There is no doubt that Spider-Man: Miles Morales was on everyone's list for this year as it helps to bridge the jump from PS4 to PS5 as well as give us part of the story many wanted after the big game from before. While not a sequel from Insomniac Games, it is an expansion that can be played on its own but you really do get the benefits of playing the last Spider-Man title too. That all said, it is time for us to dig into how this game does in the grand scheme of things and if it is worth paying the price now or waiting down the line until you too can get it on the PS5. Here is our review for how the game goes on the PS5 version of it all and if it warrants us getting overly excited for the future of the franchise.
It has been a year since the events of the last Spider-Man title and it looks like Web Head wants to take a slight vacation. It is also Christmas time and I think we can all agree that he deserves a nice little break. Unfortunately, crime does not stop in New York, and Miles Morales is tasked with keeping things in line after a short period of training. Would you not have guessed it, but as soon as Peter is out of town, all of the villains come back out and try to do what they normally do. Can Miles live up to the Spider-Man name or will he set his own path out there for now? Let us find out in the game.
This is going to be a weird one to say here, but I was not a huge fan of the extra moves and skills we have for Miles over the last Spider-Man. This comes in the form of the Venom attacks and Camouflage that he adds into the mix. This all goes on top of the gameplay we knew so well from the previous title. Due to the lack of distinction in all of the past aspects to Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I found myself ignoring the fact that I had these extra abilities in combat. That or found the stealth missions too easy due to the fact that I could go invisible at almost any point and thus restart going about it all in stealth. Not the biggest of issues to have, but it would have felt better if there was a tweak to the combat and other systems from the previous game and not just have these added on top of. It was almost like there was a bit of a challenge removed for no reason. That, in the case of the new moves, added in just to pad the game time with special challenges to use the powers we will most likely ignore after mastering the core mechanics.
My only other real gripe with Spider-Man: Miles Morales comes in the form of the fact that the new hardware can make the use of web-swinging unneeded. I say this as it used to take forever to fast travel in the previous game that it was faster to just swing about to get where it was needed. In this one, and again it is a first-world problem, the game loads so fast that there is no point to waste time swinging from place to place. You still can, that has not been removed or altered from the fun, but in a world where everyone wants to be instantly gratified, it will be skipped as often as possible. It is a lot like the issue with Detective Mode in the Arkham games where it made the game easier and faster to use all the time, even if it led to missing parts of the work the team put in. We can easily miss parts of New York in Spider-Man: Miles Morales for a similar reason. Again, not a huge gripe but something that rubbed me the wrong way when playing.
Talk about a title that need not try to fix anything that was not broken in the last Spider-Man game. Outside of the above issues I mentioned, Insomniac Games brought back everything that we loved from before and made sure it was perfected. From the combat to the swinging controls, the game flowed just as smoothly as ever. Even to the point where I questioned if Miles should be this smooth given he has only had a year of training and Peter was eight years in. That is all story and I still prefer the gameplay to work to perfection even if I have to ignore those aspects and they hit it well on the head here. Even when they mixed a few things up that we knew from the past Spider-Man game to give us different ways to come at the same problems here. If you enjoyed the core gameplay from the last game, then get ready to be impressed again, as it comes out swinging well yet again. Something that could have lent to one of those above gripes even being there in the first place.
To that end, the team looks to have also mixed up all of the sides and other missions we have in Spider-Man: Miles Morales to a great end to not only fit the character better but offer up a few differences and changes over the last title. We still have the random crimes that happen in the city and the random side missions, but the collectibles added in here offer up a different experience than expected and were also more fun to collect and find than just something for those completionists out there. I specifically loved the collectibles where we need to collect sound effects to make music in the game's world. I will not go into more of that so as to not spoil it, but it adds in more gameplay to have in Spider-Man: Miles Morales as well as a new way to look at the world. Not just a go to a location and press Triangle kind of affair that other collectible missions have to offer in open-world games like this one.
Lastly, the team hits it out of the park yet again with the story for Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Given the popularity of the character and the different take on the IP, it was a given that this would happen, and it was not disappointing. Even the points in the story where it felt like it was going about as we expected, it felt a lot like watching any of the good animated films or reading the comics. Sure, we could see it coming miles away but there was a good reason why the characters did not and to me, that is a good sign of storytelling. It helps us bond with the character in my opinion and thus leads to a deeper connection with everything else going on in the game. It also helps hold up on how Miles Morales' version of Spider-Man is one of the more popular ones in recent years and I think it will be something fans, in general, will talk about well after the game is over. On top of the spectacular gameplay and everything else the game has going for it currently.
If you want more to experience in the Spider-Man franchise out there with a gripping story to go with it, then this one is going to be a game you will want to add to your collection as soon as possible. It takes all of the things that the game did right and brings it over for a new generation; both in story and hardware. It is a little on the short side when comparing to the previous title, so do expect that even with all of the side events and missions to undertake. Thankfully, there is a lot of replay fun in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, so when the core story is done you can dive right back in for more. I fully recommend picking this one up if not for the solid gameplay, then for the amazing story that we have woven together for us as we wait for the main Web-Head to come back from his vacation and continue where he left off.
I give Spider-Man: Miles Morales 9 Beat Samples on the Beat Sample scale.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales — Launch Trailer
Spider-Man: Miles Morales was developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PS4 and PS5 on November 12th, 2020. A PS5 copy of the game was purchased by myself for reviewing purposes.