(Available for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4)
(PlayStation 5 version used for review)
Spider-Man is back to launch the PlayStation 5 with this spin off game that’ll show off the capabilities of the console. This time we’re in control of Mile Morales just ahead of him getting his powers at the end of the last game and deals with Miles dealing with a clash in Harlem that’s pitting an underground Terror cell lead by new villain The Tinkerer and the Roxcon corporation who are building a new energy source. If you played Spider-Man PS4 you know exactly what you’re getting. It’s the same open world Manhattan map, the same controls, the same combat and similar mission types with some slight changes to suit the new character with some of his specific powers like Venom and Invisibility which will be familiar to anyone who saw the movie “Into the Spider-Verse”. The game’s special edition also includes a remastered version of PS4 Spider-Man which I’m not sure is entirely necessary but you get some benefits.
- Same great gameplay is entirely here: everything you liked about the original game is here, it’s the same open world which is really vibrant and great to explore as Spider-Man, the combat is still great and has even been improved and the controls are still well suited for the game so nothing has been lost.
- Story: it’s not quite on a level with PS4 but is still a great story centring around some very relevant social issues right now. What sells the game is the villain which once again is one of the best parts of the game. It feels like a really good Spider-Man story and brings in some excellent aspects of the characters
- Improved combat: the venom and invisibility have really improved this. For one finishers are now based on pulling off big combos so you don’t have to choose taking out an enemy or replenishing your health which makes pulling these off way more skill based. Venom adds new dimension to the combat which allows for more powered up moves and invisibility adds a new dimension and second chances to the stealth missions which is greatly welcomed. This takes what was a really great combat system that was really intuitive and somehow makes it better which I’m hoping will carry over to the inevitable sequel which is already being teased
- Haptic Controls from PS5 controller: the controller for the PS5 is great and Spider-Man Miles Morales makes good use of it. The triggers and rumble when in combat or web slinging are so immersive and probably makes some of the best use of it along with Astro’s Playroom and Demon Souls
- Spider-Man App: in the game Miles’s best friend Ganke creates an App for requests for Spider-Man’s help which act as a way of facilitating many of the side quests which I think is an improvement from the original game where you’d just happen to run into people and makes New York feel even more lived in as more than ever you are a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man
- Graphics and Performance: the game looks great on PS5 and has some extra graphical improvements over the PlayStation 4 version. You get 2 options with the game to get more graphical fidelity and have the game run at 30 frames per second and adds effects like Ray Tracing which adds more realistic lighting effects or having a performance mode where the effects are turned off but the games runs at 60 frames per second. Both are pretty good and you’re not missing out on great looking game either way so I would say tailor it to your benefit though I’d recommend going for performance especially if your tv or monitor has HDR capabilities.
- Load times significantly reduced on PS5: the load times weren’t bad on PlayStation 4 but on PlayStation 5 they are almost non-existent and it is amazing how fast such a vast open wold can be rendered and you’re playing the game and make the world seamless and is excellent use of the SSD drive of the PlayStation 5
- Game length: it’s way shorter than the PlayStation 4 game which had a ton of story and side tasks with really a minimal time if you did story alone of between16-18 hours though really you’re spending about 20 hours and 33 hours for completion (source: howlongtobeat.com). Miles Morales is about half for everything with minimum of 7-10 hours and 16 for completion which is fine for the game they are going for, but I think anyone hoping for the same level of content as the PlayStation 4 will be disappointed with half the content leading to further claims of this being glorified DLC.
- Peter Parker’s new model: ok this was a really bad idea, Peter Parker’s model was fine in the original and this new look is rubbish and doesn’t match the voice actor well at all. The change was made to make him look more like Tom Holland even though this is a Spiderman that’s implied to be in his mid to late 20’s which now doesn’t match his new look. Seriously Insomniac go back to the original for the next game.
- Crashes frequently: this made playing the game a freaking nightmare because I had the game crash my PlayStation 5 numerous times from day 1. It would freeze a couple of times most notably during one mission which forced me to unplug the PS5 to get it to turn off. Now this will inevitably be patched out but I haven’t been able to play the game comfortably at launch because of it. The game has had patches since I finished playing but I have to mark it down for this
- Very recycled: the game does feel like it has recycled much of the content from the original game with not too much difference aside from the Christmas time addition to the setting. This is ok because it’s a great game but it does mean the game feels not much like a new experience which the rather cryptic advertising kind of gave off.
- Bug in Spider-Man remastered: do not download the Spider-Man remastered edition to the PlayStation 5 until it’s confirmed this is out of the game. some players are reporting that the remastered edition which is a bonus for special edition has had serious crashes forcing a hard drive repair or even bricking the console. On that basis I cannot recommend buying the special edition until it’s completely sorted.
Like it’s predecessor Spider-Man Miles Morales is an excellent game and a great showcase of the PlayStation 5 which made owning the console at launch really worth it. the story is great, the combat is improved, the stealth missions which were my favourite part of the last game are even better and it just looks great and makes you feel like Spider-Man. The real complaints that hold it back is the lesser amount of content and the bugs which make playing the game rather nervous right now but when it gets even more patches this will be an excellent edition to the Spider-Man cannon that PlayStation is building which could really rival the Batman Arkham series when we look back on these games.
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