Spider-Man is more than a spectacular webslinger, or even the man behind Spidey's car. The support that comes as part of the Spider package – its allies, friends, family, enemies – is just as vital. But how much Spider Manthe content of DLC wishes to try, is about to make these justifying justifications.
Turf wars, the second chapter of a series of new story missions Margel's Spider-Man called "The Sleeping City," came out this week and, in many ways, is very similar to the first slice of DLC released last month, The heist.
A few new chapters are added to the game, several overturnings over familiar activities in the basic game to be done, and some new, easy-to-wear outfits for Peter to sneak. She also focuses on another important female figure in Peter's life – except that this time, instead of being the super-thief Felicia Hardy (Black Market), is Yuri Watanabe, Peter's only friend in NYPD . And it's also too little to explain any of the intriguing ideas he sets.
After The heist saw Maggia monkey Hammerhead re-ignite an inter-family war crime, Turf wars spends most of the two-hour execution time, showing how Yuri and the police – with little help from their friendly Spider-Man neighborhood – are trying and failing to cope with the increase in crime.
What he says, given that the game version of New York is only months left since closure due to the triple threat of a deadly viral outbreak, a prison revolt, and Sinister Six taking over Manhattan. All that was fine, but Maggia? NYPD rises against the wall!
This hits Yuri, who boasts a good policeman, the hardest – and Turf wars just keep it hit while it's down. It starts with miserable for her, because trying to bring Hammerhead after settling in Harlem quickly becomes a disaster that makes a whole team of people under her command to be killed.
As Hammerhead moves to the city, it gets stronger and stronger, and more cops are caught in the cross fire, Yuri finds itself pushed into a breaking point that finally sees it – abandoning Spider-Man and its ideals to go in a personal search for revenge against Hammerhead, hoping to get as much Maggia as possible.
As Peter is in a race against time to stop both Hammerhead and Yuri, it culminates with a remnant that sees Yuri apparently executing the mafia in front of Peter and a team of policemen (spoilers: he survives, thanks to a) this is a comic video game; and b) has a terrible big head).
All this is fascinating, but Turf wars is too short and too easy to give any complex narrative weight idea. Hammerhead, now the bastard of two pieces of DLC (even if in The heist he seems not to be seen) and probably the third, has just been achieved.
His sudden arrival on the scene as a seemingly unreasonable threat that he can cheat death feels extremely unconvincing beyond the fact that "The Sleeping City" needs his own Doc Ock, but he is as spoiled as a character difficult to care for. Yuri's downward spiral feels like she's flying so fast she does not feel it won.
It goes from the feeling that she did something to call the families of the cops who died on her watch, to take revenge, and apparently shot a full bar full of acolytes Maggia in a matter of a few beatings of story and for that you naturally spend time with Peter as your protagonist, you never get to see what Yuri is going through, despite the fact that her story is what drives so much of Turf wars.
It's frustrating because there are some very easy ways to put Yuri's bow Turf wars could be handled much better – because it's right there in the comic strip from which it came first. Introduced in Spider-Man amazing in 2009, Yuri, as if in the game, was a police captain.
But eventually, Wraith becomes a vigilant, operating outside the police jurisdiction, to be afraid of the hearts of New York's criminal submarine. He has worked with Spider-Man several times up to a story called "Spiral" a few years ago, where her belief in the justice system has been hampered by a corruption scandal that took Tombstone out of the queue.
The event triggered a new war crime, which saw Yuri in clashes with Spider-Man over where the vigilant violence line was drawn – after, interestingly, manipulated by another Margel's Spider-Man figure, Mr. Negative.
There are clear parallels with what Margel's Spider-Man try to make Yuri's archery progress in comics. He had Turf wars in fact, spent the time to build it gracefully, there would have been a fascinating symmetry with Otto Octavius's main portrait – and how revenge can consume Peter's closest and dearest, in a way that never let him consume when he first became Spider-Man.
But Turf wars is too short, too fleeting, and too worried by Peter as the story lens, to give Yuri the time to sell his own bow.
It makes her fall out of grace, the only cop who wants to work with Spider-Man to a revenge killer, feels like a tantalizing trance – and, above all, is hard to care, especially if the third and final chapter of "The City That Do not Sleep" ends by not picking up the yarn from Yuri's story, just like Turf wars did not take anything from Felicia's remnant The heist.
Much of the Margel's Spider-Man has a great joy in the twist of what we know from decades of comics to make the familiar feel fresh, it seems Turf wars it could have been more satisfactory than it was to spend time to take a page out of those books.