It’s mad. Two years have passed since Marvel’s Spider-Man released a set a new standard for superhero titles. The quality of storytelling, gameplay and graphics were stellar and now here we are, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Set a year after the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man this spin-off/semi-sequel follows Miles as he takes care of New York when Peter has to go off on a kind of holiday with Mary Jane. Think of this game as a one-shot comic while the main title gets delayed (but in a nice way).
In Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales you are put in the young shoes of Miles Morales. Having only gained his powers a year ago Miles hasn’t developed as much as the original Spidey. You feel this in the gameplay. Miles is slower, can’t leap as high and his swinging is sloppier.
However, there is an air of style to him that I don’t think even the seasoned Spider-Man has and this is prevalent throughout the whole game. Miles literally throws himself at everything he does and you feel that as you complete missions throughout New York, in particular the neighbourhood of Harlem. The whole game is bursting with character. From the style of Miles’ swinging to the various suits you unlock along the way, Miles’ adventure is not just another Spider-Man adventure.
Does whatever Miles Morales can
For the most part, the developers at Insomniac Games have gone for a: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it mentality with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. You have similar skills to the original Spidey so when you are busting crime you will take to it like a spider to a wall. There is however the fact that because young Miles has only come into his powers he doesn’t have as many moves. Also, he doesn’t have all the tech available to him as they are Peter Parker patented (I imagine).
Luckily early on in the game Miles begins to develop new and startling cool abilities that honestly put Peter to shame. First, we have a bio-electric shock dubbed the “Venom Sting”. It allows Miles to stun enemies and the versatility of this ability is phenomenal (to the point where you’ll reach a section in the story and thank your lucky stars Miles has this ability).
Then came Miles’ camouflage ability. This does exactly what it says on the tin. Miles goes invisible and cannot be detected. Combine these new abilities and the skills that come with them with the already established abilities of a Spider-Man, and Miles is a lot of fun to play as.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – A coming of age story
At the centre of this game is a touching story. Watching Miles grow as Spider-Man and getting to help be a part of this period is quite an emotional affair and you don’t realise it until the climactic finale. Even now I’m welling up thinking of how far the character has come in the relatively short time I had with him. As someone who adores comics and still remembers the day Miles was announced this was truly an enjoyable experience.
This brings me sadly to the parts that didn’t sit so well with me. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales at times feels like an extensive, overly expensive DLC. You get access to all of New York, much like the previous title but not much has changed except the weather. Sometimes you’ll actually head back to old locales from the previous game.
They’ll look different as they should because there was a massive throwdown between Spider-Man and a super-villain, but to me, it felt a little lazy. There are several missions which are eerily similar to the Fisk Raid missions. You’ll enter a construction site and have to take down a set number of baddies with bonus objectives tacked on so you’ll try your hardest to beat it.
It is this that brings me to a question everyone had about Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. How long is it? I played this game at the hardest difficulty available to me (Spectacular), to the point where I unlocked every suit, skill, and completed every mission in every section of New York. And my time with the game clocked in at 15 hours and 12 minutes. Compare this to the approximate 24 hours it took to complete that level of content for Marvel’s Spider-Man and I couldn’t help feel somewhat disappointed.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – My spidey sense is broken
Then came possibly the worst aspect of the game. During my playthrough, the game crashed several times. Especially when I was replaying missions to reach that tantalising 100%. When using a particular gadget (the remote mine) if I used it to take out too many enemies at once the game would immediately stop working.
Not only that during the late game I noticed I could see through buildings, the rendering wasn’t always great but this was ridiculous. Now, this never happened at pivotal points in the game, but it happened enough to be noticeable and it irked me.
With a great legacy comes great responsibility
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales had an uphill battle in my opinion. It is the “sequel” to one of the best games of this console generation and it had to introduce a new iteration of a relatively young character.
Taking the best elements of the original and bringing its own flair to them this is a fun game but with the various glitches, a sense of complacency in certain sections, and a price that I just don’t agree with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a mixed bag.