By Dean Moses
Game: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Platforms: PlayStation4 & PlayStation 5
Rating: T for Teen
Cost: $49.99 (or $69.99 for the Ultimate Edition)
They are finally here! After months of waiting the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have arrived for gamers to enjoy. While many retailers scramble to get more consoles in stock for the holidays, those who were able to obtain the new systems have a steady lineup of launch games to enjoy. With that being said, this issue marks our very first review of a next generation game: Spider-Man Miles Morales.
A New Spider-Man Spinning his Web
Part sequel, part spin-off, Spider-Man Miles Morales follows the title character soon after he discovers his new powers and moves in with his mother in Harlem. With veteran Spider-Man, Peter Parker is forced to leave New York for work, leaving behind the fledgling super-hero Miles in charge of protecting Manhattan ..During these few weeks serving as the city’s only protector, he must fight for his new role and find himself as a person. This rather short narrative touches on family, friends, coming of age, and race. This Marvel adventure does not bash you over the head with politics, but it does touch on the Black Lives Matter movement and the issue of gentrification.
New Spider-Man, same city
Gameplay takes its quest directly from the 2018 Marvel’s Spider-Man game. Miles can zip and swing around a detailed Manhattan just like Peter Parker before him. Sadly, there are still no outer boroughs to explore like Brooklyn, (which, unfortunately, also means you can’t visit Spring Creek Towers virtually) but what is here is a joy to behold, even if it is not realistically recreated. You can climb the Flatiron building or visit Central Park, and although the names may seem different, the New York City digital aesthetic is brilliant. The inclusion of haptic feedback in Sony’s PS5 controller also adds to the experience by placing tension on the triggers as you swing, really allowing you to feel the web’s taught. In addition to the main story, players can enjoy stopping random crimes and engaging inside quests such as finding a lost bodega cat or helping the fire department quell a ranging inferno.
When it comes time to fight, combat remains a mixture of stealth and swift action. To add some spice into the mix, Miles has some fresh moves like the ability to turn invisible and use an electric punch to both deal damage and solve puzzles. This make the traditional fighting system feel renewed.
We reviewed this title on the PS5, however, it also released on the PS4, so we can’t speak about that version. But power of the PS5 brings Spidey and New York to life in ways previously unfathomable. The lights leave impressive reflections thanks to the console’s new ray-tracing capabilities, while dashing from rooftop to rooftop in 4K is likely to leave any player’s jaw agape. Spider-Man Miles Morales also comes with the option of turning on performance mode, this will cause you to lose some of the extraordinary detail but will boost the presentation up to 60 frames per-second. Allowing the player to pick how they wish to experience the game is remarkable, and the jaw-drooping graphics makes us excited to see just what the PS5 can do in the coming years.
Spider-Man Miles Morales is an incredible, but rather short-lived introduction to the power of the PS5. The narrative is touching, the gameplay is addictive, and the graphics are spectacular. This truly is the amazing Spiderman.