Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the latest addition to the Spider-Man video game franchise. The release lends itself to the popularity of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This was the first movie about Spider-man characters, other than Peter Parker. It was also the first time a person of color was the star in a Spider-Man movie. But, how does this all translate into a video game experience?
History of Spider-Man
In 1962, Stan Lee released the first Spider-man comic. By the late 70s, his popularity was cemented into the world of Marvel comics and he was becoming one of the most popular heroes. The first video game came to the Atari 2600 system in 1982. It was a simple vertical scroller, building climber catching bad guys.
By the 1990s, we were seeing Spider-Man starring in fighting side scroller styles. Super NES released Spider-Man vs. Venom: Maximum Carnage where you could play as either character. Then on to Capcom spongey Marvel Super Heroes. These played similar to X-men: Children of the Atom.
Sony took their first shot at a Spider-Man video game in 2000. This game was built off of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater engine. However, it wasn’t until 2002, after the release of the Toby Maguire Spider-Man Movie that the game developer Treyarch decided to release a video game under the same name. These movies sparked two additional video games, as well. During this run, you were able to play them on Xbox, some Nintendo consoles, and PlayStation.
Does Whatever A Spider Can
In 2018, Sony gave us Marvel’s Spider-Man. This video game was a stand-alone story, separate from the MCU, at the time. This game was an open world with some of the most beautiful cityscape designs. The gameplay was fast and fun, allowing you to learn Spidey moves and fighting styles. This was my favorite Spider-Man video game, to date.
The downloadable content, DLC, for this game, while short, was a great addition to the game storyline. There is nothing more fun than a game where stealth is important for the game’s progression. After all, you’re playing a wall-crawler, it would make sense to have stealth be a large factor for the game.
There have been strong comparisons to this game and Arkham City. True, they both rely on gadgets to help in their fights, stealth tactics for specific areas, and a fully open world, but that is where a lot of the comparisons end. Batman is about strength, subterfuge, and fear. Spider-man is more of a quick quips to the bad guy to keep them distracted and focused, much more about using the environment to your advantage, and the surprise of stealth.
I absolutely loved playing this game. I still go back to it for some good Spidey fun.
Along Came A Spider
The cool part about Marvel’s Spider-Man was how they also introduced Miles Morales in the game. You only get to play him briefly, mostly to build the backstory of the character, but it was still awesome.
We know that 2020 didn’t give us a lo to be excited about but when Sony released Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, there was a bit of excitement for gamers everywhere.
This would be the first time that Miles had his own video game that allowed you to play him on the beginnings of his journey into the greater Spider-Verse.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is set a year after the events of the predecessor game. Miles has been under the tutelage of Peter and is slowly learning his powers. We also see that MIles has moved to Harlem and has set up there as Spider-Man. He is also still learning his newfound abilities. From here, Peter tells Miles that he needs to leave the city for a few weeks and he is in charge. Miles is a bit reluctant about taking on the mantle solo. In his game, we get to see him learn his powers and grow, in himself, to become a Spider-Man.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales introduces you to a host of Spider-man characters and bad guys. Rhino plays the second largest role as a villain. We also see the Prowler, Miles’ uncle, giving him some pointers on how to fight. We are also introduced to some of Miles’ friends, Ganke, his best friend, and his childhood friend, Phin. We are also introduced to the big villain for the game, the Tinkerer.
With Great Power
For the most part, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales plays very similar to Marvel’s Spider-Man, with the biggest differences coming from the animations of Miles’ powers. Fighting styles has similarities to the predecessor, using breakable environments to debilitate your enemies, swinging through the city, zip lining across distances, and bringing enemies to you.
Miles gives us the ability to do these things and add his Venom Blast and camouflage to the mix. As you progress through the story, you get to unlock upgraded or new versions of his special moves. All of which can be chained together to inflict large amounts of damage or help in avoiding taking it.
The game works on the same point style upgrades as its predecessor. You also get challenges throughout the city to help gain needed parts to make other upgrades or unlock suits. Though, most just find one or two suits they like and not change often. Some of them have nifty bonuses like the first game and some are just cosmetics. One of the cool ones is the Into the Spider-Verse suit. It allows you to see the effects in fighting like BAM! POW! And Wham!
He’s Our Spider-Man
The story for this Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is actually quite good. It plays and feels like you are still a new Spider-Man, learning your way into the mantle you have taken up. You get to see Miles make mistakes, which is important so you can watch your hero grow.
We are introduced to Aaron Davis, the Prowler, in this game. And as we all know, this version of the Prowler is only the newest version of this multi-use character in the Spider-Man universe. Aaron is a pretty big force in Miles’ life. He was the uncle he looked up to as a kid and forced to not see due to his ties to crime.
However, the biggest change to the characters in this version is the Tinkerer. In this game, the Tinkerer keeps the name Phineas Mason but is shortened to Phin. Phin has a strong and close tie to Miles and becomes the biggest lesson he has to learn in this game.
With the help of his best friend Ganke, they create an app that helps you track crimes in the city and a way for citizens to reach out to you. Ganke also helps in a supporting role through the game. After all, we all need friends from time to time.
The Results Are in
Spider-Man was one of the first superheroes I was exposed to, as a child. And he has remained one of my favorites. I really loved the 2018 game and the release of the 2020 Miles Morales installment was a huge excitement for me. I went into this having huge expectations for what I would experience.
There are two big drawn backs for the game, at least for me.
First, the game is made for the PlayStation 5 but it is backwards compatible for the PS4. Because of this, there is some lagging and pixelation in places. Nothing that makes it unplayable, just some minor glitching.
Second, there is only about 8-10 hours of game play. You will get the full ten hours if you do all of the side quests, challenges, and etc. If you play for just the story progression, you are looking at 8 hours tops. For a game that retailed at $49.99, it seems a little thin.
Sony has already said that it is doubtful they will release any DLC for this game. There are rumors they are working on a sequel to the first game. There is not firm release date, as of yet. Rumors suggest that it may be 2022. No DLC means this game is quick and leaves us feeling like we need more.
What is good about the game?
The story moves along nicely and the gaming style is familiar to the first one. So you feel comfortable jumping and just having fun.
Its also great that Sony released a game that actually has a much better diversity than its predecessor. This gives us a hero, a story, and an environment that more of us can relate to. A place where we can see ourselves when much of the super hero landscape seems to be dominated by white cis-gendered men, that is unless you need a villain.
While the price tag is a bit steep for a short game, I personally think this is another Amazing Spider-Man game, sorry for the over the top pun but it is Spider-Man, after all. If you have not played it yet, what are you waiting for? Get your copy Marvel’s Spider-man: Miles Morales and check it out. If you have played it, drop me a line in the comments section and let me know what you think of the game. Was it what you expected or wanted? Or did it leave you feeling like you wanted so much more?