Well, for all those wondering why I reviewed Marvel’s Spider-Man yesterday, it’s so I could get the clearance to cover this game today. Simply put, despite this game being a great game on it’s own, some background reading’s required. Is Spider-Man: Miles Morales as good as it is socially relevant? Where did this Spider-Man come from? Is any of Post Malone’s music used in the game? Two of these three questions will be answered. Without further ado, I’m Davey, this is The Gamerhub, and this is my review of Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Peter Parker isn’t the only Spider-Man in the Marvel comics universe, and he isn’t the only one on his version of Earth (Earth 616). He hasn’t been since the 1990s, and most comic fans have got their heads around that. For most of the 1990s and mid 2000s, we had Peter Parker as Spider-Man and Ben Reilly as the Scarlet Spider. Ben, like his namesake, bit the dust, but his legacy lives on, and there was a gap in the market left for 8 years. In 2012, with the success of the Ultimate Universe in Marvel Comics, the guys behind it did something unprecedented. They killed Peter Parker.
You read that right. They killed Peter Parker. Marvel didn’t kill Spider-Man, however, and introduced a new one with the kid behind it being Miles Morales. They’d foreshadowed this for nearly a year in the comic series, with lots of panels depicting New Yorkers arguing over Spider-Man’s race. It appears that the 2012 internet wasn’t so keen on a half-hispanic, half African American at first, however: Miles Morales got so popular that he turned up in the regular Marvel Universe where Peter Parker is very much alive.
Miles Morales got so well received that his origin story is told in the animated film, Into The Spider-Verse. He means a lot to a heck of a lot of people, and his status means a lot for a lot of minority communities. So, no pressure, Insomniac, please don’t mess this character up!
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an open-world superhero RPG set as a direct sequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man. It’s available on the PS4, PS4 Pro (which I played it on) and was a launch title for Sony’s PlayStation 5.The game has been received well, with the game being the best-sold PS5 game in the UK. It’s been out since November 2020. However, with this crazy time period, I couldn’t get it until last week.
The Game’s plot follows Miles as he settles into being Harlem’s Spider-Man. Of course, he’s a Spider-Man for the whole of Manhattan, but our story commences mainly in Harlem. His Spidey’s a little different to Peter Parker’s. He’s more introverted, more nervous, and his powers are different. Miles can basically use his body as a giant battery, and incapacitate enemies with a venom blast. He also turns invisible at times as a defence mechanism, which works to his advantage.
As Miles helps his mother become a city councilwoman, two groups emerge in Harlem. Firstly, the sinister Roxxon group, who seem to resemble Oscorp. They develop technology, have a giant amount of employees and have a Machiavellian leader, Simon Krieger. Secondly is a sinister crime gang called The Underground emerges, using old hideouts from Kingpin, and technology used by Hammerhead’s Maggia and Li’s Inner Demons. They’re run by a mysterious female leader, known only as The Tinkerer. They have one goal: Destroy Roxxon, and anyone who gets in their way.
In Miles’ personal life, he struggles to keep his identity secret, help FEAST (which I’m happy to report is still running), help his mother, and reclaim an old friendship with Phin Mason. Like in the previous game, this is where Insomniac score a home run. Sure, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a shorter game, but it’s no slouch where emotinal intensity in the plot is concerned.
As with the previous game, the whole of Manhattan Island is your playground in this game. Traverse Manhattan in any way you like, be that riding cars and buses (which can be fun), taking the Subway (if only for the achievements) or swinging across the rooftops. On a personal note, there’s a really nice touch here. In the original game, you see Peter Parker swinging through New York with ease, as he’s been Spider-Man for years. Miles hasn’t been Spider-Man for all that long, and it’s reflected in his web-swinging technique. They could have just re-skinned the Spidey model from the older game, but no, they put some effort in here, and it shows. Watching Miles’ legs flail through the air was something I immediately noticed. It’s a really nice touch.
There aren’t as many gadgets this time around, but I like that. It allows both of the Spider-Men to have different feels to them. Besides, Miles has a couple of powers that Peter doesn’t, and this helps balance them out. Miles’ temporary invisibility and range of venom powers makes him a formiddable fighter. Adding half of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man gadgets would have probably made Miles over-powered, so I’m glad Miles gets to make his own. It also adds that personality to Miles. He’s a bit more extroverted in some ways, and so adding this sort of gameplay makes a lot of sense.
It probably shouldn’t surprise you to read this, but the graphics in the game are astonishingly good. It’s as good as the previous game if not better, as a lot of the graphical niggles I had in the previous review had been addressed. I played this on a PS4 Pro, and even on that, there’s graphical differences noticeable. The colours are sharper, the details are clearer and the Marvel version of New York seems bigger. I know that with the game basically being a half-step up to the second game in development, there wasn’t much that they could add, but it feels a lot bigger. From the first cinematic moments whilst you attempt to capture Rhino, it just feels like a giant step up.
I know that on the PS5 it’s probably better, but for me on a lowly PS4 Pro, this was truly magical. There aren’t enough words to express how good this game is graphically speaking, and I highly recommend taking the time out to explore the game as Miles Morales. You won’t regret it.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a game that’s well worth the price of admission. The game’s incredibly socially relevant, and the message it carries holds up really well. You don’t have to be Peter Parker, you don’t have to be Miles Morales (although he’s all of us), you have to be yourself to be Spider-Man. The game is beautifully created, the graphics are beautiful and the only thing I can realy criticise this game on is length. It took me 16 hours to 100% this game and to be honest, £49.99 is a bit steep for that in a pandemic.
So, that’s our review! Did you like it? Are you playing this game on the PS5? Is there something that I’ve potentially missed? Let me know, and I’ll be glad to comment. Until that moment, please keep safe, and I’ll see you on Friday.