Spider-Man continues to be one of the most popular superheroes in pop culture, with a string of new comics, movies or games available each year. Most of these recent entries for Spider-Man, have been highly rated and beloved by both fans and critics alike. 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4, was one such success. With Insomniac Games at the helm, they brought there own specific canon to the world of Spider-Man. While Peter Parker is the most well-known person to portray Spider-Man, the follow-up title in the series, puts you in control of the young Miles Morales, who briefly appeared in the 2018 title.
Snow Is Falling
The game starts with Miles and his mother Rio, moving from Brooklyn to Harlem. It’s Christmas Eve and the streets are sprinkled with snow. You’re partnering Peter in a convict convey, as many of the prisoners that escaped The Raft prison in the first game, are being transported through the streets of New York. A mistake from the inexperienced Miles, leads to them escaping. Here you get into the action.
Set about one year after the events of the first title, you play as young Miles Morales, as he is getting to grips with his powers. Under the tutelage of Peter Parker, Miles is learning the ropes and is helping Peter with crime fighting in New York. Full of enthusiasm and heart, Miles is eager to help people and perform as a hero. But will this second Spider-Man achieve his goal?
The combat is familiar to anyone that played the first PS4 title. You use a combination of melee and web attacks to combat enemies. You will swing and dive to dodge incoming danger, as your spider sense tingles. This is as slick as ever, as Miles’ movements are beautifully rendered and animated. Finisher moves are heavy and the associated camera angles give a great cinematic feel. With simple button combinations, combat is truly a sight to see.
As you progress, you will earn the venom attack, which is an electrically charged move that Miles can preform. You build a metre in order to activate your venom powers, as it causes enemies more damage or cause stun effects to enemies. These moves can be upgraded to be more powerful ones throughout the game and you can also unlock additional gadgets, like shock pads and combat holograms, to help you in fights.
Swinging Around Town
After your initial mission, Peter informs Miles that he is leaving New York for a number of weeks, in order to be the photographer for his girlfriend Mary-Jane Watson’s upcoming journalistic driven trip. This leaves Miles to be the only Spider-Man swinging in town.
Alongside combat, web slinging around New York is fluid and enjoyable. With the hit of the R2 button, you attach to the closest building or object, propelling yourself forward in a swinging arc. Although it is largely the same map as before, it looks a winter wonderland this time around. Snow is scattered throughout the city and has a chilling look at night. While the warm glow of the sun is in effect during the day, the city has a different feel and hue its 2018 counterpart. A refinement in textures and lighting, allows Spider-Man: Miles Morales to be one of the best looking titles on PS4.
The main story sees you come up against a gang called The Underground, who are lead by The Tinkerer. This group are armed with hi-tech weaponry and are on the hunt to gain control of a new energy source, developed by Roxxon Energy Corporation. This sees you battle The Underground throughout the city, as you try to stop them. You will also come across both the Rhino and the Prowler along your journey through the 8-10 hour campaign.
A number of side missions will be available, as you progress. These include several collectible objectives, upgrade opportunities, combat training and optional crime missions, that can keep you busy. Most are brief and can be completed easily, as you traverse the city. With a number of difficulties, skills to unlock and suits to earn, you’ll be kept busy for a number of hours, post-game.
Although it may not feel like a fully fledged sequel, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a solid extension and companion piece to Insomniac’s Spider-Man world. With new moves and combat abilities, Miles feels different enough to Peter, while integrating the fantastic traversal and swinging mechanics from the original. The compact story is a self contained arc, but gives a glimpse into the potential of Miles in future chapters.
It certainly leaves me intrigued in follow-up Spider-Man games. With the likelihood of expanding to other New York boroughs, a third title in the series will no doubt introduce even more enemies from the massive rogues gallery. Could it even be two player co-op perhaps? Crime fighting with a friend as Miles and Peter, would be amazing.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be available on PlayStation 4 from November 12th. The PlayStation 5 version will be available from November 12th and 19th (depending on the region you live in). PS4 users can upgrade to the PS5 version for free.
Miles Does Whatever A Spider-Man Can
The follow-up to 2018's Spider-Man is overall a wonderful time. It takes everything from the original and gives it a nice polish, while introducing enough to make Miles feel somewhat different. It's full of the same, great Spider-Man gameplay, which is certainly not a bad thing. Miles is a likeable character and although the story is a bit shorter than the first game, it made Miles stand out as his own Spider-Man! The potential of two Spider-Men in future titles is very intriguing.