Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS4/PS5)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 5
  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • DualSense (PS5) Required (1)
  • DualShock 4 (PS4)Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (39.04 GB)
Release Date: November 12, 2020
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Insomniac Games
Original MSRP: $49.99 (USD), Ultimate Edition $69.99 (USD)
ESRB Rating: T
The reviewer purchased the physical edition of this game.
PS Nation Review Policy

 

Video Review:

Gameplay:
A new console launch, a new launch title.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales was not the first PlayStation 5 game I played when I cracked open that giant magnificent beast. But it is one of the better launch titles on the PS5.

And while the game also released on PlayStation 4, I will be talking about the PS5 version on this review. Though, seriously, with Insomniac at the helm, I doubt that, gameplay wise, the PlayStation 4 version will be any different. So, later on, when I give this game a score, you can surely bet that both versions deserve that score. And you can call me Surely on that.

Miles Morales is a continuation of the narrative started with Marvel’s Spider-Man, a brilliant game that once again showed what a great developer could do with a strong IP; the Arkham games also bask in that glory.

If you’ve played Marvel’s Spider-Man, you know what I’m talking about. Not that there haven’t been great Spidey games in the past, but the layer of love given to the story and mechanics, coupled by some amazing visuals on the PlayStation 4, make Insomniac’s entry into the Spider-Verse one of my favorites. Hell, at the expense of garnering some hate from the MCU fans, I’d venture to say that the PlayStation Spider-Man game felt more Spider-Man than the last two Marvel movies.

I will refrain from spoiling the story beats in this review, but I will touch on the beginning of the game.

Peter Parker needs a break, and he and MJ are going on vacation. Not a problem, since there are now two Spider-Men to watch over New York. But, there’s still a problem since Miles is a rookie spider and hasn’t really found his zen when it comes to web slinging. Peter is a great Jedi Master, but Miles only realized he had Spider powers at the end of the original game, so his likeness to the Spider-Verse movie includes his inexperience.

Fortunately, a lot of his combat moves are still up to spec, so getting right into the action shouldn’t take long, whether or not you have experience with the previous game. If you have played the original, you will feel right at home. Miles brings some new skills to the table. I’ll keep them out of the review, but if you’ve watched Into the Spider-Verse, you’ll be familiar with one of them.

Much like its predecessor, Miles Morales gives you the option to unlock multiple Spidey suits and gadgets to aid you in combat, some of them introducing new mechanics, though for the most part, everything familiar.

Miles Morales is a little on the short side. Not the character, but the game itself. But there are quite a few side missions and items to find, and I actually found these side quests a bit more engaging than the ones in the original game. They felt more “friendly-neighborhood-y” if you get my meaning.

Visuals:
I mentioned earlier that I played Miles on the PlayStation 5. All of the footage captured here is from the PS5. But, come on, guys. We know Insomniac. Even though we have an array of ray tracing on the PS5, the likelihood is that the PlayStation 4 version of this game still looks phenomenal.

And it’s not just the ray tracing that makes Miles Morales stand out so beautifully. One of the first suits that is unlocked in the game is the Into the Spider-Verse suit, from the freakin’ awesome animated movie. And one of the features of the suit is to animate with skipped frames, much like the highly-stylized movie. Watching this in action is awesome, and if you look closely, you can even see some of the dot-matrix textures on Miles’s suit, making him look like the comic strip that inspired the look of the movie.

Draw distance is incredible on the PS5, and you can see teeny tiny people walking around, even when you are perched on high buildings.

Character models include some of the sharpest details. Heck, even the NPCs walking around appear to contain more detail, looking as sharp and detailed as main characters from last generation.

Audio:
Early in the game, you are treated to an awesome montage that’s accompanied by some great music. It reminded me of the “What’s up Danger” hit that made for one of Spider-Verse most memorable moments.

Throughout the game, you are treated to some fantastic acting, and every voice actor lends believability to their character. None less than Miles himself. He is not too confident, but not too clumsy, and always giving. And I have to say, hearing some Spanish in the game did make me smile, especially hearing Miles attempting to impress his mom with Spanish phrases.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
The PlayStation 5 could have launched with no new titles, and I would have still purchased it. I’m a little impulsive like that. And while some may complain that Miles Morales feels more like a DLC (something I completely disagree with), it’s still completely new content set in a universe that is absolutely pleasant to explore. Its visuals only scratch the surface of what next generation holds, and yet still managed to wow, and I’m not even talking about the ray tracing. I, for one, am very glad that we got a followup to Marvel’s Spider-man this quickly, and look forward to what’s next for the web-slingers.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Create functionality on the PlayStation 5.

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