In the latest adventure in the Marvel’s Spider-Man universe, teenager Miles Morales is adjusting to his new home while following in the footsteps of his mentor, Peter Parker, as a new Spider-Man.
But when a fierce power struggle threatens to destroy his new home, the aspiring hero realizes that with great power, there must also come great responsibility. To save all of Marvel’s New York, Miles must take up the mantle of Spider-Man and own it.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed on: PS5
Also available for: PS4
Cast: Nadji Jeter, Griffin Puatu, Jasnub Savoy Brown, Troy Baker, Ashly Burch Jacqueline Piñol, Yuri Lowenthal, Fred Tatasciore
Developer: Insomniac Games
Directors: Brian Horton, Bryan Intihar, Marcus Smith, Ryan Smith
Writers: Ben Arfmann, Nick Folkman, Max Folkman, Mary Kenney, Lauren Mee
Lead Gameplay Programmer: Joel Bartley
If you didn’t know who Miles Morales was until recently, you’re probably not the only one. Miles was first introduced to the world in ‘Ultimate Fallout #4’ in August of 2011 by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli. Miles’ lead role in 2018’s animated film ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse’ pushed his name into living rooms around the globe. Insomniac Games is not afraid to show that the film had some obvious inspirations on their version of Miles Morales. Still, for the most part, this standalone mini-Spider-Man adventure is less bombastic and certainly doesn’t feature dimension crossing characters. What it does focus share; however, is Miles Morales, a fresh-faced web-swinger who has to learn how to use his powers, hide his secret from friends, family and learn to be a hero.
In Insomniacs 2018 introduction to their spidey-world, Miles was a bystander for the most part. Throughout the follow-up DLC ‘The City That Never Sleeps.’ signs of Peter Parker training the next-generation of web-slinger were planted, and we all expect to see Miles web-swinging in the inevitable Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (or whatever it’s titled). However, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales was announced as a PS5 launch game, and we now get to learn what Miles and Peter are up too, sooner, rather than later.
The story picks up months down the line with Miles now wearing his own spider-suit and teaming up with Peter for missions. Although there’s an insane opening mission that features many explosions and property being destroyed from an escaped Rhino, the focus of the story is with Miles and his family.
After the death of his father in Marvel’s Spider-Man, Miles and his mother Rio have moved back into his grandmothers home in Harlem. Rio is running for city council, and Miles is attempting to balance Spider-Man life with family. “How does Peter do this secret identity stuff?” He asks himself early in the game. Just as Peter ships off to Europe for a work trip, a strange new group of enemies with technical gadgets lead by the mysterious Tinkerer appear. They’re at war with the Roxxon energy group. A not-so-echo friendly mega-group run by a very oily CEO, Simon Krieger. With Peter gone, it’s up to Miles to find a way to stop both from tearing the city apart.
The story here is a lot tighter, and Miles’ journey feels more personal than Peters was in the first game. Not to say Peters Spider-Man adventures didn’t get personal (RIP Aunt May) but it could just be because there’s little to no fat here. The story missions could be rushed through in 3-4 hours if you choose, but you’ll want to complete all the optional side quests and gather all the collectables as you go. There’s less of them than the first game, and they’re more connected to the main story. You’ll meet characters that appear in the background of the campaign missions, and the ending of the game has more emotional resonance if you’ve got to know the residents of Harlem.