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 both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 (North America and Australia only for the PS5 version), with the rest of the world getting the PS5 version a week later on November 19, 2020. It was a launch title for PlayStation 5's worldwide.
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 It Rocks
- Despite being smaller in size and scope than the previous game, warranting comparisons to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, a standalone expansion to the Uncharted series, this game does everything it can to be just as good as the original Spider-Man. Whilst it doesn't necessarily hit the same heights, it's still a really good game and will help get fans more excited for future instalments in this series.
- 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.
- The story, while nothing special, is still pretty decent, with it again not being tied to a comic or a film.
- 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 favourite 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 Neighbourhood 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.
- Like with the first game, unlockables, skills, and character customization aren't locked behind microtransactions. Instead, they are tied to natural progression at a comfortable pace. As an example, the pre-order bonuses for this game: two suits, extra skill points and gadgets, are made available throughout the course of the game to those who didn't pre-order, instead of being exclusive to those that pre-ordered the game.
- Amazing graphics, as to be expected. The PlayStation 5 version makes 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.
- Miles get a lot more character development here than he did in the previous game (he is the main character, so it should be expected), as he struggles on a journey 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. With the variety in enemy types and substantial difficulty, the combat elevates the game to greatness.
- There are two tributes to sadly deceased people in this game: one to Chadwick Boseman, and one to Stan Lee, with both being touching in their own ways.
- The music in this game is solid, just like with the first. Your mileage might vary on whether you like the more hip-hop focused score, but it suits Miles' character pretty well, with the added bonus to being decent songs in their own right.
- 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.
- Whilst not quite as sad as the previous game's ending, the ending of Miles Morales is definitely sad nonetheless.
- It's a nice swansong for Insomniac Games for the PlayStation 4 platform, and an early graphical showpiece for the PlayStation 5 platform.
- The game is quite short, lasting around 7-8 hours on a single playthrough, which makes sense given as it's not a fully-fledged sequel. However, once the game is completed, 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.
- With regards to WIR#3, the story is fairly predictable, similar to the first game, especially with the Tinkerer's identity.
- Regardless of the platform, the game features the newer version of Peter Parker with a Tom Holland-esque face. However, since he's not in the game for long, it's not too much of an issue, mostly just a small nitpick.
- 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.
- Crashing was a frequent issue on the PlayStation 5 version in the game's first couple of weeks of release, but it has since been fixed.
Similar to the first game, Spider-Man: Miles Morales received a positive reception, garnering a 84/100 critic score on the PlayStation 4 version, and a 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.