Back in 2018 Insomniac Games treated us to an epic piece of gaming. In my humble opinion Spider-Man was one of the finest games I’ve played. Not only on the PS4, but in all my years as an active gamer. Being a fan of the Marvel universe and all of its characters, I felt Spider-Man was as near perfect experience of how playing the web slinging superhero could be. The graphics were great, the music was a delight and most importantly the combat was spot on.
Roll on to 2021, we knew from Sony’s press launch that Miles Morales was going to be a launch title for the PS5, but also would be available on the PS4 as well. I didn’t get my PS5 at launch, (believe me not for the want of trying) I got it a few weeks ago, but I knew the one game I wanted to play first above all was this one. For some reason I felt drawn to it. The footage I had seen made it look so close to a real life Hollywood blockbuster in your living room, where the player had the control in their own palms.
I want to try and review this spoiler free, as I feel to get the most out of the game you need to avoid them. I believe it’s better for the player to make their own opinions and experience the storyline and twists first hand. That being said we do have a great cast of characters here who fill out a number of roles within the story.
In a nutshell. Peter Parker has swanned off on his jollies with MJ. He leaves Miles to look after New York in his absence. Whilst Peter is away, a group called The Underground is causing trouble in NYC specifically Harlem against a company called Roxxon Energy. This conflict between the two groups is causing a major headache for Miles’ Mum (Rio) who is working as part of the local authority. It’s up to Miles to find out why this feud is happening and put an end to it to save Harlem. With the help of his trusted friend Ganke and their use of smartphone technology. Will they save the day !! I really wish I could say more but you’ll understand why.
If you played the 2018 game, you will have a massive sense of familiarity with the game straight away. It plays almost identical to Spider-Man in terms of control and combat. Little nuances are added to Miles, such as being able to perform tricks in mid-air which can give you more XP. Again as with the original there are side quests and crimes to complete to earn extra tokens and XP to level up, unlock new suits, gadget upgrades and skill points to increase your overall effectiveness as New York’s saviour.
I cannot begin to tell you how awesome the combat is during the game. It never gets boring at all. The big addition is the Venom attacks which Miles can use against the flurry of baddies who will come at you, they act like a charged attack with three different upgrades as you progress through the game. Combined with the usual classic Spidey attacks like webbing bad guys, swinging kicks, finishers and using all of your gadgets available to you. It never feels like a chore or a grind when you have a fighting section. Totally up to the player whether they want to use the stealth route, or just wade in.
The question launched at Sony and many of its games released on PS5 in its infancy is whether the game truly feels Next Gen or not. ? I felt that it certainly felt like an upgrade in terms of graphics. You have the option to choose to play in Performance Mode or Fidelity Mode. Because I don’t have an all singing and dancing TV. I played it in Fidelity Mode. It still looks fab on a standard 1080p HD TV. I can imagine it looks even better if you have a 4K or 8K TV. I just don’t have enough K in the bank to buy one just yet. Nor would my wife approve, but I digress.
The soundtrack is great, with more of a hip hop street urban vibe, which fits Miles character much more than the orchestral style from Pete’s adventure a few years ago. The noise and movements coming from the DualSense controller only added to the experience for me. The opening scene where Miles is on the subway certainly made me go Wow. As the train rumbles across the track at speed, you feel quicker vibrations in the controller, then as it comes to a stop, the vibrations get slower and longer. The voice acting and other characters in the game were not an issue with me, the dialogue is good and never did I think that anything sounded weird, forced or unnatural.
So, that’s the good news, but I have one major gripe with this game. The Length. If you followed the story straight through from start to finish, I would say you could easily get through this in one sitting. It would take around three to four hours maximum. Even with all the side quests and crime solving would take it up to eight to ten hours. Is this justified for a £60 game, especially when we want to get the most out of our money? Granted you could always play through the game again on New Game Plus, or a higher difficulty if you are an achievement hunter. I just don’t have the time to replay through most games due to my current backlog.
Spider-Man Miles Morales is a very welcome start to the library of PS5 games. I cannot fault anything about the game in terms of graphics, sound, and gameplay. It’s an absolute joy. That joy is short-lived though. Its length is far too short. An argument can be made that this should have been some form of DLC, or even a reduced price point would certainly take that slightly bitter taste away. I suppose in a good way it leaves the player wanting more, if there was a sequel for Miles Morales, no doubt I would be snapping it up day one. Will it happen? I’ll let you make your own judgement on that, as you have to remember the rules when it comes to Marvel and the credits.
Overall I give Spiderman - Miles Morales an Eight out of Ten. A fantastic first foray into the PS5, but flawed with its length of the main story. Thanks for reading, keep gaming !
Guest Blog post by Adam Foster @AngelicWiganer / @snoopfozziefozz
Video Game Reviews for the PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
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