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While it's sort of a spinoff, or an expansion of the very popular Marvel's Spider-Man game from a few years ago, it succeeds as being a standalone title that has plenty to see and do, and provides an entertaining experience in its own right.
This time around, there’s no Peter Parker. You’re (you guessed it!) Miles Morales; son of city councillor Rio Morales, and the unfortunately deceased policeman Jefferson Davis (as seen in its predecessor). In that predecessor, you see Miles gain the Spider powers, but it’s now that you finally see the expansion upon that.
Miles coming to terms with his powers, and the responsibilities that come with them is the narrative highlight of the game. He is a young man thrust into a challenging situation, and the game reflects this in both subtle and more comedic ways. He realises there’s sometimes no good outcome in situations, and has to learn to put the greater good ahead of himself. But Insomniac juxtapose that serious tone with him flying through the air learning how to swing through the city properly, leading to comically inept flying.
The formula remains mostly unchanged from the last game - and that's very much a positive in this case. The previous game was sensational to play, and all of that stays here. The combat is immensely satisfying and varied; the stealth is both fair but also challenging; and there’s room for players to be creative in how they play the game.
The city is fun to explore because of the superb swinging mechanic, and there’s enough stuff to do and sights to see to keep the experience fresh. In terms of length, it is much shorter than the previous game, but that’s to be expected given its status as an expansion. Despite that, I still think its worth it.
For those of you lucky enough to get a PlayStation 5, its a fantastic showcase of the new console's ability, particularly visually. The ray tracing (spectacular new light effects made possible with the power of the new consoles!) and overall detail is a significant step up, and the feedback as you swing through the new controller is sensational. It’s genuinely the sort of thing you’d show your friends to show off what the PS5 can do.
It’s also excellent on the PS4 however - and this is great for those who weren’t able to get one, or are simply waiting. The experience, while not being quite as shiny, is still every bit as enjoyable on the older consoles.
The story is charming, the characters are well thought out, there’s plenty to do and see and it both runs, and looks, beautiful. What’s not to love?
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- For: PS5, PS4
- From Insomniac Games
- Rating 5 /5 stars
- by Simon Bishop