Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

About this Game

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Publisher

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer

Insomniac Games

Release Date

November 12, 2020

Console

PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

Time to Plat

~15h

Platinum Difficulty

Easy

Online Trophies?

No

Difficulty Trophies?

No

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I’ve Got This Pete, Don’t Worry!

Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ was announced as the PS5’s most exciting Launch title, with its Raytracing and 4K UHD fidelity being flaunted – and rightly so!

One of the greatest games to ever release on PlayStation 4, joining the likes of Horizon and God of War in Sony’s incredible selection of exclusive titles, was Marvel’s Spider-Man. The predecessor to this exciting new title.

Also available on PlayStation 4, the game really comes to life on the incredibly powerful PS5 technology, which is how MrZhangetsu and I experienced it, jumping straight into this game after platting Astro’s Playroom.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review

Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Miles

The game picks up not long after the end of its predecessor, with an optional recap available for those who need it. We then join Miles on a mission to transport Rhino back to the raft, alongside Peter Parker. This, naturally, goes awry and not long afterwards we find ourselves riding Rhino’s back as he charges through a crowded mall, all decked up for Christmas.

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YEE-HAW!

There are no words to describe my awe and excitement during this whole introductory sequence. Reflective surfaces everywhere show off the PS5’s raytracing capabilities, destructive elements explode into clouds of dust and particles, and oceans of people part to avoid the enormous armour-clad giant thundering by.

Once the muscle-bound Russian meat-head has been subdued, Pete and Miles share a celebratory pizza, over which Peter reveals he’s going out of town for a little while, and he’s leaving Miles in charge of protecting New York in his absence.

We then enjoy a small lull in the action, getting to know Miles, the people around him, and the friendly community he’s a part of. Through this, we get a good view of Miles’ influences and where his morals and good nature come from, before he finds himself involved in a crime investigation which propels the rest of the game forwards.

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Helping out at a FEAST Soup Kitchen.

The story is intense, emotional, touching, and personal. I particularly like the fact that Insomniac made the decision to remove Peter Parker from the picture for a while, to give us the opportunity to get to know Miles and to offer the game the opportunity to properly focus on his story.

There’s a big theme of community, which is perfect for a game about your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man, because we really get to know the neighbourhood we’re protecting. The story in this game is an improvement on the admittedly much longer story in the prequel simply due to this fact.

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Getting to know a local shop owner and his cat, “Spider-Man”

Often in a Spider-Man storyline, his girlfriend or aunt would need to be in danger for the emotional investment to reach a peak, but with Miles being such an active and caring member of his community, there’s a higher baseline level of emotional investment, which helps to exacerbate the drama behind a 16-year-old superhero struggling with identity issues and self-doubt.

With Great Power…

The Spider-Man Miles Morales combat system contains all the great features of the prequel…

There are finishers, tied to a combo meter, allowing you to perform a well-choreographed takedown once your combo reaches 15.

There’s a fantastic stealth system, which uses the blank spider-sense system to locate enemies and see if they’re safe to take out of not. Stealth takedowns are also excitingly choreographed. Some of my favourite takedowns can be done from ceilings or perches, whereby Miles uses his web shooters to fling his enemies into the air, web them up, or deal them a brutal blow to the head.

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Looks like this guy’s safe to take out.

In addition to those existing features, though, Miles Morales’ bio-electricity abilities come into play quite heavily. There’s a new Venom skills meter, which when charged will allow you to trigger powerful electrically-charged attacks to stun enemies while dealing very heavy damage.

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“Mega Venom Blast”, Miles’ strongest Venom attack which is excellent for Crowd Control – and it looks real pretty too!

The stealth system is improved too, by a camouflage ability which can be activated with a simple tap of blank, turning Miles Invisible and making stealth takedowns much easier. The best thing about this feature, however, is the way it enables you to quickly return into stealth combat once you’ve alerted the enemies to your presence, accidentally or otherwise.

Outside of combat, this camouflage ability also comes into play during some story-driven segments when trying to investigate an area unseen.

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Inspecting some evidence at a closed crime scene.

Traversing the city of New York is just as exciting as ever, too, as the perfect web-swinging mechanics of the prequel make a triumphant return, appropriately revamped with new fantastic animations befitting Miles’ inexperience and youthful excitement.

New York has a slight makeover too, as the snow-coated city experiences a very frosty winter. You’ll often find yourself swinging through heavy snow and being amazed that the game hasn’t stuttered yet, as you look at the ocean reflected in the glossy faces of the surrounding buildings and the sun beats up at you from the frosty tarmac on the roads below.

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Just two spider-bros, chilling out in the morning sun.

Naturally, the main and side missions contain plenty of puzzles too, which require you to use your spider-senses to locate key objects and interact with them. Some of my favourite puzzles involve using Spider-Man’s conductive webbing to redirect electrical currents.

As well as the plentiful story-based content there are many side-activities to take your time, too. There are several collectables to gather such as upgrade points hidden in caches around the city, or unique sound-sampling activities to take part in. Of course, enemy base events also make a return in 6 intense brawlfest activities, and that’s just scratching the surface.

One thing we did find ourselves tilting our heads at was the decision to have every collectable be immediately marked on the map. It’s obviously extremely convenient for us as trophy hunters, but the fact that even during a scavenger hunt – with clues – the game just tells you where to go anyway.

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A 100% completed burrough.

Completing these events will award you upgrade resources which you can use to improve Spidey’s gadgets and purchase suits and suit mods.

The suit mods are available separately from the suits themselves, allowing you to put together a custom build consisting of up to 2 Visor Mods and 2 Suit Mods so that you can customise them to suit your playstyle.

The suits themselves are all really fantastic and unique designs, from a very cool sci-fi daft-punk inspired suit, to a low-budget home-made outfit. These suits will often have unique takedown animations too, making them each individually more exciting than the last.

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A takedown unique to the Programmable Matter Suit.

…Comes Great Fidelity

Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks incredible. I can’t tell you the number of times MrZhangetsu looked at each other, exclaiming “Wow, do you see the fuzz coming out of his coat!?” – “My god, look at Phins hair!” – “holy sh*t, look, I can see myself in the car door!” and many more such exclamations.

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The awesome detail in the game can be explored up close in photo mode.

We initially played with the “Fidelity” graphics mode active, which enabled Raytracing features, resulting in realistic reflections and some of the most incredible lighting I’ve seen yet in gaming. We kept this active until we finished the game, enjoying the insane level of detail put into every texture.

There were quite a few moments where we’d have to do a double-take because our view across New York looked like something from a postcard photo, not a rendered videogame environment at all!

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This is an in-game screenshot.

During our New Game Plus run, we switched to Performance mode, which deactivates raytracing in exchange for 60fps gameplay. While this was amazing at first, swinging through the streets of New York in buttery smooth motions, we soon began to miss the beauty of the lighting in fidelity mode.

We did notice that while swinging along the coastline at 60fps, the game would drop frames here and there, which is strange as it never happened at all in Fidelity mode.

Of course, this game also has a photo mode, which acts as a huge improvement over the already excellent photo mode in the prequel. Why? Custom lighting setups.

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Here, I used a bright orange point light to exacerbate the bio-electric glow.

I’ve only seen something like that before in the Jedi Fallen Order photo mode, but nowhere near as complex as the available tools in Miles Morales’ photo mode. We’re able to place up to three light sources, which can be spotlights or point lights, and you can change the light to be any colour you like across a full hue spectrum.

You’re then able to change the light’s direction and location to set up some very exciting shots, and I honestly could spend hours doing it! I love it!

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Another shot I set up with two custom light sources.

Combine this lighting system with how great the game naturally looks thanks to Insomniac’s hard work and the PS5’s hardware, and you end up with some truly incredible and very realistic shots.

My Spider-Man: Miles Morales Trophy Experience

Completionist Playthrough

My approach to Spider-Man: Miles Morales mirrors that of my original playthrough of Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation 4 back in 2018; with each new side-activity, I’d abandon my main objectives until there was nothing to do but progress.

There’s a good hefty selection of side-content in Miles Morales from challenges, to side-missions, to collectables. All of which are doled out gradually throughout the campaign as you make progress.

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Completing an request from the Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man App!

Everything is marked on the map as soon as it is available, which is convenient from a trophy-hunting perspective and allowed me to methodically work my way clockwise around New York, collecting and completing anything I could.

The greatest benefit of doing this was that I earned upgrade resources, suits, and more for completing the side-content, which would then come in handy throughout the campaign.

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Along the way, I also picked up a good majority of the miscellaneous trophies, a lot of which were tied to the combat system, such as getting 25 stealth kills from a wall, or 100 kills with his new venom abilities.

Towards the end of the game, I paid more attention to the trophy list and went a little out of my way to earn trophies such as “Best Fries in Town” which requires you to find and interact with a Stan Lee memorial – nice touch, Insomniac!

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New Game Plus

Once I had completed the campaign and all available side-content (bringing each burrough’s completion rating to 100%) I then made a manual save and quit to the main menu so that I could create a New Game Plus save.

The main reason for this was that there is indeed a trophy which requires you to complete the story a second time on a NG+ save, but also I had quite a few trophies remaining which I’d be able to complete during this second run; killing 50 enemies while camouflaged, defeating 100 enemies with venom attacks, and killing enemies with Remote Mines 50 times.

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As well as those misc combat trophies, there are trophies for getting all suits and all skills, but some of them can only be purchased within a New Game Plus save.

I actually managed to get every remaining misc trophy very early in my NG+ run, leaving just the trophy for finishing NG+ and my platinum to collect.

The NG+ run actually didn’t take all that long, around 5 hours or so. This was likely due to the fact that I had all of my skills at my disposal, as well as 3 venom ability charges, and a few new NG+ exclusive abilities which help to make combat go a lot smoother.

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Naturally, I didn’t find it to be a drag at all either, as the story is so well-presented and the combat is so exciting, that I was really looking forward to playing the game again.

Time Breakdown

Completionist Playthrough

New Game Plus

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Trophy Guide

This stunning launch title for PlayStation 5 is one of the best games to start your PS5 Platinum Journey with, so get suited and load up our Trophy Guide below!

Check out our Spider-Man: Miles Morales Trophy Guide here.

That concludes my Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

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Verdict

Plat

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With an easy 15-hour platinum and some of the best content you can find on PS5 at launch, you'd be a fool not to complete this game's simple trophy list and add its Platinum to your collection!

Pros

  • An amazing display of the PS5's graphical capabilities
  • Touching and character-focused story
  • Exciting dynamic combat system

Cons

  • A little short for the cost
  • Button inputs during combat sometimes feel ignored
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Platinum Trophy

Marvel's Spider-Man on PS4 was one of the generation's greatest titles, and PS5's Miles Morales-focused sequel only works to improve on the already spectacular foundations. With familiar mechanics given a jolt of excitement through new abilities, and myriad side-content to enjoy, it's one of the best experiences you can have on PS5 at the moment.

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About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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