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The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ Review

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Photo Courtesy of
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As a way to hold fans of Marvel’s Spider-Man over until the release of Spider-Man 2, Insomniac decided to release a game starring Peter Parker’s protégé, Miles Morales. The aptly titled Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales picks up a few months after the end of the devil’s breath crisis in a recovering New York City. This time, players take control of Miles as he’s forced to confront a threat without the help of Peter. By using new abilities, players will be able to experience more of the Insomniac Spider-Man gameplay with a new twist.

I’m taking a guess here, but I would assume that the pitch for this game went a little something like that. On paper, this game sounds like a great idea. It not only bridges the gap between both mainline games, but also gives players a chance to play as Miles and experience a story revolving around him. It also provides a taste for what the PS5 can do and what can be expected in Spider-Man 2. However, that taste can be bittersweet.

Don’t get me wrong, the game is great. I think that the gameplay of Miles is fairly different from Peter, and the use of the PS5 controller’s features is fantastic. That being said, it’s clear that Insomniac developed this game not planning on making it as fully-fledged as it’s predecessor, and it shows. When you play both games back to back, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales tends to fall short on a variety of aspects. 

First, let me talk about the gameplay. Miles has access to two abilities that Peter doesn’t. The first of these abilities is his venom power (no, not THAT Venom). Miles can channel electricity through his body and use it to attack opponents. 

Using venom attacks requires you to charge up a bar that you also use to heal yourself. In the first game, that bar was used to perform finishers, but most of the time it was better to heal instead. Now, you’re forced to decide if you want to heal or to use a venom attack. It adds a surprising and nice bit of strategy to the game. I really like these abilities. They allow you to approach combat differently than you would in the first game, and it sets Miles apart from Peter.

However, the venom abilities are a double-edged sword. I played this game on its hardest difficulty, and I have to admit that venom attacks seemed way too overpowered at times. Whether that’s a bad thing or not is ultimately up to you, but I’ll just say that the game didn’t feel very hard at times despite my wanting it to be.

Miles’ other ability is his camouflage. He can turn invisible and avoid enemy detection. This is insanely broken no matter how to look at it. In the first game, you would act stealthily until you were caught, where you would then shift to combat where you’d fight the remaining enemies. In this game, you can get caught, go invisible, find a hiding place, and try again with little to no repercussions. You no longer have to be careful with who you take out. With the punishment for getting caught being gone, I feel like I can go anywhere guns-blazing. 

I really think they need to tone down the camouflage ability. Once I unlocked it, there was no need to be cautious with how I approached stealth. Again, it’s up to you to decide if that’s a bad thing or not. Although, if you want a challenge, it’s not necessarily providing it for you.

In terms of Miles’ other abilities, they can be unlocked via a skill tree or by completing challenges found throughout the map. Many of the abilities that you unlocked on Peter’s skill tree in the original are now unlocked by finishing a challenge that was made by him to help train Miles. 

Speaking of Miles as a character, you’ll notice that this game shifts its attention to Miles learning how to become Spider-Man. When you swing and fight, you’ll see Miles stumble around that’s reminiscent of someone learning for the first time. He’ll do things and make mistakes because he’s new to being a hero. It’s a nice touch, especially since these games introduce Peter as an already-established Spider-Man with years of experience.

Peter isn’t actually around to help Miles during the events of this game. He’s out of the country on a trip, leaving Miles as New York’s one and only Spider-Man for a few weeks. While Peter is away, Miles stumbles upon a conspiracy in his home of Harlem surrounding the energy corporation, Roxxon, and a mysterious group known as “The Underground.” This group is led by the Tinkerer, who plays a very big role in the game’s story.

The Tinkerer is not written well. I find their motivation doesn’t really fit their actions, and their relationship with Miles doesn’t feel all that genuine at times. Now, I don’t want it to sound as if The Tinkerer ruins the entire story. There are some really good story beats throughout. However, the story hinges on the Tinkerer and their plan, which feels very anticlimactic and basic until the last mission. 

I absolutely love the final mission. It has you swinging through New York and fighting enemies in a blizzard. Visually, this mission is fantastic. I also like how you can hear the panic in Miles’ voice as he tries to handle everything happening at once. Unlike many of the other missions in this game, this one incorporates all the best aspects of the gameplay and story…at least until the final boss fight.

I hope you like the dodge button because that’s all you’ll be pressing during the fight with The Tinkerer. Now that I mention it, a lot of the other bosses overuse the dodge button too. It’s just dodging, waiting for an opening, then venom-punching. There is little timing, web-slinging, or webbing. I will say though that the second Rhino boss fight is pretty fun. Instead of just dodging, you have to time venom punches and web throws alongside dealing with other enemies. For most other bosses though, it’s just a dodge-fest.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales does some things really well, but it has some very noticeable flaws. Despite that though, the seven-hour campaign was filled with a taste of what the PS5 was capable of. While some of the writing and gameplay rubbed me the wrong way, the great performances coupled with fun features makes for an experience that will prepare you for what’s to come for not just Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, but the PS5 in general. Miles may have conquered this venom, but there’s another one on its way.

Score: 7.5/10

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