Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

released on Nov 12, 2020

The latest adventure in the Spider-Man universe will build on and expand ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ through an all-new story. Players will experience the rise of Miles Morales as he masters new powers to become his own Spider-Man.

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I remember reading a review once many years ago - I think it was for the original Infamous on the PlayStation 3 - that spoke about how open world games should be judged on their traversal. Whilst I don't think that strictly true the basic premise of that sentence stuck with me. These are huge games in which a lot of time is spent going from point A to point B is important, like tremendously so. To that end Insomniac's Spider-Man games have excelled perhaps beyond all others.

There is an absolute joy to swinging through New York, the rush of diving down toward the road to last minute swing through traffic and crowd before jumping into the sky and bouncing off rooftops. It's an endless thrill and the instant I started Miles Morales it brought that experience rushing back. These are the only open world games where using the fast travel feels like a waste, because it means I wouldn't be swinging through the city feeling that rush. I would go so far as to say the mechanics of Spider-Man as a character are the ultimate open world traversal, not for efficiency, that would probably be flying, but simply for the joy of the actions and great animations.

I suppose I should talk about the rest of the game at some point though, honestly it's excellent. I see it labeled here as an expansion and I can certainly see that with the story being maybe 5 hours and doing everything with side missions, challenges in about 20. This feels more like an intermission though (an interquel?) allowing Miles to catch up for Spider-Man 2. And catch up he does as the game introduces his bio-electric and stealth abilities not to mention his suit. This is set about a year after the first game with Miles still coming to terms with being Spider-Man. When Peter goes on a work vacation Miles is left on his own to look after the city so inevitably he uncovers a conspiracy in his neighborhood of Harlem. The story is actually very good and quite personal to Miles about family, where he lives and the people there. I really enjoyed the touching moments, more in the side quests than anything partially thanks to the great voice acting. Nadji Jeter especially does a fantastic as Miles coming across as an unconfident but caring teenager.

Voice acting isn't the only way this is shown though, even when swinging through New York Miles will sometimes flail his arms or swing awkwardly to show he doesn't quite have the experience that his mentor Peter does. The visuals are generally gorgeous despite being a cross gen title. I played on the PlayStation 5 but I've never cared for ray tracing much which is an option but I love performance and playing this at 60fps was a joy with the smoothness of how it plays and the detail and draw distance now available. Lastly on the subject of presentation, not normally the sort of music I like but the soundtrack absolutely kills at times.

Though short this is still a great game put together with passion in a time in which the BLM movement was starting to grow and I couldn't help but think about aspects of that as I played. In my nearly 1000 games played maybe four have had a POC as the pre-designed lead? It's still sad that is the case and I hope games like Miles Morales can help push to companies that there is a demand for diversity.

Be Greater, Be Yourself.

+ Traversal through the city is an absolute blast.
+ Great story and voice acting.
+ Gorgeous visuals and art design.
+ Great music.

Should’ve been dlc + way too short for a full price game. But if I had to give one credit it’s that miles is actually way more fun then Peter in the other game

my kingdom for this to have been as long as the original game, I enjoyed my time in it but was really wanting more time with these characters since everything went by so quickly. that said, the gameplay feels much better here, especially the swinging, I actually managed to platinum the game this time.

Not a bad game, just a bit too short for my tastes. Excited for Spider-man 2 though.

the first game i ever platinum trophy'd i think