Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a continuation of the 2018 hit Marvel’s Spider-Man. The game has already made waves by a promising new protagonist, some fancy features for the next generation of gaming, and a few neat surprises.
While this game is a launch title for the PlayStation 5, it also released on the PlayStation 4. So, how does this superhero spectacle handle on the trusty PS4?
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales had a whole lot to live up to on multiple fronts. The original game was shocking in how much emotional weight it had, as well as how great the plot actually was. In addition, this game must also contend with the portrayal of Miles Morales in the hit film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, widely considered one of the best pieces of Spider-Man media yet.
This meant that the odds were heavily weighed against this smaller, more compact tale of heroics. Fortunately, I would say that it contends well with the siblings it has to live up to. Just as Miles has to make Peter proud whenever he dons his webbed mask, Spider-Man: Miles Morales does everything it can to make the fans of this character cheer for the up-and-coming legend.
The plot of the game sees Miles Morales take on his first patrol as Spider-Man without the watchful eye of his mentor Peter Parker. Once a powerful enemy emerges from the shadows and begins attacking a corrupt corporation that is threatening New York’s Spanish Harlem, Miles is set on a path that will test his mettle as a hero and as a young adult coming to terms with his place in the world.
In the end, the story is great. It isn’t a complete reinvention of the character, nor does it do anything particularly new with him. However, it highlights the best parts of Miles and his supporting cast. While it may not hit some of the highs of 2018’s Spider-Man game, it definitely left me wanting to see more of Miles and the steadily growing cast of Spider-Man characters at play.
A personality all his own
One concern that I had going in to this game was the main character. Miles Morales is quickly becoming a beloved character for many people, and I was deeply hoping that he would be respected as such. It would have been incredibly easy for Miles to simply be a re-skinned model of Peter Parker from the first game.
It is immediately clear that the developers went above and beyond to make Miles feel unique in so many ways. His body language alone makes him incredibly distinct from Peter Parker. He is clumsy, his body movements seem less stiff, and there is an endearing air of awkwardness about him. Even his web-swinging is mildly goofy while also being graceful. It all works so well.
While I was aware of some of the tweaks that the developers had made to Miles’ body language beforehand, I was not aware of how combat had been changed this time around. I actually expected that to be a clone of Peter’s abilities while adding in the features that make Miles special. Surprisingly, they didn’t do that at all!
The two big abilities that Miles has as Spider-Man is active camouflage and bio-electricity. These obviously add a little bit of spice to the gameplay and work really well! However, Miles has different gadgets when compared to Peter.
Where did the toys go?
I suppose that this was a way to balance the two superheroes, as Miles does have extra superpowers. Unfortunately, Miles’ gadgets are nowhere near as fun as the ones Peter has. They do complement his powers well, but other than that they are pretty bland.
A major issue that I had with the combat gadgets was that they seem to exhaust themselves super quickly. I never quite grasped what exactly replenishes them, either. It all felt a bit random in most cases. Maybe I’d have a gravity well in a battle, maybe I wouldn’t. Of course, the battle systems work fine without these gadgets; they just aren’t as fun.
Accessibility for players
I was pretty surprised to see the wealth of accessibility options included with the game. These options are all easy to find and toggle. Plus, they can be incredibly helpful in lots of ways. It really feels like the developers wanted to make Miles’ adventure accessible to as many people as possible, so that definitely deserves a bit of applause!
The fact that these well-planned options are becoming increasingly more common is a great sign for gaming.
Miles’ performance on the PlayStation 4
The latest buzz in gaming has without a doubt been the launch of the newest generation of consoles. While everyone is excited to see how the new games play on the new consoles, not everyone will be able to afford a PlayStation 5 right now. Fortunately, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is also available on PlayStation 4! Just how well do the older machines handle a game like this, though?
It plays pretty well, actually! Sure, it doesn’t have all of the fancy bells and whistles of next-gen gaming, but it performs really well for those needing to revisit the world of Spider-Man. However, I did notice some strain being put on my launch edition PS4. At some points, the action on-screen made the framerate become noticeably choppy. For a game like Miles Morales, which relies on reflexes sometimes, this issue was a real pain at some points.
That being said, aside from some awkward bugs and a few minor progression issues, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is great for PlayStation 4 owners, too!
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a smaller, safer sequel. However, everything that it does do is completed with such love and care that it is just a joy to play. Unfortunately, there are definitely a few disappointments in the area of gameplay.
That being said, fans of superheroes or Spider-Man will find a great deal to love from the story. Whether players take the adventure on PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4, they’re in for a great time.