#REVIEW: Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5)

If one were to look through the “Spider-Man” tag on this site, one would see that I posted several times about the original PS4 Spider-Man game, over a period of several months. Typically my game playing is serial; I pick up a game, finish it, then move on to another one, which might be a new one or might be a playthrough of something I’ve already beaten. But I’m usually just playing one game at a time, and if I abandon something before beating it it’s very unlikely that I’m going to go back to it.

I am genuinely fascinated that my move on both of Insomiac’s Spider-Man games was to play it for a while, set it aside for months while I did something else, then come back to it and finish it. I pulled this several times on the first game and only one on Miles Morales, but Miles is a considerably shorter game. The talk is that originally it was supposed to be an expansion as opposed to a new game in its own right; I feel like I got my money’s worth out of it regardless and am not concerned with what they choose to call it.

When I wrote about the game previously I said that it was, in many ways, the exact same game as PS4 Spider-Man, with some gameplay changes to account for Miles’ bioelectric abilities, and that remains true. This is a hellaciously fun game to play, if perhaps a tiny bit too unconcerned with the rule both Spider-Men have against killing people. While there isn’t actually an achievement for it in this game, you’re gonna toss people off buildings or redirect rockets into their faces a whole lot in this game, and if that’s going to break immersion for you you’re gonna have a hard time. Boss encounters are, I think, largely better done than the original game, although there’s not nearly as many of them, since Miles doesn’t really have much of his own rogues’ gallery yet. And the game is still a tiny bit too much into beating people up and hunting down collectibles than I’d like it to be. They even hold back an entire thingy-hunting mission to the epilogue, even if they end up making it make great story sense anyway.

But yeah. That story?

Goddamn.

Can we get these people writing comic books, please? Because both of these games had me teary at the end, and this one compounds things by a surprise dedication to Chadwick Boseman that messed me up, as well as a kind of randomly-placed statue of Stan Lee that I came across by accident at about the 2/3 mark of the game. These games get Miles and Peter better than any other incarnation of the characters I’ve ever seen other than Into the Spider-Verse, and I am including several iterations of the comic books in that as well.

I played it on the PS5, obviously, and it’s gorgeous as hell; I could stare at the textures in Miles’ various costumes all day long, and there’s even a Spider-Verse costume that lets you reset the frame rate so that the game looks more like a movie. You can’t throw bagels at people, unfortunately, but it’s still neat to play with for a little while. The music is better than the original game, and Miles’ love of hiphop plays an actual role in several different places in the game. And we finally get Ganke in a Miles-centric non-comic thing, which made me very very happy, as I love the character, even if they dial his computer nerd stuff up to about 15 to give him something to do.

So yeah, this is a great game. It’s not a reason to buy a PS5 on its own, I don’t think, but it’s available on the PS4 as well, so if you have either system and you don’t have it yet, definitely pick it up. I absolutely can’t wait for the third game, and I’ll try not to take four months to finish it when it comes out.

Published by

Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.