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Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Studio: Sony Computer Entertainment, Insomniac Games
Platform: Sony Playstation 4, Sony Playstation 5
Release Date: November 12, 2020

Description: The latest adventure in the Spider-Man universe will build on and expand Marvel's Spider-Man through an all-new story. Players will experience the rise of Miles Morales as he masters new powers to become his own Spider-Man.

Diving deeper into 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 in Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, 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 make it his own.

Be Greater. Be Yourself.
Experience the rise of Miles Morales as the new hero masters incredible, explosive new powers to become his own Spider-Man.

The Rise of Miles Morales
Miles Morales discovers explosive powers that set him apart from his mentor, Peter Parker. Master his unique, bio-electric venom blast attacks and covert camouflage power alongside spectacular web-slinging acrobatics, gadgets and skills.

A War for Power
A war for control of Marvel's New York has broken out between a devious energy corporation and a high-tech criminal army. With his new home at the heart of the battle, Miles must learn the cost of becoming a hero and decide what he must sacrifice for the greater good.

A Virant New Home
Traverse the snowy streets of his new, vibrant and bustling neighborhood as Miles searches for a sense of belonging. When the lines blur between his personal and crime-fighting lives, he discovers who he can trust, and what it feels like to truly be home.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a Fantastic Outing Worthy of the Ultimate Spider-Man
By James Harvey

Just as engaging, fun and as meticulously detailed in nearly every regard as its predecessor, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a smashing solo debut for Brooklyn's resident web-slinger, and deserves every bit of attention as Insomniac Games' Marvel's Spider-Man from 2018. Everything that made the first game a flat-out home run returns here - the incredible web-swinging, slick combat and a score of baddies to take down - but putting Miles Morales in the spotlight allows the game to play with its established formula a little, resulting in an experience that, while shorter than the original, is never-the-less just as engaging. Sony Interactive Entertainment and Insomniac Games have created another compelling adventure that's not only a great Playstation 5 launch title, but also another spectacular entry in the Marvel's Spider-Man universe.

Taking place after the events of Marvel's Spider-Man, Miles Morales finds himself New York's sole Spider-Man when Peter Parker heads out of town with Mary-Jane Watson during the holiday season on a work-trip. While determined to prove himself as his own hero, without the watchful eye of the original web-slinger lingering, Miles soon finds himself tangled up in the middle of a war between The Tinkerer and the Roxxon corporation. After the conflict escalates and turns personal, Miles finds himself facing the biggest challenge of his burgeoning superhero career.

It's worth noting that even with the shorter overall playtime when compared to Marvel's Spider-Man, don't let that undersell what's still a fun, exciting and full gaming experience. Calling this title a simple "side story" (think Uncharted: The Lost Legacy) to bridge the gap between the 2018 original and the forthcoming Marvel's Spider-Man 2 drastically undersells what Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is all about.

Miles Morales has had an incredible few years since first hitting the Marvel Comics scene in 2011. Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, he quickly became one of Marvel's most popular characters and was soon a regular fixture around the House of Ideas. His most high-profile gig to date is unquestionably the 2018 Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but he's made a host of other appearances elsewhere. He's popped up multiple animated series, including the just-recently-wrapped and better-than-expected Marvel's Spider-Man on Disney XD, and turned up not just in Marvel's Spider-Man, but also a few other video game titles, including Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. On top of all that, the latest volume of his ongoing comics series, simply titled Miles Morales: Spider-Man and written by Saladin Ahmed, is currently one of Marvel Comics' best books. The impact Miles has had in pop culture is undeniable.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a fantastic solo outing for New York's Ultimate Spider-Man, with Insomniac Games doubling down and evening improving upon what they established in the original Marvel's Spider-Man title. Overall, many of the same elements from the 2018 game also appear here, just fine-tuned and touched up. The gameplay and swinging mechanics feel just as comfortable, and the modifications made to tailor the gameplay to Miles' abilities really keep it from feeling like a simple retread. Peter Parker was a veteran to the webs in the original game, but here Miles Morales is still learning the ropes, and that adds not only a fun new dimension to the gameplay but also impacts the story in some surprising ways. While the scope of the game is smaller overall, everything here feels sharper and refined. That's partially a by-product of the game's shorter experience and run-time, without question, but it ends up creating a razor-sharp focus on Miles for a more intimate experience.

Insomniac Games' writer Ben Arfman, who worked on Marvel's Spider-Man, returns for Miles Morales' solo adventure, with Nick Folkman, Max Folkman, Mary Kenney and Lauren Mee in tow to flesh out the Brooklyn native's story. This iteration of Miles Morales feels new and fresh, yet still true to the source material down to an impressive detail. Beloved members of his supporting cast also get heavy screentime, including best friend Ganke Lee, mother Rio Morales (who plays a key role in the game's story), along with others who won't be named to avoid spoiling any surprises. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales' revamped take on The Tinkerer is also inspired and works perfectly for the story told here. It's a very personal story that's timely, relevant and, on occasion, hits really close to home in some unexpectedly tense ways. Nadji Jeter returns to voice Miles, reprising his role from Marvel's Spider-Man as does Yuri Lowenthal as Peter, performing alongside new additions to cast, including Jacqueline Pinolas Rio and Griffin Puatu as Ganke. Actors Russell Richardson and Jasmin Savoy Brown also turn in some incredible work, though their roles won't be named to avoid spoilers. As with the 2018 predecessor, the voice talent and performances are across-the-board stellar.

The focus on Miles and his world also carries over to the gameplay mechanics, naturally. While Peter had a few years under his belt when we're first introduced to him in Marvel's Spider-Man, it's the not the same situation here with Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Not only are his web-slinging skills a little rocky, which Insomniac Games' beautifully animates, but some of his powers differ from his mentor's, including the ability to camouflage himself and his Venom skills (electrical charges he can use in different ways). His skills can be honed in a series of training programs created by Peter (who also checks in with Miles from time to time during the course of the game's story). In a clever move, the game has the audience essentially learn about some of Miles' new skills at the same time he does, leading to some nail-biting and thrilling moments during more than a few key fights and story points. Using camouflage to get up close to his targets, or letting his Venom Strike clear out multiple baddies, is quite satisfying.

And yes, the same can be said of the game's main campaign, too, and there's thankfully a fair amount of side-missions and collectibles that'll extend your stay in New York without it feeling repetitive or forced. While some side missions in Marvel's Spider-Man were lacking, here they feel more essential and enjoyable, overall, in comparison (though some quests do stumble). Plus, some of the game's unlockable costumes (including the awesome Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse-inspired suit) include abilities that can spice things up a bit. The city itself, especially with the winter makeover, looks stunning and definitely warrants some time just aimlessly swing through the streets and over skyscrapers to check out all of Insomniac Games' incredible work. This is especially true on the Playstation 5 where the visuals look next-level incredible. The ray tracing (a rendering technique that can produce incredibly realistic lighting effects) is undeniably gorgeous and, if you fancy a replay of the original Marvel's Spider-Man, then the remastered version included with Miles' adventure (updated with ray tracing and improved graphics) is unquestionably the way to go, especially since save files from the game's original Playstation 4 release can be used in the updated edition.

The Playstation 5's DualSense controller also deserves a small shout-out, since it legitimately does add a bit of a boost to the game's overall experience, particularly through the haptic feedback. Using one of Miles' Venom skills feels particularly cool with the DaulSense, especially when our hero really gets to unleash.

Exploring Miles' civilian identity is, unsurprisingly, just as fulfilling as the fisticuffs that tend to bookend the quieter moments of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Ganke's heavy involvement is definitely a treat, but the same can be said about the rest of the relationships Miles has to juggle. In fact, one of the few drawbacks with the game's shorter runtime, when compared to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game, is that we don't get enough time with them. Yes, we get plenty here, but the writing and characters are so good that a couple more hours with Miles' crew would've been more than welcome.

As with Peter Parker and his world in Marvel's Spider-Man, Insomniac Games does the same incredible work here and lets Miles' character bleed into nearly every aspect of the game. His heritage, his home, his music, his interests, who he is as a person - both in terms of his physical abilities and at his core - result in a game that, while a clear follow-up to its predecessor, can also stand on its own, and that's apparent from the get-go. For example the score to the Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales start screen is the same basic orchestral theme from Peter's adventure, but it's mixed with a catchy hip-hop beat that gives it this whole new flavor. Composer John Paesano, who also scored the previous Marvel's Spider-Man titles, returns and arranges some of the franchise's best music (buy the soundtrack, it's terrific). Insomniac Games leans undeniably hard into Miles' world, and the game is all the more better for it.

Unfortunately, there are a few instances where the game slips, but it's nothing even remotely close to being any type of deal-breaker. One of the main antagonists of the game is somewhat under-developed, which can make those parts of the campaign feel a little underwhelming, but those are fleeting moments at best. That said, while this particular foe may be a little lacking, the social conversation and conflicts that bubble out are anything but. There are clear allusions to gentrification here, and some events that play out that are uncomfortably close to reality, especially when it comes to the oppression and struggles countless minorities face on a day-to-day basis. Along with themes of identity, culture and legacy, this game will undoubtedly resonate with many players.

In terms of any other real shortcomings, to really scrape the bottom of the barrel, one could argue that Peter Parker's redesigned character model should be noted. The updated model can be jarring, especially if you've recently played Marvel's Spider-Man on the PS4, but you do eventually get used to it and it's ultimately inconsequential. Whether or not the updated model is better is subjective (I personally have no real issue with it, despite the drastic difference), but this will unquestionably be a sticking point for many, especially since Insomniac Games really nailed it with the previous design.

Any issues with the length of the campaign and overall game feel immaterial, especially since Insomniac Games made it known since day one that Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales would be a more condensed gaming experience when compared to Marvel's Spider-Man. By no means is that a free pass, but ultimately the comparison and shorter length of play really has no impact on just how well a full experience this still is.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales tells an engaging coming-of-age story, paired with a compelling and diverse cast, all of which goes nicely with the gameplay tweaks, the (mostly) purposeful side missions, the incredible voice performances and catchy music. There's also something so rewarding about, given how ethnically diverse the cast is and Miles' own bi-racial identity, how this game is going to connect with so many players in ways Marvel's Spider-Man couldn't. The cast is also so brilliantly realized here that you can't help but want another 10-15 hours in their company.

And while it may not be as massive as its 2018 predecessor, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales still packs an equally impressive punch and is absolutely overflowing with heart. It also doesn't hurt that this game is a total stunner, especially when played on the Playstation 5, and it's so easy to just get caught up in the incredible visuals. But whether you play it on the Playstation 4, or Playstation 5, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is both a worthy follow-up to one of the best superhero games ever made and an amazing adventure in its own right! Must Own!

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