It doesn’t have ‘What’s Up, Danger?’ in the soundtrack, 0/10.
Spider-Man on the PS4 was and still is one of my favorite games on the system. So imagine my delight when it was announced that we were getting a sequel focused entirely on Miles, one of my favorite characters, for the PS5! And as a launch title, no less!
But then reality hit. Kinda hard to play a PS5 launch title without a PS5. Sure, there’s the PS4 version! But the developers were adamant that the PS5 version was the version closest to their intended vision. So, weirdo that I am, I decided I’d wait so that I could play that version.
I guess it’s fitting, though. I was late for the first game, too.
Taking place some time after the events of the first game, we rejoin our Spider-Men as Miles completes his training (and discovers some new powers to boot). Not long after, Peter reveals that he’ll be leaving town for a few weeks, leaving New York in the hands of the younger, more inexperienced Spider-Man. And he picked a terrible time to do it; the Underground, a malicious gang led by the Tinkerer, attacks clean-power company Roxon, dragging New York into the chaos. Can Miles save the day on his own?
While I don’t think the story here is as strong as the first, it’s still a very good one overall. Miles is a fantastic lead and the Tinkerer makes a great new villain for him to face. We also get plenty of other villains, both new and old, who play into the story very well! It’s a rock-solid Miles Morales Spider-Man story!
That being said, it’s far from perfect. The primary villain of the game is the worst; every single one of his lines made me cringe out of my skin. Not to mention that the Underground is very boring, although the Tinkerer is very good. Miles’ pal, Genki, could’ve been implemented better; he’s not a bad character, being a fun hacker nerd with a taste for books; the problem is that his only role in the story is for Miles to recap information to him over the phone.
It does have its strong suites, though. The side quests are very good, featuring some genuinely touching moments that remind me of why I love anyone who calls themselves Spider-Man so much. It also explores a lot of really powerful themes of racism, corporate greed and negligence, and broken relationships. It’s a very powerful story that carries the game very well.
Visually speaking, this game is also really good. Yes, it’s yet another AAA game with photo-realistic graphics. But there are a few things that help it stand out.
For one, the colors. Holy shit, this game pops! From violet/orange glowing particle effects to the natural light of the sun or the neon light of certain environments, this game is a colorful delight! Very rarely is it dull to look at.
The sheer amount of detail poured into everything is another plus. This is a next-gen game and you can feel it! From all the tiny details on Miles’ various suits to the vibrant life of the city itself, this whole game feels meticulously crafted in every regard.
Music wise, this game is pretty forgettable. It’s got the typical sweeping orchestral score you expect as well as a few pop songs to spice things up. But aside from the end credits song, it doesn’t have anything that really stands out.
Now, onto the gameplay. At a core level, this game is basically the same as the last game. Swinging is just about the same, combat is mostly the same, and the side quests are pretty much the same. Not to mention that the entire map is, again, the same. If you played the last one, this game will be very familiar.
That said, there are a few major improvements added into this one. Thanks to them, I kinda like this one more than the last one.
For one, Miles has two new abilities: Venom and Cloaking. Venom adds an extra punch to your attacks that deals massive damage and stuns enemies. You’ve got to choose between healing or unleashing those devastating blows, which can be a challenging choice on higher difficulties.
Cloaking does what you’d expect; it turns Miles invisible. This simple change completely changes the stealth combat. In the last game, getting spotted meant the end of stealth. You had to fight them head-on. Now? You’ve got an out that lets you go back into stealth. Now, you’ve got a choice. Fight head on? Sneak around and take them out one by one? Go ahead and play how you want! Both options are viable and fun!
There’s also a wide variety of side activities. These include stealth/combat/mobility challenges, as well as enemy forts that you need to take out, like the last game. But you’ve also got to find sound clips to mix together music, fight crime using an app, find stashes of bad guy tech, and find old time capsules from Miles’ childhood. A lot of it is basically like the side content from the last game, but the few unique additions are a welcome change of pace.
Also, you never need to sneak around as a non-superhero person in this game. So… huge upgrade.
But for me, the biggest upside was the load times. Or to be specific: the lack thereof. My entire time playing this game, I never saw a single loading screen. Even using the fast travel, the whole thing went by in the blink of an eye!
In conclusion, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a great game. While it’s definitely very similar to its predecessor, the few new additions it makes help elevate it even higher. Personally, I enjoyed this game just as much, if not more, than the first. This is definitely a game that any PS5 owner should add to their collection.
All ten PS5 owners out there.