Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does more now because Miles can. Here’s our review of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales!
In this sequel to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, you don’t play as Peter Parker. Instead, you play as Miles Morales, someone you should be familiar with if you played the original.
Even if you didn’t play it there’s a good chance you know of the character thanks to a film that released the same year as the game. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse got a lot of love and even won an Academy Award for the best-animated feature. This game doesn’t take place in that universe but there are some characters you’ll have more knowledge of if you’ve watched it. If you’re a fan of the comics there are even more references you’ll enjoy.
Weaving a Story
Before diving into the story a quick but important point. Don’t worry if you didn’t play the first game because there is a summary film you can watch at the start to get you up to speed/refresh your memory. It does a great job in telling you the key points of the growth of Miles so far so you’re invested when the story kicks off.
Miles Morales picks up about a year after the first game. It’s Christmas time in New York and Miles is training with Peter to get better at being a Spider-Man. Things happen and Miles finds himself having to prove himself solo.
Due to the previous game already establishing who Miles is this isn’t a standard origins story. It is a tale about growth though. As your character learns new things it often lands at moments you learn new things too. It allows you to experience these moments with the appropriate gasp or smile.
If you’re focused on just the main story you can probably get through it in about eight hours but doing so robs you of the experience being offered. Miles is your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man and one trying to get used to his new home in Harlem. Doing the side quests helps Harlem and New York feel more alive. It helps you care about being a good guy and protecting the city.
There are some fun twists and turns in the story. Some of these are met with moments that don’t quite land right but it’s all helped by a strong cast. Performances are top-notch and you can’t help like Miles and the supporting cast from start to finish.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks stunning. Setting the game in winter allows for it to look different enough from its predecessor and also allows for some great moments with weather effects. Ray-tracing really helps elevate the initial visual impact of some set pieces but the direction of the game helps make sure all the visual upgrades pop.
The city feels more bustling and alive than ever before and the character models look superb. Yes, even the Peter Parker face change. It does seem like an odd change but there’s no real problem with how it looks. It’s a very realistic looking face.
A lot of the animations feel similar when in battle from what was in Spider-Man but Miles definitely has his own style. Insomniac could’ve just done a copy and paste-like job but they went much deeper than that. They created a new Spider-Man that feels unique.
Jumping from a big outside area to an inside area and out again feels seamless. You know there are probably invisible loads happening but they’re near impossible to notice when playing.
This is where Miles Morales falls apart a tiny bit. There’s a fair bit of repetition in what you do in the game, much like there was in its predecessor. Miles has more moves in his arsenal than Peter but some battles feel more tedious than exhilarating.
Luckily that’s not the case for all battles in the game. There are some fun boss fights that occur and exploring New York itself is super enjoyable. Even tracking down side missions is made more enjoyable by an easy to access in-game app that doesn’t take you out of the game completely.
Where Spider-Man: Miles Morales shows the strength of the PS5 though is in its chaptering in the PlayStation menu section. I was able to jump to a challenge I wasn’t nearby simply tapping the button in the center of the DualSense and selecting what I wanted to do. It’s a nice way to speed things along, especially if you’re hunting down trophies.
Different enemy types add some variety to your fights but for the most part, you’ll find your tried and tested combos do the trick. Luckily these do look very slick and the way the characters and story are presented always encourages you to carry on. Even if you’re not quite feeling a moment.
Some moves feel slightly overpowered but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s much more fun being stealthy with Miles than it is with Peter due to some of his abilities. This is nice because it can encourage you to mix up how you’re playing if you’re so inclined.
One thing that is worth mentioning is how satisfying the DualSense is to use in the game. Swinging through the city and having the trigger subtly resist the faster and further you go is a nice touch. So is the audible “thwip” sound that can be heard as you swing through the city.
Are You Not Entertained?
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a lot of fun. It’s the kind of game you can jump into for a few minutes or a few hours and have a great time either way. Even if the story doesn’t hook you, swinging around New York no doubt will. Maybe you want to go do a challenge? Maybe you just want to take some photos?
What makes Miles Morales work well is the variety of what it offers. Even if the gameplay loop doesn’t set your world on fire there’s no denying there’s fun to be had.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales has some superb accessibility features which are worth touching on in this review. These include remapping, hold to complete QTE’s, the ability to set actions to toggle, subtitles of various sizes and a fair few audio options too. The fact there still seems to be many games that release with difficult to read subtitles it has to be praised when a game is released that allows a variety of sizes.
You can read more about the accessibility features of Miles Morales here.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales provides a reason to be excited for the future of the series. Miles is a lot of fun to play as and I hope we’ll see him playable again in the future. The story packs a punch where it needs to but falters at times. Not all missions are top level and the gameplay can get repetitive in places but when the game is at its best it’s superb.
Not only that but it does a wonderful job of showing off the power of the PS5. The game looks incredible, plays well and builds upon the 2018 original superbly. It is kind of just “more of the same” but when “the same” is of the quality of Marvel’s Spider-Man that isn’t really a bad thing is it?
This review of Spider-Man: Miles Morales was completed PS5. Review code of Spider-Man: Miles Morales provided by PlayStation
Featured Image Credit: Insomniac Games