The Spider-Man saga continues with the addition of the Turf Wars DLC! Being completely honest, Hammerhead has never been one of my favorite Spider-Man villains, nor is he all that big of a problem. I mean come on, Spidey drop-kicked Thanos in the face while flying through magical portals… Some angry Italian mobster with a surgically reinforced skull is hardly a comparison.

So is the Turf Wars DLC worth it? Eh… kind of? It doesn’t exactly add all that much to story if we’re honest. Hammerhead has kidnapped the Maggia crime family Dons and plans to do away with them so he can take over, after all nature abhors a vacuum. The big issue is that he’s running around with a bucket load of stolen Sable tech, which you’d think would be a way bigger issue and dealt with by you know… Sable?

Why the multinational billion-dollar mercenary agency aren’t running around trying to re-acquire their pilfered gear is beyond me. Sable isn’t the kind of lady to just let that slide.

Hammerhead is really quite disappointing but he serves a greater purpose, he’s more of a character development vehicle for everyone’s favorite hero cop, Yuri Watanabe. Yuri gets a whole bunch of character development this time around and is very much the focus of the Turf Wars DLC. She really comes into her own and taking into account what’s going to happen next, the Silver Linings DLC can’t come soon enough!

Miles also receives a little growth and development, but it’s very little and after having seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse recently, it’s a little disappointing. It’s obvious they’re building Miles into being something special ready for the sequel we all know is coming but can’t “confirm”. His little inserts and additions are nice and quaint, fleshing out our hero in training and giving him that little more personality.

Turf Wars appears to have brought a collection of combat and movement mechanic tweaks. Spidey has a bunch of new acrobatics when dodging and swinging around the city, or at least it seems that way. The new moves are cool, even if they do have no real combat benefit beyond looking stylish as fuck.

All of the fights in Turf Wars seem to be more chaotic and they get a little hard to handle, experienced players have the upper hand but there’s definitely a ramp up in difficulty with the Sable-tech packing quite a punch AND disabling your lifesaving web gadgets… That being said the overabundance of rocket-launcher goons is just obnoxious.

Unsurprisingly, the last fight is against Hammerhead suffers from the same issues as the rest of the battles. You get mobbed by regular Maggia goons while having to avoid Hammerhead’s broad sweeping attacks and devastating charges, good thing you have a Spidey Sense right? Wrong. Due to the overly cluttered and chaotic fight scenes dodging becomes more a roll of the dice than anything.

Usually, Spider-Man is pretty good at making you invulnerable for the dodge and landing you somewhere you’re not about to immediately get pasted. Usually. The fight is far too jumbled and busy, you end up dodging one attack only to get floored by three others. It’s a real shame as the combat was/is one of the best features in the game!

The least comment worthy aspect of Turf Wars are the new suits; They add nothing of any real value as none of them come with any suit powers and they aren’t exactly the most inspired visually. Pairing the Iron Spider Mk 2 with the mechanical legs/arms is pretty badass but considering Web Blossom is still the only suit power worth using in combat, you’re only doing it for the photo ops.

Somehow Screwball, the psychotic escaped convict, is still running around the city seemingly unhindered. Her ridiculous -and kind of tiresome- challenge markers are back, testing your skills and putting you through your paces.

The Stealth challenges have some new features, like motion tracking cameras, that spice things up a little, but otherwise these are very much the same old Screwball, adding very little but giving you the chance to get some much-needed challenge tokens for those final couple upgrades… assuming you haven’t just annihilated the top scores for the Task Master challenges in the core game instead.

Turf Wars honestly falls pretty flat, it feels as though it has nowhere near as much content as The Heist or the core Spider-Man title. It gives off much of a “We’re building up to it” vibe, which while not wholly unappreciated it just leaves you wondering what’s the point? Mechanics so flawlessly executed in the core and Heist come out cluttered and messy, almost a little broken in Turf Wars.

How something can go from being so perfect to being so painful so quickly is frankly pretty astounding. Spider-Man is still great fun to play and zipping around the city is still exhilarating but the combat is chaotic and borderline awful. Okay, maybe I just suck… Nah! The feeling that half a story chapter was delivered is difficult to shake, so here’s hoping Silver Linings makes up for Turf Wars shortcomings!

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