This was always going to be MY first PlayStation 5 game.
Safe to say I was a fan of the first game. What Insomniac Games created within 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man was nothing short of amazing. In fact, I said it was more than this, playing on the many adjectives which have been Spider-Man titles. And in just 2 years, the team has expeditiously taken on the conclusion of the first game, and set Miles Morales on his own adventure as Spider-Man.
Yes. Spider-Man. You’re not Peter Parker, as you’ve already played his game. You are Miles Morales, and you’re just learning how to be a Spider-Man. The power of the PS5 is instantly showcased, as our favourite subway loading screen from the previous game sets itself as the title screen. Emulating Marvel’s Spider-Man layout in terms of options, accessibility setup and start of game, the carriage slows to a lull as Miles simply hops off and directly into the game. There’s no loading screen or fade to black, the game just…starts.
He enters out onto the streets of his new home, Harlem. After the events of the first game and loss of his father, his mother, Rio, has taken to politics to make a change. Of course Miles is making his own changes, as he helps Peter wrangle the villainous side of New York City. After getting players to stop a certain foe and learn some new tricks in their first mission, plot happens which sees Miles left in charge of NYC. From there, the game opens up into similar affair to Peter’s adventure, in terms of missions, side-missions and exploration. But I feel there’s something Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales does a little better than Marvel’s Spider-Man. And what I’ve been calling this is:
All killer. No filler.
Not the Sum 41 album, no. The game simply strips the best of the first game out, and pushes Miles through it all. I found this more rewarding than the first, with the game providing a solid 20 hours of fun, that meant I jumped straight back into New Game+ thanks to lack of burnout. Am I a real gamer? Probably not, but I was thankful for how quickly the game played out. This speed is also assisted by the impressive load times. Yes, I spoke about how seamless the title into the game was, but everything in this game just happens. Even fast travel is the briefest of fade to blacks before Miles comes running out of the stop. Bases once completed instantly eject Miles back into the open-world, and you’re back to swinging to your next mission.
Much like the overall runtime, powers, collectibles and side-missions see a slight reduction in amount, but again, for me, this was great. It helped them feel more seamless, like a part of Miles overall arc rather than a thing I focused on for too long, simply to level up my character.
In-between all this levelling is a monumental tale befitting of Miles. Fittingly inclusive, with a superbly diverse cast, Miles Morales is not just about a hero, but about the people. How Harlem and its community influences Miles on what kind of hero he is, culminates in an explosive ending which rivals the best Spidey moments we’ve seen throughout the years. All carried out effortlessly by Nadji Jeter, who has been playing the role of Miles fantastically since 2017.
Like I said, it’s safe to say I was a fan of the first game. While Miles Morales doesn’t exploit the ‘dark secrets’ of the DualSense controller, only subtly using haptics for beats of the world, it does use the power of the PlayStation 5 to produce a game that feels lightyears ahead of its former. This is insane to consider, as you realise the previous game is only 2 years old. If this is what it means for Miles to “be great”, then I can’t wait to see what happens next.
A (venom) blast from start to finish, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a crucial purchase for your Day One PlayStation 5 console. From how it showcases the graphical upgrade with the Performance and Fidelity modes, to the fast load times and subtle use of DualSense, Insomniac has delivered a sequel that lives up to, if not surpasses, its former.
Peter Parker. Miles Morales. We are lucky enough to now be living in the time of the Spider-Men.
XENOJAY.COM was supplied with a digital copy for review by Sony, and this was played on the Playstation 5 console.