I remember when Spider-Man PS4 was released by Insomniac back in 2018. The consensus by fans was that the game was one of the best Spider-Man experiences ever put to screen. Due to the new, fresh take on the wall-crawler and how it reignited why Spider-Man truly is one of the best fictional characters in all of media. On Nov. 12th the side story experience in the form of Miles Morales by Insomniac officially dropped on both the PS4 and PS5.
I feel what made both of these titles stand out from other games, and even movies are the attention to detail. Of course, the presence of passion in each sequence and every element of the titles add to the cause also. One could clearly tell that when you load up both of these masterpieces; Insomniac cares not only about the character of Spidey, but they also have passion for the other pieces of what makes him unique.
I feel that’s why the tagline of the games was “Be Greater, and Be Yourself,” respectively because they are both aspects of what the web-head stands for. When you play you can see the studio gives respect to the previous source material as well as other incarnations of the character that came before. These titles were made by true believers and hardy fans of the characters. So it just meant that fans were going to be in for an experience like none-other.
So how does the studio top the first one? I’m here to report that Insomniac has not only surpassed Spider-Man PS4, but it’s also a game changer in how the franchise will be proceeding forward. One thing that needs to be addressed is that Mile’s story is only about five or 10 hours long, but I’m honestly ok with that! The side story not only looks phenomenal on PS4, but it also comes off polished and built from the ground up. Also, in addition to the fresh coat of paint from the studio, it was pretty awesome to see Harlem through Miles eyes and how it’s vastly different from the New York we’ve experienced as Peter in the first game.
I feel Insomniac wanted to make this experience as organic as possible and gave a spotlight on cultural representation in a way that didn’t force or rushed. I was completely blown away with how Miles spoke not only fluent Spanish with his mom but everyone around him. The spotlight of the bodega in Harlem with the cat and the environment all perfectly shown on screen was a nice nod. One thing to add also was that Insomniac finally had Miles not only be bilingual but he was also fluent in ASL, and it was a joy to see. It just shows that video games reflect reality, and this title will be a game-changer going forward, and Insomniac should be proud of the amazing job they did!
Another thing that players, including myself, loved to see was how Mile’s apartment was decked out. I felt like I was transported to my Tia’s house during the holidays. I can still hear Perry Como playing in the background and seeing my family drinking some coquito. I just went speechless over the thought of witnessing certain elements in game form. For those who don’t know, I come from a diverse family lineage. We have Irish, French, Scottish, Black, Puerto Rican, Italian and caucasian.
Many ask how it feels to be part of a mixed family and I respond back with I love my family through, and through. As someone who is in the process of being bilingual, it was breathtaking to see how much attention to detail Insomniac put in. Also, the Black Lives Matter Mural was perfectly placed and it conveyed to everyone that the principle of black, and brown lives are integral to our world and every soul is special. It was the perfect commentary and exposure in a time where many are looking for answers and support.
It’s ironic this title actually invoked the discussion among friends. We all brought up the fact that it was clear to see that we could idolize certain aspects of fiction and this title proved that thesis right to a tee. This game is built upon the mindset and foundation of not only equality but just being comfortable in your own skin and true to yourself. I feel that’s why Insomniac picked that tagline perfectly for this stand-alone side story. Due to the strength behind the saying, we are all trying to find our place in a world we don’t understand, but we all harbor meaning and purpose.
The character and story of Miles perfectly exemplifies the struggles we endure, but also the hope we can build from the tough moments and challenges we face individually. I want to give praise to Nadji Jeter( Miles Morales), and how he not only brings Miles Morales to life, but how his portrayal of the character is a game changer. Something that will be discussed for years to come. Jeter was on an Oscar worthy level of acting and in every piece of dialogue his passion cemented that. Also Ganke, and Miles had that Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Ned and Peter type of bro-mance going on and it felt so real. It was clear to the player that this was Miles’ turn to take center stage. When Spidey (Yuri Lowenthal) appears, it’s clear to tell that his portrayal of the web-head is perfect, and the remodel actually fits the character well. I was impressed with how the studio tackled that challenge.
Not only due to the fact that we grew with Pete as a character from the last game. So it seemed like the change would come off with mixed feelings, but when I see the new Pete I see Spidey. Also to add I remember this Pete because we cried when he did. We felt the pain he was feeling when he was making the hero choice of letting aunt may go because he had to save the city. It was truly not only pivotal, but it also cemented this version of Peter as one of the best ever put to media.
I can safely report that the gameplay in this new experience has been revamped and Insomniac built Miles from the ground up. Not only with his distinction in combat and how he isn’t at full strength compared to Pete, who has been Spidey for eight year, but also the web swinging and the tricks the web-head can do. I was amazed with the creativity and flair of Miles because he not only can do 30 air tricks, he also uses his legs more to fight in a way like Deku from “My Hero.” Probably due to the fact that his arms haven’t fully developed.
It was just a delight to see the attention to small details. Details like Miles getting winded running up skyscrapers to his tactic for sticking to walls. It was almost like that we were growing with Miles from the first frame to the last. I think it was a wise choice. Insomniac wanted to make the progression feel as organic as possible and it showed. Even at moments when he got certain Venom powers. I remember the feeling and sensation of landing your first venom punch. The controller shaking; mimicking the electricity surging through Miles and then realizing that he was completely different from Pete. It was truly special, to say the least.
Ok so in a day and age where photo mode can be found in every single game. Insomniac delivers once again not only because of the slew of options, but the new requested feature to finally change suits in photo mode instead of having to exit out and go to the main menu. It was quite awesome to see the spidey community come together, and post all of their masterpiece portraits. It was because of the passion that comes with the character and how popular the web-head truly is that Insomniac was able to deliver once again.
I honestly had a lot of fun with this passion project and it just adds to the fact that this was a taste of what’s to come for the future of all things Spider-Man. Miles Morales was just what the doctor ordered, especially during a year when the presence of the MCU is nowhere to be found.
I’m confident that the legacy of Spider-Man is in good hands and I can’t wait for the next season of this historic franchise! Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” was Insomniac’s leap of faith and they got 10’s across all boards.
I honestly never thought it was possible for the oscar worthy story of “Into The Spider-Verse” to be dethroned, but the story of Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” is now officially my favorite Spider-Man experience to date.
This wasa great review! Now I want to play Spider-Man: Miles Morales!