Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales PS5 Review

January 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, PS5, PlayStation

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe  Developer: Insomniac Games

Genre: Action Adventure  Other console/handheld formats: PS4  Players: 1  Age Rating: 16+

Insomniac’s first Spider-Man game introduced Miles Morales to the gaming world, and he was even given some playable stealthy sections, although he always played second fiddle to Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. With Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, however, the character confidentially steps forward as the lead of his own game. 

Set a year after the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man, the titular character is still getting to grips with his new spider powers. Set during the festive period, we get some early team-up scenes between the two Spider-Man’s, although Morales is soon tasked with becoming New York’s temporary sole protector when Peter Parker goes away to Europe to help Mary Jane on her current assignment. The narrative is rather short of characters, although there’s still plenty of drama and action between the personalities who are there, and it’s nice that Morales is given a lot more time to shine in his own original tale.

Getting around New York is still an absolute joy thanks to Insomniac’s impressive web swinging mechanics, and whether you play at 30fps or 60fps, it feels slick and smooth to navigate around the beautifully detailed cityscape, doing tricks in the air as you so wish. It’s a game that really does make you feel like a superhero with extraordinary powers and, even hours and hours into the game, it never failed to give me a rush. 

The black suit symbolises Morales becoming his own Spider-Man.

Once again taking its cue from Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham games, fighting is similarly as heroic, allowing you to jump from enemy to enemy and making efficient use of this new Spider-Man’s web, dodging out of the way when his Spider Sense tingles. It may sound very much like Insomniac’s original Spider-Man game, and it is, although the fighting also has some major differences. 

During the game’s very first boss fight, Morales develops venom powers, which basically allows him to unleash a range of fancy electrical attacks. Venom attacks can be used by way of filling a meter, and they are undoubtedly some of the hardest hitting moves in the game. These attacks not only look fantastic and are tremendous fun to use, but they make Morales a very powerful Spider-Man, and they are also the major thing that sets him apart from the typical Spider-Man. 

The game of course features stealth as well, and Morales’ Spider-Man has the ability to turn invisible thanks to a handy camouflage power. It adds an extra layer of strategy during stealth portions of the game, and can also be employed during the combat as well. With the camouflage as well as the Venom attacks, this is a Spider-Man that soon emerges out of the shadow of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man, and this fits nicely with the narrative, being that Morales is attempting to find his own identity.

The open-world structure of the game is still a little tired, but there’s still a lot of fun activities to get yourself involved in, including some memorable main missions. There are crimes to put a stop to, and Morales even has his own Friendly Spider-Man app, which allows people to report emergencies on, often leading to some nice little side stories. Other tasks have you bringing down enemy bases by clearing out enemies, and you can also find objects littered around the city that explores Miles’ relationship with his friend, Phin. There are even some combat and stealth challenges that have been set-up by the original Spider-Man himself, meaning that the character has a presence in the game even though he’s physically absent, and there’s also a task that has you going to different areas of the city to record different sound samples. It’s all engaging enough, and hitting 100% is something that doesn’t even approach feeling anything like a chore. 

Like Insomniac’s first Spider-Man game, at least much of the side content doesn’t feel pointless in the game – tech points and activity tokens allow you to purchase upgrades on the game’s leaner skill tree as well as purchase new suits and upgrade your gadgets. Speaking of which, the game has a smaller range of gadgets, and they also feel less overpowered than they did in the original game. 

Swinging makes use of the adaptive triggers of the DualSense, making the action seem even more satisfying, although it’s a very subtle implementation.

Sometimes the action does slow down simply to push the narrative along as you take control of an unmasked Morales. There’s also puzzle solving every so often, which is all a nice change of pace, although there’s nothing overly taxing this time around, which means that the option of skipping a puzzle is no longer included. 

It’s fitting that a game that has you playing as an incredible superhero happens to look incredible as well. You are able to choose between performance and fidelity graphical options in the game, and both impress in their own individual ways. The fidelity option allows for ray tracing, which makes all the reflective windows and floors look extra detailed and realistic, while the performance option ups the frame-rate to a silky smooth 60fps. At the time of writing, Insomniac have also added in a brand new graphical option, allowing for ray tracing at 60fps, with sacrifices to the amount of people on the screen as well as the resolution. Whichever way you decide to play, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a beautiful game with striking wintry weather effects, and this helps set the game apart, even if the city is pretty much the same as the original game otherwise. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a spin-off with a likeable side story and a compelling new hero. The game itself also does more than enough to set it apart from Insomniac’s debut Spider-Man game, and even manages to outdo it in terms of being better balanced. It’s a strong standalone game, then, that makes me even more excited for the return of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man in Insomniac’s inevitable full sequel.