Published on December 14th, 2020 | by Zorbz
REVIEW – Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Spiderman: Miles Morales is a direct sequel to the critically acclaimed Spiderman on the PS4. While this game is available on both PS4 and PS5, we of course wanted to dive into the fancy flashy new console version to see how it stands out as a launch title.
STORY: Miles Morales story follows, well you guessed it, Miles! Following on from Peter Parkers original adventure Miles has been learning the ropes from the OG web slinger how to use his powers, what it means to be a hero, all that cheesy stuff. You start off from the get go on a chase of Rhino (evil villain extraordinaire) helping out Pete take on the brooding hulk of a man when lo and behold Miles discovers he has a new power (i won’t spoil it). You save the day yada yada and Pete decides to head overseas on holiday with the love of his life MJ, leaving Miles in charge of looking after New York whilst he’s gone.
Now the setup is simple in nature but the story that follows has a lot of heart, introduces new criminals and villains and goes through Miles true becoming of a hero, making a lot of hard decisions along the way. As per normal I don’t want to spoil anything because the story here is actually worth your time and will have you invested.
It may be shorter in length then the previous game and lack the amount of iconic villains you come face to face with, but I found this story to be a lot more focused in, with a true coming of age if you will of Miles himself. This is a great story to show you what kind of person Miles is for those who may not be familiar with the character and why you should care about and root for him.
GRAPHICS: Here lies the main reason people want to read PS5 reviews ‘HOW DOES IT LOOK ON NEXT GEN’ Well easy answer to that is, pretty damn AMAZING…eh, eh, see what i did there.
Now to start off I will mention there is two modes, cinematic and performance. Now performance takes away a lot of the next gen features opting for a solid 60fps experience, but that’s not what we are focusing on.
The cinematic mode is where the game truly shines. You get beautiful character models which have some truly amazing facial animations which are used to create expressions that really convey the emotion behind their words. The bustling city is more dense then the previous entry with more traffic and npcs walking around the city and it also sports some cool weather effects from rain to heavy snow that set the Christmas themed time of year the game is set in.
Now apart from the visuals looking incredibly crisp and everything running smooth, the main graphical feature is the addition of ray tracing reflections. You see these on buildings, shiny surfaces, bodies of water, basically anything that casts a reflection and boy do they look good.
I never had a problem with the previous games use of static reflections but seeing the actual world around you accurately reflecting…it just makes everything pop that much more. Now when seeing the game at first glance you may not notice a difference in this version versus the previous game on the PS4, but it’s those extra graphical effects that you really start to notice the more you play.
Now something like Demons Souls may be the game that really shows off true wowing visuals for the PS5, but you need to consider that Spiderman is a huge sprawling city and with all open world games there is a lot of things being animated, drawn in etc as opposed to pre set worlds that funnel you in the way they want. This is a living breathing world with characters roaming around despite what you may be doing. It really is an impressive feat when you take a step back to take in all that is going on all whilst maintaining a solid 30fps with power hungry features like Ray tracing. Lighting in games has come a long way and when you combine that with reflections, HDR and a great art direction, it’s just ‘chef’s kiss’ Mwah!
GAMEPLAY: If you’ve played the previous game you will feel right at home swinging and vaulting around Harlem, but for those that haven’t there is a little bit of a learning curve but you’ll be zipping around in no time.
Apart from swinging around the city, just like the previous title, combat is a big focus and can either be tackled stealthily or head on, or a bit of both, the choice is yours with some battles taking place in huge outside areas to very cosy indoor environments. This ability to take on any situation how you see fit is one of the main highlights and clearly takes heavy inspiration from the Batman Arkham games, but don’t get too cocky in battle because enemies can really overwhelm poor Spidey, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Now I guess I tried to avoid a spoiler but this power is in fact on the box art and that is Miles’s new energy blasts or as he likes to call them venom attacks. These new attacks generate the more you attack enemies resulting in some really powerful maneuvers but come at a cost of risking the ability to regenerate some of your health. This gives a nice additional dynamic to the combat to keep it fresh and not just a rehash of everything you were able to do in the previous title. There is another ability but that one I won’t spoil, but besides that you have all new gadgets to use in combat like holographic buddies that can actually fight, how a hologram can obtain mass and fight beats me but who cares…superheroes. You also have a gravity well which sucks in surrounding enemies to smash into each other, disorientating them and then there’s the good old remote mines that detonate an electricity blast incapacitating your enemies, oh and you have webs.
Apart from the main story missions, there is a slew of crimes to stop, side missions to tackle and collectibles to find. You’ll also be earning XP, unlocking new abilities, gadget upgrades and of course my favourite, new costumes. I think i swapped Miles outfit like 50 times throughout my first playthrough because I couldn’t just choose on one.
SOUND: There’s a bit more of a focus on music in this entry of the series as Miles himself dabbles in creating music and beats. What’s here perfectly fits the theme and also shows that music is something that means a lot to Miles, it’s all great stuff.
I appreciate that added layer to give Miles more depth, he’s not just a smart kid who plays superhero but a regular teenager with other interests besides saving the city.
On to voice acting, everything is top notch! Miles himself has this almost ‘my b*lls haven’t dropped yet’ voice which can be grating on the ol ears at times but it really does make him sound like a teenager and he does show a lot of range in his voice acting to express all the emotions he’s going through. His best friends Ganke and Phin both put on amazing performances as well as all the supporting cast from Miles’s mother to the villains you encounter like…damn I nearly posted a spoiler. It’s all great stuff. I would have liked a bit more licenced music to really hone into Miles love for music but hey that’s not really a criticism and more of just a selfish want.
AWESOMENESS: Now some people may be disappointed that this is a shorter title and may seem like more of an expansion, but to me it was the perfect length. It had the right amount of side quests, main missions, random events and collectibles and upgrades to unlock that I found going after the Platinum trophy fun and not a chore. That is a key theme for me about this game, nothing is a chore, and by that i mean nothing overstays it’s welcome. You won’t get bored of fighting or zipping around the city and you won’t be doing boring repetitive side quests over and over. It’s refreshing to be able to enjoy a game start to finish and then jump into new game plus because you want to and not because you feel obliged to.
Another key focus for me is the insanely fast load times, in fact there really isn’t any loading screens. Fast travel is basically instant, you click it and you see Miles walking out of a subway (which masks a second of loading in the background i’m sure) and once you experience this and try to go back to older games, man does it make a big difference. Thank the gaming gods for super fast SSD’s in these new consoles.
FINAL WORD: For both fans old and new this is a game everyone can enjoy, although if you haven’t played the original i suggest grabbing the deluxe edition as you get the remaster of the original game with all the new graphical features like ray tracing etc.
Miles Morales to me isn’t just some quick money grab but a title that follows on perfectly from the original game and stands on it’s own with a great story, cast of characters, fun fresh combat and amazing new technical features that make it a must own for all Playstation 5 (and PS4) owners.
Out of 5 Bugs!