new open-world crimes that are a bit different from the generic set that came in The Heist, which is welcome given that you'll need to clear quite a few of them to hit 100 percent completion in this chapter.

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Screwball is also back with more challenges, some of which have new wrinkles added that make them a bit tougher than their vanilla counterparts. And there are new Hammerhead-themed base-clearing challenges, which can be pretty tough thanks to new locations and new enemies to fight.

As with The Heist, it's nice to have a reason to jump back into Spider-Man PS4 and mess around in its world, but its Insomniac's story and characterization that once again are making Spider-Man something worth revisiting. Turf War excellently ratchets up the stakes on Spidey and forces him to deal with a whole host of new personal and interpersonal issues. Together with its predecessor chapter, Turf War suggests there are plenty of stories Insomniac could continue to cover in Spider-Man, and that they'll all be worth swinging back to New York to experience.

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philhornshaw

Phil Hornshaw

GameSpot editor in Los Angeles, and the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero’s Guide to Glory. Hoped the latter would help me get Han Solo hair, but so far, unsuccessful.

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krazeekhujo05

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I really would like to see Smyth and the Spider Slayers.

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horizonwriter

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Sounds a bit on the Marvel Knights side. Good.

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Pierce_Sparrow

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Why do they keep pushing Screwball? Worst part of the game IMO. I get that they're trying to create a villain that fits into the modern age of social media, youtube sensationalism, and Millenial values, but my God, is Screwball awful. Annoying and her missions aren't even much fun to play. They really should have stuck to the classics instead of trying to craft their own, original villains.

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ArkhamAce

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@Pierce_Sparrow: I can't tell if they're errantly embracing the "millennial stereotypes" with the selfies, photobombs and all that OR if they're mocking it. Either way I hope Mary Jane kills her in raging vengeance!

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DonJuanCorleone

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Edited By DonJuanCorleone

I couldnt finish this. Just didnt find it all that exciting. Maybe when im done with RDR2 I will try again.

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Epak_

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Will Be getting Back to Spidey as soon as I'm done with RDR2

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Deathtralp

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@Epak_: We are 2 friend, I can not stop playing this game.

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J-007

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The game does feel in a way dull but I still enjoy the options and tech upgrades given. This will be for keeps until a better Spiderman game comes up. I still have to thank Insomniac for their efforts

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Chubby170

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@J-007: Not sure what else you would want in a game. I am no fan of comics but I couldnt stop playing this one. Tons to do, challenging to get 100% but not where you want to break your controller.. Just right imo..

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GoingPewPew

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@chubby170: What I want in a game is a compeling world, like RDR2 has. Not a static , sterile enviroment.

I don't want to start playing the game and immediately having to run around 'hacking' towers to get the map layout. I don't see the reason for that other than prolonging my time in game. I didn't learn the map in that time and I still don't know the map by heart.

I don't want so many collectibles that are scatered all over the map. If they atleast had any backstory or something to them to get me captivated to collect them. But no, Spidey just has backpacks all over the place. No wonder he doesn't have money for rent if he has to buy so many backpacks.

The pigeon hunting mission's were abysmal.

Open world games could be fun. I actually kinda enjoyed the world in RDR2 despite some serious issues I had with that game. But Spiderman is just too big and too crowded for me. Let's say you don't collect anything and just play the main misssions. The map is so full of icons you won't see anything. I remember how I always had the camera/photo mode on while swinging from mission to mission to take a picture of the landmarks. But I never stopped to take a nice picture. I just aimed in the general direction until the outline became green and I pressed a button.

The fighting was OK but it would have been nice if it could have been a bit more challenging. I first started playing on the highest difficulty and I actually went on google to see if the game lowers the difficulty. It was way too easy. Maybe I was expecting too much because I play a lot of hack and slash games so it would have been nice if there were any more advanced combos.

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HollywoodJ

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@goingpewpew: Take away the strong motion blur effect in RDR2 and most gamers would get bored of RDR2 gameplay real quick. The motion blur in Spidey is done correctly just enough to take care of the jagged edges without stoning gamers ala RDR2 - the real reason why gamers can't stop playing RDR2.

Note to R*: Please add a motion blur slider ala Uncharted 4.

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dacontag

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@J-007: you won’t like any Spider-Man game if that’s your opinion.

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J-007

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@dacontag: This is the best one compared to any others I have played but not all of them. You may have seen a few to some who agree that it lacks real element or feeling that is worth 9/10. I'm just adding a little criticism that needs addressing

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PrpleTrtleBuBum

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@dacontag: it would be cool if the next franchise was like this but with classic characters. even if the gameplay rocks, this feels a bit like the garfield spidermen. trying to be different and weird for the sake of it. ofc super armor green goblin and that stuff wasnt exactly traditional either

joker in arkham is pretty much the embodiment of every main joker type. as are everyone else

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GoingPewPew

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I finished the main game and I didn't like it. I downloaded the first DLC, cuz I have the season pass but I only played for maybe half an hour. It's exactly the same things that I didn't like in the base game but more of it.

I really think I'm waaaaaay too burnt out on open world games.

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J-007

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Edited By J-007

@goingpewpew: I have to agree about being burnt out for open world games. It makes my head more hard while focusing on the extra missions such as Far cry 5 which I finished today. Glad my head isn't turning

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GoingPewPew

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@J-007: Congrats on finishing FC5. I couldn't bring myself to do it. It was fun for the first couple of hours but then I just forced myself to play it. I killed 2 members of the family/clan and stopped after that.

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J-007

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Edited By J-007

@goingpewpew: Thank you. Well maybe it's time revolutionize open world games but this is where Rpg comes in these days and to me they're great but way too much work. Go for the top open world games and ignore side missions etc. Pardon all the trouble you go through or maybe those smaller games would do the trick for you

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GoingPewPew

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@J-007: I don't know how they would revolutionize them. For example in RDR2 there is no quick travel. Which makes the game longer and ofcourse less fun. If they implement quick travel, then I would always quick travel and the game would be a linear game.

I remember when GTA3, Vice City and Mafia 1 came out and I was sure that I could never get annoyed by open world games, because they were so good. But alas they saturated the market and made the whole concept unappeling.

I don't like indie games, which leaves me with shooters and some nice rpgs. I'm really enjoying Spyro right now. The levels are perfectly sized and not too big or too small.

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J-007

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@goingpewpew: Good news is we can save by choosing those other choices that grace us in their work

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