Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a 2020 action-adventure game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released on November 12, 2020 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. It was a launch title for the PlayStation 5. A PC port is releasing on Fall 2022.
After the events of the previous game, where he got bitten by a genetically modified spider, Miles Morales is adjusting to his new home while following in the footsteps of his mentor, Peter Parker, as a new Spider-Man, whilst doubting his own ability to live up to Peter's legacy.
However, when a fierce power struggle threatens to destroy his new home, the aspiring hero realizes that with great power, there must also come great responsibility. With Peter having gone abroad, Miles is the only one that can stop this growing power struggle. To save all of Marvel's New York, Miles must take up the mantle of Spider-Man and own it.
Why You CAN'T STOP IT NOW
- Solid voice acting across the board, from Nadji Jeter's performance as Miles Morales and Jasmin Savoy Brown's as Phin Mason to returning voice actors such as Fred Tatasciore as the Rhino.Rhino.
- A nice list of unlockable suits for Miles Morales, with all of them once again having their own unique abilities that can be shared with other suits once unlocked, just like with the previous game.
- The Into The Spider-Verse suit, in particular, is a highlight, with it's mods allowing you to mimic actions and web-swinging as if they're from the film where the suit is from, creating a nice visual treat at the expense of a reduced frame rate in movements.
- On the complete opposite side, there's the Bodega Cat suit, which became a fan favorite due to how adorable the cat is, and how unintentionally hilarious it can be if you wear the suit during serious cutscenes.
- Whilst not as many as there were in the previous game, the citywide activities are fun to go through, and for a lot of them, you're rewarded with a new suit to use once you've completed them. They also help increase the length of the game in meaningful ways:
- The FNSM (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man App) allows you to choose from a selection of crimes to take care of, and side missions to complete. It's a unique way to integrating social media into a game, and it's easier than having to randomly wait for a crime to appear in a certain area in the first game
- Post Cards are a nice little post-game set of quests, and your search is rewarded once you've collected them all (See WIR#13)
- Roxxon Labs and Underground Hideouts are most similar to Demon and Fisk Hideouts from the previous game, and they can be completed in a variety of different combat methods.
- Sound Samples are one of the more difficult side activities in this game, but still fun nonetheless, testing your ability to listen out for the right sounds, and giving more backstory into the relationship between Miles' father and Miles' uncle.
- Spider-Training helps the player improve in 3 distinct areas: combat, stealth and traversal. Each area has 3 sets of challenges to complete, before ending off with The Final Test, which is not only a fun side mission, but also a solid test of everything you've learnt from the previous challenges.
- Time Capsules are effectively similar to the Backpacks you collected as Peter in the previous game, with Miles giving a brief phrase or two on the significance of each time capsule, expanding his friendship with Phin in the process.
- Underground Caches are probably the most simple side activity, using a tracker to locate these caches to earn tech parts that can be used to unlock certain things.
- Amazing graphics with the PlayStation 5 version making the most of the upgraded hardware, taking advantage of the console's increased processing power, dedicated ray-tracing hardware and custom solid-state drive storage, whilst supporting a high dynamic range and an optional "performance mode" that allows the game to run at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second.
- Furthermore, New York in this game looks just as amazing as it did before, with the added bonus of it being set around Christmas helping bring a more vibrant feel to the city. It also helps that some areas, specifically Harlem, have been improved massively with the amount of things that take place there.
- It has a nice plot about Miles struggling to try to be more than just Spider-Man's crime-fighting partner.
- The combat is just as good as before, with the added bonus of Mile's unique Venom Power and invisibility, allowing for a more stealth-focused approach in taking out enemies, or just using the various amounts of abilities Venom Power allows a more action-focused approach.
- Great soundtrack that focuses on a more hip-hop focused score to show the differences between Miles and Peter since Peter's soundtrack was more uplifting and classical.
- The side missions here are a bit better than the previous game's offerings, specifically the Spider-training exercises that end with a boss fight with Peter mockingly voicing the Vulture, and the side mission where you go around finding hidden postcards, testing your memory and rewarding you with a nice emotional moment at the end.
- The PS5 Ultimate edition version comes with Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered for those who haven't played the original.
- Just like the first game, once you complete, there is little to do outside of late-game clean-up.
- The boss fights are once again nothing special, with only the final boss offering a decent challenge.
- Miles' character arc in this game is a bit too similar to that of the Miles in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, with some parts feeling like Deja-vu.
- The basic plot structure of the main campaign directly parallels that of the original game, but at a much faster pace and with much less nuance. There is the tech-savvy sympathetic supervillian that Spider-Man has a close bond with (Otto/Phin), the corporate magnate with a dark secret (Norman/Krieger), the friend Spider-Man fell out of contact with who turns out to be secretly dying (Harry/Rick), a public health hazard at the center of the plot (the Devil's Breath virus/Nuform) and the premise of a new superpowered gang (Inner Demons/The Underground).
- The Tinkerer has a lot of parallels with Mister Negative. An otherwise good person trying to avenge slain relatives. A gang of mask-wearing thugs that exploit a power vacuum. The target of their grudge is a corporate executive, who ignored basic safety with a dangerous product. Both make use of bombings and repossessing things belonging to Wilson Fisk.
- Most of the collectibles are recycled ones from the original. There are challenges to test Spider-Man (Taskmaster/Training), collectibles containing a memorabille from Spider-Man's past (Backpacks/ Time Capsules), and enemy bases that Spider-Man must shut down (Fisk Hideout/ Roxxon Lab).
- The game really wants the player to sympathize with The Tinkerer (Phin), but while her reasons for waging war against Roxxon are understandable and even sympathetic, it becomes really hard to feel bad for her for several reasons:
- Despite having lost her brother and knowing that Miles suffered a similar loss when his dad died during the Demon's bombing of City Hall, she organizes a terrorist attack on his mom's campaign rally that ends with her injured and nearly killed despite her anti-Roxxon stance.
- When Miles reveals that he's Spider-Man, she spends a lot of time ragging on him for lying to her. This makes her a blatant hypocrite since she wasn't honest about her role as the Underground's leader and enabling them to terrorize Manhattan with her weaponry.
- The hypocrisy doesn't end there. Her recklessness leads to plenty of innocent civilians getting caught in the crossfire between her and Roxxon. You'd think that someone who is as smart as Phin would know that by doing this would only boost Krieger's public image as a victim of terrorism, and thus have everyone be against her.
- She tries to justify her ultimate plan of blowing up Roxxon headquarters with a Nuform reactor by arguing she was going to do it during the night when nobody would be in it. This is dumb and completely ignores the fact that you can't just blow up a skyscraper in a place as a crowded as Manhattan without there being casualties.
- When Miles tries to stop Phin from killing Rhino, she beats him up and goes as far as to threaten to KILL HIM if he doesn't back off.
- Missed Opprotunity: Miles' relationship and tension with Phin could have been the source of an interesting new villain for Miles, specifically. This doesn't happen sadly, as the Tinkerer is killed off at the end of the game when she tries to get Miles away from Harlem so he can release the Nuform energy.
- The game was clearly not designed to counter some of Miles' newfound powers.
- The Mega Venom Blast is your most powerful move, basically creating a giant explosion centered around yourself, and an escape-from-death free card. It takes three bars of energy to execute, but will instantly take out anything but the brutes (on Ultimate difficulty), and heals you back to full health. If you're playing New Game+ and are about to die, the power activates automatically after unlocking a skill. Admittedly, this can only occur once per encounter, but it's more than enough for you to clear whole crowds and each stage/checkpoint counts as an encounter, so you can get knocked out and activate the ability multiple times.
- Most enemies don't have anything to counter Miles' invisibility, and the ones that do have massive blind spots that don't save them from getting hit from stealth. The biggest drawback to invisibility is the long charge time, and striking while invisible greatly depletes the energy reserves. But this can be mitigated by unlocking a mod that allows Miles to use his Venom bars as a backup generator.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales received positive reviews, garnering an 84/100 critic score on the PlayStation 4 version, and an 85/100 critic score on the PlayStation 5 version. The combat, narrative, content, and technical improvements of the PS5 version were the most consistently praised aspects about the game.
- It is the first Spider-Man game that's has Miles Morales as the main protagonist instead of Peter Parker.
- There are two tributes to people important to the Marvel world: one to Chadwick Boseman, and one to Stan Lee, with both being touching in their own ways.
- 42nd Street, between 1st and 3rd Avenue, becomes "Boseman Way", as Chadwick Boseman became famous for his role in 42.
- There's a statue of Stan Lee outside of Mick's Diner (the place where his character worked in the previous game). Miles calls him a "real-life hero" when interacting with the statue's inscription, while the trophy description for doing so refers to him as a legend.
- The inscription for the statue reads: Dedicated with love to the man who nourished the hearts, minds, and souls of True Believers everywhere. Excelsior!