Insomniac’s Spider-Man was probably the best superhero game to ever come out from Marvel’s end. It spoke volumes in terms of gameplay, visual and story; thus, becoming an instant classic. The game’s Peter Parker was someone anyone could relate to, and that familiarity is something that I’ll never forget.
Now Insomniac is back, and this time they are focusing on a younger and different Spider-Man that most of us are not familiar with yet. So without ado, let’s dive in and see if Spider-Man: Miles Morales is as good as it’s predecessor on creating a relatable superhero.
What is Spider-Man: Miles Morales?
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure open-world game that’s developed by Insomniac and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It’s the second game in the franchise of Marvel’s Spider-Man and serves as an introductory to Mile Morales as the new Spider-Man.
In the Marvel comic books, Miles is often seen as an offshoot of Peter Parker, and despite having his moments, he lives in the shadow of Spider-Man.
However, Insomniac treats the character as an equal by making it a point to differentiate him from Peter Parker. And in doing so, creating a game where you’ll only focus on Miles and his journey.
Insomniac proved their storytelling in the original game back in 2018, by creating an older Spider-Man and skipping his origin story altogether. At the time, it seemed like a smart move to me, but after playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I realised that it was a calculated move on their part.
They were saving up the origin storyline for Miles all this time, and it worked out beautifully. The game starts slow, showing Miles doubting his capabilities as Spider-Man all the while fearing that he may disappoint his hero, Peter Parker. I think I can safely say that everyone can relate to that, without the powers of course, right?
The pace of the game picks up as soon as the Antagonist, The Thinkerer, and her merry band of Underground goons tear up a bridge, and the blame falls on Miles. It’s after this incident that Ganke (Miles’ BFF) reminds him that he should finally accept himself as Spider-Man take up the responsibility.
It’s from here where the story gets more and more interesting down the road. While the original game’s story felt like a superhero movie with Peter Parker trying to save the world and all; Spider-Man: Miles Morales focuses on Miles being there for Harlem, and it’s people. Thus, making it more personnel and connected.
The game is somewhat short and can be completed in 8 hours or so if you rush through it. However, I would advise against it since some of the side activities builds up the world as it gradually accepts Miles as Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: Mile Morales is a whole new game.
Calling Spider-Man: Mile Morales a follow-up to the original game is honestly an insult. The game stands on its own with its massive differences towards gameplay. Sure, some of the elements from the original game are used, but for the most part, it plays like a like beat ’em up.
Venom Powers over Gadgets.
Insomniac approached Miles as someone who is a Spider-Man because of his powers rather than of his gadgets. While in the original game, players had to gracefully rely on dodging, attacking and utilizing gizmos to overcome enemies, Miles is more of straight-up fighter blazing through adversaries.
Thanks to his Venom powers, gameplay becomes very different and more enjoyable too. As you progress through the story, Miles learns more Venom based attacks that allow you to mix combat up as you fit and never get bored of it. This approach actually can make Miles somewhat overpowered at times and Insomniac handled it by limiting the gadgets he had access.
Most of the gadgets are pretty useless too, and throughout my playthrough, there was hardly a situation that I had to use them unless it was to complete a specific challenge.
This fundamental limitation lets you appreciate both Spider-Men differently in their current moment of life; the eager youngster who dashes into battle and the wise calculative master.
Camouflage ups the stealth approach.
Apart from Venom attacks, Miles comes with the ability to go invisible and works well as an offensive tool. As you play through the game, you’ll soon realize that it’s easy to forget that Miles can disappear, because of his vibrant venom attacks.
However, if you learn to utilize his camo ability in combat to its limit, it becomes a great way to get out of tricky situations. Or to set up the perfect opportunities of traps, for enemies to walk right into.
The Eager Teenager.
Miles is first and foremost a teenager. And as we all know, there’s no way we wouldn’t have been having a ton of fun if we had powers of our own at that age.
Insomniac relates that feeling in Spider-Man: Miles Morales by incorporating the element of fun and coolness into everything that Miles does. Be it swinging through the skies or fighting men twice your size; everything starts to feel like art being brought to life.
In combat, Miles is faster and more explosive in his moves that everything he does has the feel of exaggeration. While swinging, he focuses more on looking badass rather doing it safely, which to be fair is what all of us would be doing.
The element of fun in Miles movements adds more realism to him as a character as you watch him improve over time.
Suits are meh.
If there’s one issue with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, it has got to be the Suits. And I’m not talking about the lack of them; I’m talking about the quality of the existing ones.
Most of Miles Morales’ suits are plain boring and seem to follow the same standard hoodie styled approach. And if it’s not the hoodie, it’s the same design with just a different colour scheme.
I admit, Miles is pretty new to Marvel and doesn’t have the range of suits like Peter Parker does, but that means Insomniac had free reign of coming up with any outfits. Instead, all we got were generic ones.
The Bottom Line.
We have finally reached the end of the review, and it’s time to decide if Spider-Man: Miles Morales is worth your time and money? And honestly, the answer is yes through and through.
The game is a great follow-up to the original and is also capable of being its own game that even someone new to the series can get into without feeling left out.
However, the game is pretty short and can be completed by spending an entire day on it. So, paying the full price of S$68 maybe not seem worth to some gamers and might opt to get it on a sale.
- Engaging storyline and memorable characters.
- Exaggerated gameplay approach makes everything more fun.
- Powers differs the game from its predecessor.
- A relatively short game.
- The range of suits available is uninteresting.
- Somewhat expensive for a standalone game.