Synopsis: Picking things up about a year after the (2018) Spider-Man game. This is the story of Miles Morales and his origins as the new Spider-Man. When Peter Parker takes a vacation. It is left up to Miles as the new Spider-Man to keep New York safe.
Review: Firstly, I have only recently gotten hold of a PS5, which is why I am reviewing a game that is nearly four months old. As a casual gamer. I felt I wanted to add my thoughts to the brew about this new game, but did not want to review the PS4 version. So I opted to wait until I could talk about the most polished version of the game.
First off. The story for this game is very much an origin story for Miles Morales. As we all know he was introduced to gamers in the (2018) Spider-Man game in which Peter Parker mentored Miles and helped him out after the death of his father. This story picks up about a year after that. And sees Miles as he is developing the Spider-Man powers that he got in the tail end of the 2018 game. Helping him through this transition is Peter Parker as the original Spider-Man.
When Miles and Spider-Man attempt to escort a prisoner transport across New York. The prisoners escape and so does Rhino. As Spidey chases down Rhino. Mile’s Spider-Man deals with the prisoners, but is then required to help the original Spider-Man defeat Rhino. During this fight, Miles develops new powers, which allow him to give off a high voltage electric charge. Having defeated Rhino. A very beat-up original Spider-Man and the new Spidey have a chance meeting with Simon Krieger the CEO of the Roxxon Energy Corporation.
Having cleaned up for the day. The two Spider-Men have a chat. In which Peter tells Miles that he is taking a couple of week’s off and asks him to take care of New York in his absence.
And thus begins the first adventures of Miles Morales as Spider-Man. And a real heartbreaker of a story.
It goes without saying that the visuals on this game are stunning. You can choose between several settings. One that allows you to play at 60 frames per second, which forgoes the use of Ray Tracing. Then there is the option to play with the Ray Tracing turned on that only allows a 30 FPS frame rate. And finally, there is the Performance RT option, which gives you the best of both worlds by dropping the image resolution. This means that you are sacrificing 4K resolution for the smoother frame rate and Ray Tracing, which gives you realistic reflection as Spidey scales tall buildings.
I chose to forgo the 60FPS frame rate for my first playthrough and was blown away by seeing the reflections on glass and in puddles and things.
On the 60 FPS version, the movement is really, really smooth. And the best of both worlds option is also good to a point where you don’t really notice that much of a drop in resolution.
Gameplay & Playability
The controls to this game are really intuitive and the combinations and moves are not really that difficult to learn. I found myself swinging through the streets of New York fairly quickly and got loads of enjoyment from just doing that for a while because it feels kind of mediation-like. For my first playthrough, I used the easiest option because I just wanted to get through the game’s story. In the harder settings, it obviously becomes much more of a challenge as you can actually get killed.
The way in which you navigate the game is fairly straightforward. Much like in the original 2018 Spidery game. You just use the middle thumb pad thingy to bring the map of New York up and use the shoulder buttons to navigate through the various options. It is in these menus that you can add new moves to your fighting skills as well as purchase new Spider-Man suits. And of course, set your nav points or fast travel to your next mission.
To an extent. The game benefits from the new Haptics on the PS5 controllers, but it is rather subtle. The only time it really comes into effect is when you are involved in fights. Although admittedly it does get a bit rough when you are fighting Rhino.
In Short. No matter what level of player you are. You’ll probably get a fair bit of enjoyment from this game. As a casual gamer. I’m always most interested in getting through the game’s story. But having now played through that. I am still playing the game but on the harder settings and continue to enjoy it.
The acting in this game is brilliant. I particularly enjoyed Nadji Jeter’s performance as Miles and the new Spider-Man. His performance embued a tremendous amount of likability for the character. Likewise, Griffin Puatu did much the same thing with his role as Ganke, who is Mile’s new friend and fellow science and technology, nerd. Jacqueline Pinol also does great work as Rio Morales who is Mile’s activist and politically motivated mother.
Jasmin Savoy Brown puts in a tremendously nuanced and emotive performance as Phin. Mile’s old friend from his old neighborhood. In fact, Phin’s part in the game’s story will break hearts. And it is a credit to the actor’s performance. That she managed to even get me close to tears during her final scenes. I don’t break that easy. Well, there was that thing with ET and Bambi. I guess.
In fact, all the actors are well cast in their roles and do brilliant work throughout.
I have to agree with most of the other people that have reviewed this game. Simply put Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a triumph. But it’s a triumph on several fronts. Firstly, as a game. It is one that I will definitely revisit. As a story, it’s a triumph for representation for black and Hispanic people. Mile’s Morales as a character is a great role model for young Hispanic kids to look up to. But also as a means of representation in general. It presents a world of likable people that you just want to hang out with. As a white guy that lives out in England. I’d love to spend some time with Miles and his family and break bread with them. Hell, I’d probably get a kick out of talking to Mile’s mother about the injustice and inequality that exists in this world and attempt to put it right somehow.
I also loved how the game presented us with a positive representative from the deaf community. In the form of the street artist that is working on a mural of Spider-Man. And the fact that Miles knows sign language and is able to communicate with her is awesome.
Overall. Although it’s a pretty short game that lasts roughly 12 hours. The game does present a lot of value and replayability. But like most people out there. I want a sequel for this. Some DLC would be nice. In fact. I think I prefer Miles Morales over Peter Parker.
- Gameplay & Playability10
- Voice Acting10
- Soundtrack and Sound Effects9.7