Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review



Jacob Flint, Reporter

We all thought that Spider-Man PS4 was the perfect Spider-Man game. There’s no way Insomniac Games could top this, right? Wrong. Spider-Man: Miles Morales has everything that Spider-Man PS4 has but better. 

Everything that did not work, like the MJ missions, was left out, which shows you all its strengths and gives you an even better experience than the first game. The web swinging, combat, story, music, even the photo mode have all had major improvements from the first game. What happens when you improve a game that people already considered perfect? You get a masterpiece. The biggest aspect of the game’s success was the story. Insomniac is handling a new character— a character that is important for representation, a character that does not have decades of source material, a character that has already had an Oscar winning animated film. The bar was set high. There was no way they could beat Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and do it better, right? If you can’t beat them, then what do you do? You join them, and that is exactly what Insomniac did. They developed Miles Morales in a way that respects everything that came before it and gives us something new building off of his previous stories. They skipped year one of being Spider-Man and jumped to year two, when Miles is a little more experienced but still early enough where he is learning. However, the most important aspect is that he is now learning by himself, since Peter has left. For the entire game, Peter is in Simkaria, with the exception of the first mission.

As previously mentioned,the test for Insomniac was if they can make Miles his own character, make him stand in his own light rather than in Peter’s shadow. I am going to compare it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney has failed many times trying to distinguish Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from Iron Man, and it somehow always manages to keep him in his shadow. Insomniac knew that this is what would make the story a hit or miss. So, they made the tagline for the game “Be Yourself,” and that is exactly what Miles did. There is a scene in the game where Ganke and Miles are making Miles’ suit from scratch by themselves. This scene reminded me of the What’s Up Danger scene in Spider-Verse. Miles is not handed suit after suit from Peter, and he does not use Peter’s tech for the suit either, both of which Tom Holland’s Spider-Man did. He got all his major suits from Tony, but the one time he made his own suit, he basically did a character creator that Tony built for him. 

Is the story better than Spider-Man PS4? Debatable. What it did do right is make it deeply personal. Every character in the story is linked to Miles, with the exception of Simon Krieger. The Tinkerer was such a good character for the story and, while I find her motives questionable, there is no doubt that her being Phin was genius. Phin is a lifelong friend of Miles, but The Tinkerer is a villain to Spider-Man. This is a collision of two different worlds that Insomniac has me fanboying over. When you find out that The Tinkerer is Phin, you get that same feeling that you have when you find out that Vulture is Liz’s dad in the MCU, except here they actually do something with this twist. It was beautiful watching the final scene between Phin and Miles reminding me of the Yondu and Peter scene from Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2. I freaked out when I realized that the start of the final cutscene was the first tease of the game. I was jumping up and down with excitement when I saw the end of the final cutscene was Miles walking down Harlem— a call back to the beginning of the game, which started with him walking up Harlem with the same song playing.

I thought that Spider-Man PS4 nailed the web swinging, but I never want to swing around as Peter again. James Ham (the senior animator) and his team deserved a pay raise. They have outdone themselves with 30 air tricks. I can not imagine how long it took to animate the tricks transitioning into the next swing. They also animated the venom abilities so you can venom jump and venom dash mid swing. Speaking of venom abilities, the combat is so fresh. When I started the game, it felt slow because you had no skills or venom powers, but that changed quickly. Insomniac made sure to make the venom powers quite satisfying. What is more satisfying than using the Gravity Well to gather all the enemies, then doing a mega venom blast wiping them all out? That’s right—  nothing. As for the music, they somehow made it orchestral mixed with the hip-hop style. It is a much better sound than Spider-Man PS4. Apart from the game’s soundtrack, This Is My Time by Lecrae and I’m Ready by Jaden Smith are perfect for it. Everything Miles is in just has the best music, and I am all for it. 

Is there room for improvement? Of course, but you can not deny that this game is something special. Even the side missions, like helping a construction worker get ice off of their crane, shows the perfect meaning of friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. They embody it, as they named Miles’ and Ganke’s app “The Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man App.” It was one of my biggest joys to play through the game, and it gets me even more excited for Spider-Man 2.