Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review: As Enjoyable as Ever

Updated: Jan 20

Spider-Man Stands Off Against Enemies
Image Courtesy of Insomniac Games (Still from MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES)

Accompanying the coveted PlayStation 5 console on launch is the latest release from Insomniac Games: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. A sequel to the 2018 acclaimed title Marvel’s Spider-Man, Miles Morales tracks its titular protagonist a few months after the climactic conclusion of the 2018 game. New York is buried under a flurry of snow during an intense blizzard. Christmas celebrations are knocking on the door, and a new Spider-Man must take up the mantle of great responsibility and power. The some six to seven hours of campaign gameplay are tied to this narrative, undeniably akin to another 2018 release: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, also starring Morales. However, the choice to present a familiar yet new story for this Lost Legacy­-styled adventure is reasonably justified. As the first installment of Insomniac’s Spider-Man universe on the next-gen PlayStation 5 hardware, Miles Morales will catch the eyes of many converts from Xbox One to PlayStation 5, even if they did not play its predecessor on PlayStation 4. The narrative and mechanics are intuitive enough for new players and immediately recognizable to those who swung through Marvel’s Spider-Man. This assumption is likely a large reason why the developer ported an overclocked, ray-traced version of Marvel’s Spider-Man to PlayStation 5 for players who endured the twenty-dollar premium charge to the fifty-dollar launch edition.

Indeed, fifty-dollars for a notably shorter experience to the now twenty-dollar Marvel’s Spider-Man appears an odd trade-off. However, while not every PlayStation gamer may be comfortable dishing out fifty-dollars for the experience at this time, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a delightful and charismatic ride, blending smart gameplay with a story that fits snugly with the marvelous 2018 tale. Recapturing the charm that made its predecessor a roaring success, Insomniac’s Spider-Man is as enjoyable as ever with this latest rendition of the webbed superhero.

Surpassing even 2017’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, however, Miles Morales offers rich additions to its gameplay. Web-slinging is better than ever, with abilities like tricks unlocked from the very start. Combat has received a fresh new coat of paint with new animations that fit the amateur protagonist. New York City roars with activity with generous diversions for Morales to tackle, headed under an in-game mobile app. These optional quests are an impressive step-up to the random crimes of Peter Parker’s PlayStation 4 adventure – a mechanic still present here but bundled with NPC citizen requests and missions. In every facet of gameplay, Insomniac has either refined or improved the already enjoyable gameplay of Marvel’s Spider-Man. Also, under only a development span of a little over two years, it only excites me to ponder what the California studio can accomplish with the assumed fully-fledged sequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Additionally, regarding PlayStation 5, this review was conducted solely on current-gen hardware, specifically the base PlayStation 4. Miles Morales obviously nearly looks or plays the best on the 2013 console, with multiple instances of texture pop-in as players swing through New York and occasional frame-rate dips. Aesthetically, the argument could be reasonably made that Spider-Man: Miles Morales is less impressive technically than Spider-Man was in 2018. However, this is probably due to the masterful PlayStation 5 versions of Miles Morales with a full sixty frames-per-second performance or a gorgeous, ray-tracing-enabled mode at 4K and thirty frames-per-second.

Miles Morales Stands in Front of Buildings
Image Courtesy of Insomniac Games (Still from MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES)

While the new console remains a lofty hope for most consumers at its limited availability, intense demand, and hefty price-tag, I would recommend all players interested in Spider-Man: Miles Morales to wait to play the PlayStation 5 version if they can. The PlayStation 4 version is certainly nothing to scoff at with ample performance and fidelity, but the generational difference heightens the game far past the experience I enjoyed.

Spider-Man Swings Through New York City
Image Courtesy of Insomniac Games (Still from MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES)

Miles Morales returns in Spider-Man: Miles Morales for a flashy, well-earned installment that credits Insomniac Games as one of the greatest game developers of our generation. Few studios can crank out such a well-done title in such little time. Yes, Miles Morales is shorter than I would have liked, but it progresses at a smart pace, rarely outstaying its welcome. The narrative may slightly underwhelm and disappoint, but it is vastly overshadowed by the mechanical improvements in play and technical achievements as a cross-generation release. Insomniac has crafted a delightful experience in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, sure to lure many PlayStation 5 gamers to its enjoyable campaign.

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.

Synopsis Credit of Insomniac Games

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is Available Now for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4