We are finally ready to analyze, in our review, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, one of the launch titles of the PS5 line up
It was September 7, 2018 when Marvel's Spider-Man, one of the flagship titles of that year with regard to Sony and the PlayStation 4 catalog. Two years later, with a new console and many more expectations, and with a few less fears, the expert Insomniac Games has decided to launch on the market what is one spin-off of the 2018 title.
The protagonist, however, will not be the now famous Peter Parker, but rather Miles Morales, character introduced in the previous game. This has put in the hands of the developers a lot of potential, both narrative, both technical and above all of gameplay. Will they be able to exploit them all? Let's find out in this Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales review.
Before starting our review of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, let's try to focus and give an answer to a question that many, when the game was presented, asked themselves: who is Miles Morales? Why isn't Peter Parker wearing the Spider-Man costume? The question, indeed, the questions, are absolutely more than legitimate and for this reason they deserve a minimum of in-depth study.
Miles Morales, videogame speaking (and we will concentrate only about this, leaving out the comic storyline that involves him) is a character who appeared during the now mentioned (and we will cite again) title of 2018, within which, due to a series of vicissitudes gets in touch con Peter Parker.
Those who have played the previous chapter will remember perfectly the episodes we are talking about that relate the two characters, those who have not had the good fortune to play it we advise you to recover what, in our opinion, remains one of the best PS4 exclusives and of which you can read our review here. In this new chapter we discover that our dear Miles has begun to undertake the "Hero profession" (to quote One Punch Man) alongside his mentor, namely Peter Parker who, however, will step aside after a few minutes of play, leaving New York in the hands of the new Spider-Man.
The key word of this review will be plot. When we talk about weaving we do it with an meaning purely narrative but we also understand and metabolize a much more complex and complete meaning that could be of interest the work in its entirety. Narratively speaking, we say it without half measures, the title convinced us only partially. Let's be clear, we would never have expected a particularly deep narrative and plot from a work whose fulcrum is represented by Spider-Man (movies and comics teach). We would have expected, rather, that some potential were exploited to the fullest.
The plot of Spider-Man: Miles Morales is proceeding in a sure way fluid and smooth, without reaching, however, particular peaks of interest, also being discounted in some points except, probably, for the finale. The question, however, lies not so much in the smoothness of the plot, but rather in the possibility of making this plot equally smooth but more complex and organic. Miles, the protagonist of course, lives a series of relationships with the different characters, relationships that in some cases will change and in others will remain unchanged.
The possibility, however, of elaborate on those same characters with which Miles comes into contact, and to give a clearer characterization to Miles himself, it is not trodden by the Insomniac Games team, committing, in our opinion, an important mistake given, however, the great ability in the writing of the dialogues demonstrated, also full of quotes (we were very impressed by the "Arena" of Scrubsian memory with which Miles addresses Ganke, his best friend) and of references to the current social context (many connections, including a costume, with the Black Lives Matter).
The result is that during the game phases it could be confusing, from the point of view of the writing of the character in game (thus leaving out the cut-scenes) Peter Parker with Miles, going to distort, in our opinion, also the choice to create an ad hoc chapter on this character.
If we had to describe in one word the gameplay of Spider-Man: Miles Morales in our review, that word would be: electrifying. Let's face it right away, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a game extremely fun and enjoyable, even more so than its already very positive predecessor.
The idea of introducing new features related to Miles' abilities is absolutely winning and demonstrates how the lack of narrative attention towards the character, has been filled in terms of gameplay and related contents. Here too, the possibility of intertwining different opportunities, makes the title take that extra step that we expect from new generation games (despite being, this, a cross-gen title).
We will have available three skill trees to advance simultaneously or individually, the choice is up to us. On the one hand, there will be the classic combat skills that are included in the framework of a combat system however already ridden, experienced and seen (in the same previous title or even in the Arkham series of Batman, or in the various Shadows of War and Shadows of Mordor), but still very enjoyable.
Then we come into contact with the Venom abilities which perhaps represent the real big news. A series of electrical skills which will offer great depth to the combat phases. Fighting phases always very engaging, rhythmic and spectacular (also thanks to the exceptional animations which we will talk about shortly). Too bad for the very few boss fights that could have given additional color to those same combat phases.
Finally we have the cloaking skills that offer a welcome Stealth size to the game. A dimension that, however, suffers a little from the poor AI of the enemies, for this reason, for those looking for a greater degree of challenge, it is advisable to approach the title at one of the major difficulties that are in any case made available to the player. To season everything there will be gadgets and upgrades of costumes and masks, all perfectly balanced from the point of view of a combat system that sees its own direct action as one's beating heart.
How many times has it happened to you to widen your eyes in front of images or videos in which you were looking at the beauty of the city of New York during the Christmas season? It is so true? Here, in Spider-Man: Miles Morales you will find yourself completely immersed in a snowy New York, cold, but with a cold that tastes like family, tastes like Christmas and smells of toasted peanuts and hot chocolate. Traveling between the various skyscrapers and the various districts of the city, faithfully reconstructed, taking advantage of the oscillation of the cobwebs is what makes the free roaming of this title one of the most enjoyable ever made. Often in titles like this, open world, the most boring mechanic was precisely that of the journey from the famous point a to the equally famous point B.
Well, in Spider-Man: Miles Morales (as it was for the previous title) you will be sorry to take advantage of fast travel (lightning fast thanks to the PS5 SSD, as well as the initial loads), precisely because the movements, through the use of cobwebs, are among the components more pleasant of the entire title. All offered, of course, by mind-blowing animations which, however credible and possible, still are more fluid and beautiful (there is no better adjective than this) of the first Marvel's Spider-Man. Reaching the various points on the map will become a real one minigame, in search of the perfect route by performing acrobatics, oscillations and jumps of various kinds.
The (few) phases with your feet on the ground will be less interesting, the city appears slightly more alive, compared to the previous chapter, only, however, in the moments in which you will have at your disposal a very very small portion of some neighborhoods, often it is from guided phases which introduce certain innovations related to main storyline and side missions. The feeling is, however, that it can Do more, also making these situations interesting and not reducing the city only to a splendid picture to be looked at only from above.
In the previous paragraph of this review of Spider-Man: Miles Morales we praised the mechanics of displacements, highlighting their various strengths, the problem, however, perhaps, could lie in the moment in which you arrive at your destination. In addition to the main missions of the campaign, which will keep us busy for a very small number of hours, about 6-7, there are activities that add life to the title. In addition to the activities, which we will define as collection, which see our Miles struggling with the search for time capsules, stocks and audio samples, there are some more demanding activities that we can carry out in a random or selected way.
What do we mean by random and selected way? We intend that these activities, divided into: crimes and the activities themselves, they can happen to us by chance, thus also increasing the pleasure of wandering among the skies of the city, or we can decide to carry out one of these tasks thanks to the introduction of the mechanics linked to the application that our friend, Ganke, designed to make Spider-Man respond to the needs of citizens. These, which are real secondary missions, even if presented conceptually and (let the term pass) "narratively" in a different way, turn out to be quite repetitive.
This repetitiveness, on the one hand, represents a malus, as the potential to offer always new situations there are really galore, but on the other hand it represents a simple filler that however, it keeps the pace of play high and which also offers a quick possibility to farm activity points and experience points, useful for the progression of the character as well as for the enhancement of the various gadgets.
The technical aspect is one fundamental junction of this Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales review. Let's clarify again that, as you may have already discovered from the title, our test was carried out on PlayStation 5. We therefore had the opportunity to try the game to its fullest potential. The title offers us two options: fidelity and performance. The first, loyalty, offers us the opportunity to play in 4K, with active ray tracing and at 30 FPS, the second instead offers us i 60FPS at the expense of the higher resolution and greater graphic features possible. In both cases the game, and especially the console, behave in a really excellent way.
The overall impact will be breathtaking, with the play of light accompanied by the fluidity of the truly stunning animations. Of course, the title it was not born exclusively for next gen and therefore some castration can be noticed (such as a very accurate physics only in the areas dedicated to fighting), but if these are the premises, we really expect big things, not only from this console but from the next gen in general. The models are perfect with a great (and very welcome) care for what concerns the facial animations. The amount of screen elements it will be really a lot and, at least on PS5, you will not suffer at all in terms of frame rate.
The DualSense also makes a good impression, sensitive in the right places, especially when you find yourself using yours cobwebs (therefore very very often). The audio also stands at excellent levels, both as regards the diversification of the weapons used by the enemies, and as regards the sounds produced by your Spider-Man. The soundtrack is also excellent, perfectly fitting with classic themes which also refer to the films of the saga and real ones Songs that fit perfectly with the life context (the Harlem neighborhood) of Miles.
Our Spider-Man: Miles Morales review ends here. One of the PS5 launch titles comes with a packaged look more than positive from the expert Insomniac Games, which gave Sony the opportunity to offer a perfectly designed product that can satisfy a little bit all new users. A gameplay similar to the previous one, but deepened by the expansion of the combat system manages (not always) to fill some narrative magic which, with greater care, could have made this spin-off a real gem. So it was not but we make ourselves enough, anyway, a very valid game and which technically offers a first and fleeting glimpse of the potential of the new Sony home console.
The game is available on PS4 and PS5 from November 19, 2020 in Spain. To stay up to date on all the news from the gaming world and more, stay tuned to techigames.8.3 Your friendly neighborhood Miles
- Introduction of new skills that expand the combat system
- Very rhythmic gameplay
- Technically excellent
- Animations (including facial) of the highest level
- New York at Christmas is a show ...
- ... but it remains aseptic in the streets
- Untapped narrative potential
- Slightly repetitive activities and crimes