Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the second instalment in the Marvel’s Spider-Man PlayStation series and serves as a spin-off come sequel to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, developed by Insomniac Games. The game was released in November 2020 and is exclusive to PlayStation.
The game is set approximately one year after the events of the original 2018 Spider-Man game. During this time, teenager Miles Morales has been bitten by a genetically-enhanced spider and gained powers similar to that of Peter Parker and has already assumed the role of friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, alongside Parker. The game follows Miles and his struggles as he tries to balance his superhero responsibilities along with his relationships.
The story follows Miles as he attempts to defend his neighbourhood from the corrupt Roxxon Energy Corporation and a criminal army called the “Underground” who are raging war across New York. Whilst the original Spider-Man game felt like an established superhero tasked with protecting the city, Miles Morales feels much more like a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, fighting crime in his local neighbourhood, perfectly fitting given Miles’ age and experience.
The main story is only around 6-8 hours in length, but in that short amount of time, the story provides a compelling and engaging narrative. Not only does Miles battle against Roxxon and the Underground, but he also comes up against his childhood friend Phin who assumes the alias of the Tinkerer, whom works with the Underground. The ongoing feud between Roxxon and the Underground is really engrossing to watch unfold and Miles’ involvement between the two forces as well as his struggles with his friend Phin, make Miles’ life a tangled web (no pun intended). We get a good insight into Miles’ personal life and his character arc which develops over the course of the game, makes him a really likeable protagonist.
Despite its short length, there’s still plenty to do upon completing the main story. From taking out enemy bases to finding hidden time capsules around the city, I really enjoyed spending my time completing all of the side quests in the game. My personal favourite was the ‘Memory Lane’ side mission, available upon completing the main story. In the side mission, you’re tasked with finding postcards across the city, hidden by Miles’s parents. Collecting each postcard provides Miles with a brief message from his Dad and by the end of the scavenger hunt, I was totally immersed in this bittersweet adventure. The rest of the side quests are entertaining too and noticeably differentiate from that of the side quests in the original title.
I’d definitely advise playing the first Spider-Man game before sitting down to play Miles Morales, as although it isn’t a direct sequel, a lot of the events that take place in the game are as a result of proceedings in the original title. There are a number of characters who return from the first game including Rhino, Kingpin, J. Jonah Jameson and of course, Peter Parker. Peter and Miles’ relationship blossoms over the course of the game, with Peter acting as a mentor come older brother to Miles. I really hope this relationship can grow even further in future Spider-Man sequels as we get some fantastic moments when the pair work together to fight crime.
We also get a fantastic number of new characters including Miles’ best friend Ganke, Miles’ uncle Aaron Davis and one of the main antagonists in the game, Simon Krieger. Ganke works with Miles and actually develops an app for New York citizens to report crime for Miles to respond too, which provide for some fun side missions. Aaron Davis is Miles’ overprotective uncle who operates as a criminal mercenary known as Prowler. He’s one of the more compelling characters in the story and it’s interesting to learn about his crime-filled past as well his regrets of having gone down a life of crime.
Perhaps my favourite side character in the game, is the head of Roxxon’s R&D department and instigator for most of the trouble caused across New York, Simon Krieger. Krieger serves very much as a backseat villain, with Miles not actually coming up face to face with him, instead operating behind the scenes orchestrating the chaos. He’s such a great character with so much personality and brings a lot of comic relief to the game – I just wish we got to see more of him!
Miles controls similar to how Peter Parker did in the first game, but has a range of different animations and abilities which make him unique. The most notable ability is Miles’ Venom Blasts, which can be used to create explosions of bio-electricity, charge and drain electronics and even make Miles temporarily invisible! I really like how Miles’ abilities, gadgets and suits differentiate to that of Parker’s in the first game, as it makes Miles play completely different and helps to keep the gameplay fresh.
The open-world map is near identical to that of the original game, except for the seasonal addition of snow, due to the game being set at Christmas. New York in winter has never looked so good – I’ve been playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales on the PS5 and it is absolutely stunning! From web-slinging across buildings to soaking in a snow kissed New York City skyline, Spider-Man Miles Morales is an absolute showcase into just how good PlayStation 5 games can look.
Other than its short length, there’s very little to complain about with Spider-Man Miles Morales. It looks amazing, has an enjoyable main story with engrossing side quests and feels like a logical sequel come spin-off to the original game. If you’ve managed to pick up a PS5, Spider-Man Miles Morales is a game not to be missed.
With an engrossing story, compelling side quests and breathtaking visuals, Spider-Man Miles Morales is a web-slinging triumph!