Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Quick Review

This is going to be a little more brief than my Spider-Man review, namely because Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a significantly shorter game.

More of the same, in as much as we’re in the same city, using the same game as the basis for a different perspective. Playing as the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man.

Honestly, I’m just pumped to be back into the game. I loved Spider-Man a couple of years ago, and now I get to go back in and experience it all again. It’s the same core game as Spider-Man, so reviewing the mechanics, the gameplay and graphics etc is a bit moot. As such, the Miles Morales review will be a little more brief.

Swinging around New York City never felt so good as it did with the release of Spider-Man. Miles Morales is no different. It’s not better, but it’s no worse. So let’s get to it!

 

Style

I think the strength of this game isn’t so much about leaning heavily on the previous Spider-Man release. It’s how it holds itself, how it delivers Miles’ story. Hot on the heels of the slick, stylish “Into the Spiderverse” movie, Spider-Man: Miles Morales brings that style with it.

Modern soundtrack, vibrant colours and that less-serious tone (although, the game and story take themselves seriously where it counts).

I loved the previous Spider-Man release, I reviewed it, I played all of the DLCs and I played for hours after. Where Miles Morales is the same game in terms of mechanics, map, physics etc. It’s a very different game in terms of how it delivers itself, and it’s all the better for it, quite honestly.

Alas, I’ve been unable to play this on a PS5, so I don’t get all those tasty new lighting effects and reflection rendering etc. But Miles Morales looks great, regardless.

The new venom abilities, and the changes made to the flow of combat, mix things up nicely. New enemies arrive, new abilities unlock to counter them. Remembering them on-the-fly is key, as usual. But now, you get to use some of those newer, powerful moves on the common street-thugs that used to be quite bothersome. You get to really clear-up some “normal” bad guys nice and quickly. Most importantly, the combat is still slick and still fun. Every encounter is fun.

New animations on the character model make Miles Morales really feel unique. Little things like the way he runs and leaps off buildings, or doesn’t have the same level of confidence in-between swings on web. It’s sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant, and always cool to see. It really works to make you feel like you’re in control of a less experienced, and different kind of Spider-Man.

Miles Morales
 

Story

Spider-man: Miles Morales is brief compared to the previous title. But in that short space of time, it does a great job of squeezing some twists and turns, story-wise. Delivering solid exposition, to introduce you to the world of Miles Morales.

You’re quickly up-to-speed with who’s who and suddenly you’re in the thick of it with Miles.

Some nice side-quest moments, see you engage with a lovely cast of characters and it really helps to flesh-out the world.

The main story revolves around the new big-bad in New York “The Tinkerer”. Without going into spoiler territory, Miles has to wrestle with being the only Spider-Man in town, prevent small and large-scale assaults on the city and his home district Harlem. Beyond that, he has to wrestle with the dual-identity life of a masked superhero and protect those that he loves.

That’s a very broad-stroke in trying to paint a picture of what’s to come, but it’s decent and kept me going long enough to want to see it through.

Plenty of dialogue during missions, during side-missions and whilst traversing the city. You’re always absorbing details and it’s all really nicely delivered!

 

The same but different

It’s unfair to call Spider-Man: Miles Morales the same game as Spider-Man from a couple of years ago. But it essentially is. Remove the new moves, some new animations and the Christmas time setting. You’re left with the same core game, using the same map. And the same assets and a lot of what was already there.

That’s quite reductive, and with the new additions, the new story and a fresh way to look at the city, it’s a great opportunity to dive back into the solid foundations previously laid-out.

After looking for a good excuse to jump back into the world of Spider-Man once the DLC’s were done, I wasn’t sure what else to do. Grinding-out a platinum trophy isn’t my bag, so Miles Morales was exactly the excuse I was looking for.

Speaking of things being the same but different…..why is Peter Parker suddenly sporting a different face? That was a little jarring. He just seemed a little “off” and I had to google it to make sure I wasn’t going crazy!

Overall

No big shock here, but if you enjoyed the previous Spider-Man game, you’re gonna love this one. By all accounts, the PS5 version looks incredible. However, the PS4 version ain’t no slacker!

Miles Morales feels to me like a good-sized expansion, more than a full-sized new game. I’d struggle to recommend it at full retail cost, because it doesn’t feel like it’s a full game. But that’s not intending to be disrespectful to Insomniac Games because what the y built originally, clearly holds-up with all this new extra gloss.

Ninja Refinery gives it a (highly!) recommended, without question. Just pick it up when it’s not £45, and you’ll feel like you haven’t just over-paid for a DLC.

Having chance to dive back into Insomniac’s Spider-Man has been great, I just don’t think the price for entry should be so high when it’s borrowing so much from the previous game.

Oooh, also. Quick shout-out to the excellent photo mode! I got at least an extra couple of hours out of my playthrough just messing about with lighting options and suits. Excellent stuff

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