Sony launched their next-gen console in the PlayStation 5 this week and in a great marketing move dropped the follow up to one of the most successful and critically loved video games of the last generation (which is super weird to say out loud).
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a short, somewhat-expansion of the Spider-Man story. Following the end-credits teaser at the end of 2018s Spider-Man, in which Miles Morales was bitten by a radioactive spider, Miles and Peter Parker have now teamed up as a duo of Spider-Men protecting the streets of New York City. But once Peter takes an overseas holiday with MJ, leaving Miles alone to watch over the people of Harlem, a new threat looms in the Tinkerer, the leader of a tech-inspired terrorist group known as The Underground. Their plan is to blow up the Roxxon tower, a company responsible for creating a new energy source which may have disastrous effects on the health of the people of Harlem.
Miles Morales has the upper-hand of already introducing the titular character in the game before, so it takes virtually no time (minus a quick recap of the last games events) before the player is launched straight back into the vibrant and energetic web-slinging world of the game. Almost immediately, Miles Morales succeeds in recreating, if not improving, on the incredible gameplay of the first game. The way Miles glides from building to building is flawless and exciting, while also giving the sensation of complete control to the player to travel around NYC with little-to-no limitations. Once the controls become second nature, the flexibility of swinging, wall running, flipping and soaring through the air will become an incredibly huge distraction to finishing missions or key objectives in the story!
The combat this time round feels similar to help players with the familiarity of the first games controls, however there is a lot more fluidity with the movement around goons and villains for smoother transitions between the large number of foes Miles will face at any time. The range of bad-guys does vary early on creating difficult and different new challenges each fight, but there isn’t much range of difference from the first in regards to that.
Fighting as Spider-Man is different with Miles, with 2 new changes in powers and abilities. Including a timed-camouflage option which comes in handy during stealth portions of the game. At times this power can feel a little bit to easy to abuse and will make finishing certain aspects of the game a lot quicker – but nonetheless it’s still an exciting addition. Miles also can produce an explosive, kinetic energy inside of him that he can release in either a punch, body slam or full-fledged power explosion. This is incredibly helpful for the stronger goons, a high volume of baddies or in the few boss battles this game throws at the player.
In regards to next-gen capabilities on the PS5, Miles Morales does utilise some of the key features, including the SSD which basically eliminated some of the loading times. From the time the install was complete, the game had begun with in less than 90 seconds, an amazing feat for a games world that is this big and looks as vibrant and beautiful as it does. The game also utilises the DualSense controller well with the haptic feedback system in the vibrations (again making the web-swinging feel amazing in the hands of the player) but doesn’t use the adaptive triggers too much. However, understandably there may not be a use for that just yet this early in the consoles life.
Story wise, Miles Morales attempts to pack the same emotional weight that the previous Spider-Man does, but unfortunately falls a bit short in that regard. It’s a little harder to fully invest in the story due to the games story-length. The main campaign plus approximately 10-15 side missions (plus a lot of random web slinging around NYC) took about 8 hours to complete, about half the length of it’s predecessor. A few more cut-scenes or missions to build up Miles’ relationships and character would have been more beneficial in the long run, but overall isn’t a detriment to the experience.
Although Miles Morales’ story may not be as investing as its predecessor, it does improve on the gameplay and combat so well that it does feel like the beginning of the new generation of gaming, making the player long for more to come in the Spider-Man gaming universe.
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