✔️A true next-gen follow-up to Marvel’s 2018 epic. ✔️Improves on every facet involved with its predecessor, and evolves character and narrative progression to new heights. ✔️Captivating campaign narrative, and improved gameplay that outdoes everything its initial entry delivered.
❌Too pricey for such a short campaign.
It’s no secret that I have my gripes with Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation 4. The title was poorly optimised for both the OG and Pro console, leaving much to be desired. However, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a stark contrast between its predecessor, and the short story sequel in every single facet imaginable. Narrative, campaign, gameplay and presentation; This is truly a Next Generation Experience. Miles Morales demonstrates refinery that had been needed to bring Spidey along for the ride, with improved visuals that would leave gamers in disbelief, a captivating tale that will engross you, and unquestionably a solid mixture of old Spider-Man with some new attributes that discern, and distinguish Miles from Peter. Yes, we know about the controversial face-swap, but it’s such a miniscule cosmetic change, that it doesn’t impact anything here.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales takes the superhero in crimson spandex to new heights, if anything the follow-up to the PS4 Exclusive see’s an entirely refreshed aesthetic delivered with an urban overture that envelopes the style needed to highlight Miles as a credible protagonist. The title leaps all hurdles that may have kept it’s prequel from being perfect – not to discredit Marvel’s Spider-Man at all – delivering such an extraordinary experience within a short, feature-length time frame. There’s a distinct polish slathered across the title, and whether that’s due to its short campaign, giving developers time to overhaul New York and clean up any hitches and glitches through QA, but it’s certainly one that I whole-heartedly appreciate. I had no doubts coming into the PlayStation 5, that Miles Morales was set to be the headline act, the ultimate demonstration that the PS5 needed to showcase moving forward.
Keep your friends close…
Revisiting New York within the Spiderverse in all of its re-modelled and remastered glory is truly a sight to behold. A true continuation of “The City that Never Sleeps” DLC, Peter guides his apprentice through the bustling metropolis with the pair masked and ready for action. With Parker teaching the newbie the web-weaved ropes, the pair help police guide a high-security prisoner transfer, only for the Ravaging Russian Aleksei Sytsevich aka Rhino, to break free after an ambitious Miles overconfidently made a quick decision that resulted in some dire consequences. The teen rushes to the the airborne cell containing the big brute, doing his best to re-attach the disconnected belt that had come loose holding the caged colossus. For a split second, it seems that all was well until the cell suddenly drags the helicopter down, crashing into the busy city streets.
Peter directs Miles towards a swarm of “Underground” baddies that begin to surround the pair, along with Rhino readying his assault on the superheroes. Peter takes charge of immobilising Rhino, while Miles does his best to incapacitate the horde of masked adversaries. After clearing the streets and defeating the behemoth, the pair regroup to recap on the events that had transpired. Peter then informs Miles that he’ll be away for some time due to a job opportunity abroad with Mary Jane, with an apprehensive Miles told to cover for his absent mentor. Accepting his newfound role as New York’s only Spider-Man, Miles swings into action with his best friend Ganke’s assistance. The pair begin to take job requests via their new phone app, that allows civilians to report crimes in the area.
In their first request, Miles is directed towards his estranged Uncle, Aaron Davis. Prior to Miles father’s death, the pair had an unspecified falling out that had remained a mystery to the teenager, and purposely kept a secret by his mother, Rio. Confident that his uncle would not be able to identify him, he cautiously approaches the train depot where his Uncle traffics each train line. He informs Miles of a newfound militia “The Underground”led by the ruthless Tinkerer, had been causing havoc within New York’s subway system, and needed Spider-Man to help him settle the situation. While Miles had investigated the situation, opposed militia Roxxon Energy, had planted a number of bombs within the surrounding area. Miles defeats member of Roxxon, and disarms the entire army of their explosives. After reactivating the disrupted train lines, that had been disabled by the underground, Davis thanks Spider-Man promising him with a gift upon his return.
Handing Miles a one-year unlimited access to New York’s subway, he asks the young superhero if he got his name right on the pass. Scribed with the name “Miles Morales”, the teen tries to make his getaway with his Uncle promising not to tell anyone. The following night, Miles attends his mother’s campaign Rally in hopes of becoming New York City’s Mayor, only for the event to be interrupted by Roxxon, and the Tinkerer. With the militia group running rampant across the city, they continue their gang war with the Underground on Braithwaite Bridge. There the two engage in complete chaos, tearing the bridge apart with innocent civilians caught within the crossfire. Miles makes haste towards the Bridge as it begins to collapse, doing his best to save the civilians and stop both the Underground and Roxxon. Encountering the Underground’s leader, Tinkerer informs Spider-Man that they’re after Nuform; a nuclear deposit that could cause an explosion.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not only essential for PlayStation 5 but it very well may be a Game of the Year contender, in 2020.
The Underground protect their leader from Spider-Man, while the Tinkerer breaks into a Truck carrying multiple pods of the nuclear substance. Using his electric abilities, Miles breaks free of from the clutches of the Underground, to try and take the Nuform from the masked assailant, only for the electronically augmented mask to glitch out and reveal that the Tinkerer was in fact Miles old friend Phin, his old high school friend who had just returned to New York for Christmas with the Morales family. With the situation now as complicated as ever, Roxxon do their best in fending off the Underground, but turn their sights to Miles, and initiate an attack on the hero after being instructed by their leader, Simon Krieger. An anxious Miles begins fear for his life, as Roxxon threaten to shoot him, only for Miles to turn invisible, and make his getaway from the group.
Blood is thicker than venom…
So, the premise of Spider-Man: Miles Morales is such a strong one that it will motivate players in continuing the title, right to its very end. For those looking for a lengthy campaign, you may be disappointed to know that I finished the title within six hours, making this just slightly shorter than its predecessor’s story. Not marketed as a true sequel, Miles Morales certainly felt like an extension to the existing Spider-Man adventure, but it also demonstrates such a massive improvement on the initial entry’s foundations, making it truly feel like a next generation experience. The cinematography displayed during each scenario is sublime, some of the best camera work in gaming is on display. As you swing and sling through New York, you are delivered the absolute best visuals gaming.
It’s remarkably sublime how beautiful the title looks with its top-tier shadings mix with the reflections of PlayStation 5’s Ray-Tracing. The action is heightened by real time dynamics that had me question whether I was experiencing a cutscene, or certain scenarios were happening in-game. It’s astonishing how far gaming has come, and in 2020 with the new generation being put on full display, Spider-Man: Miles Morales delivers a top of line demonstration in the power, and capabilities of PlayStation’s new hardware. While much of Spider-Man’s gameplay stays intact, there are some additions made that give the title its own identity, and distinguish Miles from Peter. A young, leaner Miles traverses faster, and much more flexible than Parker does, and you can feel how smooth his skills truly are in comparison. Whether or not that was the intent, it’s appreciated none-the-less.
While the Dualsense controller could have demonstrated just a little more impact in-terms of precise actions within gameplay, feeling the retention an recoil within the rubber-band effect in each trigger while swinging through New York is unreal. Activating Miles’ Venom attacks by holding down L2, and landing each blow with each respected action button delivers a distinct vibration set in each trigger. It’s nothing like I’ve felt in prior generations. The XBOX One controller tried its best to give an immersive representation of Adaptive triggers that you could feel the rumble, however the Dualsense goes above and beyond this, with such precision that will blow gamers minds. With the mixture of the controller’s speaker adding extra immersion to the overall experience, the Dualsense truly elevates the entire delivery within this cinematic adventure.
Everything you know and love about Marvel’s Spider-Man makes a return, but its all replaced with new faces, and new features that ultimately are the same. Ganke replaces Yuri as your assistant on-call, The Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson returns with his radio show “Just the Facts”, but is opposed by the Danikast, hosted by Danika, a young aspiring podcaster that hosts her show in support of Spider-Man and his heroics. Hot Spots surround the city with Crimes that are reported through the app, bags are replaced for science experiments that were created by Miles and Phin, and other collectables that prolong your time in-game. The title’s overall quality of life is limitless, but a completionist will have their hands full for around 20 hours in total.
Upon hearing the dulcet tones of Mr. Troy Baker (The Last of Us, InFamous: Second Son) portraying the manipulative Simon Krieger, I immediately knew we were in for a treat. Yuri Lowenthal (Bugsnax, Final Fantasy VII Remake) returns as your friendly neighbourhood Peter Parker, along with Ashly Burch (Horizon: Zero Dawn, Life is Strange) opposing Darin DePaul’s (Overwatch, Critical Role) JJ Jameson. Fred Tatasciore (Gears of War, Crash Bandicoot) lends his range to the colossus Rhino, while reprising his role as our star attraction Miles Morales, Nadji Jeter (Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Last of Us) shows why the young actor has been touted as the only youngster that could portray the teenage Spider-Man across multiple forms of entertainment, including the Spider-Man animated series, Marvel Alliance 3: The Black Order, and the original entry into the franchise itself.
I want to give a mention to the title’s amazing soundtrack. Remixing some of the original compositions from 2018, into an urban hip-hop overture really made for such an aesthetic change, mixing epic beats with some fun tempo adding a little more spice to the overall compilation. Composer John Paesano is notorious for his works with artists Jaden Smith and Lecrae, so bringing his knowledge of laying down the ultimate urban beat was so fitting, especially while swinging through the bustling streets of Hell’s Kitchen, and Harlem. A special mention to the Spider-verse outfit, the overall arc of Miles story had the animated film’s adaptation represented in so many ways that it would have been a shame to omit this suit. Mixing it with the cell shaded lighting, and the Spider-Verse like animation was such a nice touch. An epic nod to such an amazing movie.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the perfect way to begin your journey into the next generation of gaming. Such an expeditious adventure that follows-up on the epic tale. My only gripe is how short the campaign was, and how costly it is here in Australia. $100 for a six hour campaign is quite steep, but it may be worth the investment for those who are looking for the ultimate next-gen gaming experience. This expansion follows through on its promise in demonstrating seamless action, and silky smooth cinematics that would have any Spidey fan gush for hours on end. Sure you will finish the campaign in quick fashion, but there is so much to do after it’s all set and done. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not only essential for PlayStation 5 but it very well may be a Game of the Year contender, in 2020.
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 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.