Without a doubt, Miles Morales is one of the most important comic characters since the turn of the century. While people may not have been sure of him at first due to his replacing a then-dead Peter Parker in the Marvel Ultimate line, he soon become one of the most-beloved Marvel Comics characters, and a focal point across all their media. Between the animated series, the Into The Spider-Verse film, and now the video games from Insomniac, you’ve been exposed to Miles in some form. As this Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review for PC will show you, the port of the PS5 launch title holds up well, and shows Miles and his allies in a good light…with some small flaws that do hold it back from its predecessor.
After the events of the first game, Peter Parker follows Mary Jane overseas to help with a story for the Daily Bugle. That leaves Miles to watch over New York as its sole Spider-Man and protector. Miles and his mother, Rio, recently moved to Harlem, so he’s now rooted there, and much of the game’s events take place in that neighborhood. This works well for the title, and if you recall the Luke Cage series on Netflix, it flows in a lot of the same ways in showing off not just the visuals of the neighborhood but the people and even the “soundtrack” of the borough. It’s wonderful and diverse, and it was fun focusing on that versus just being “New York’s Spider-Man” once again. It was important to show the differences between the Spider-Men, and they did that.
One thing I appreciated right off the bat was that Miles is still getting used to everything. His powers, his responsibilities, and how to handle situations with Peter or on his own. This isn’t a prodigy stepping up to the plate. This is a kid who still doesn’t know all he can do and often gets his powers when he needs them most. A bit of a Deus Ex Machina, but it works more times than not. At times, he’s not afraid to showcase how different he is from Peter. Such as how he refuses to listen to JJJ’s podcast (don’t worry, you can still listen) and instead listens to someone who’s actually level-headed and cares for people via the Danikacast. I personally loved her addition, as Danika was a funny yet thoughtful person who cared for her listeners and believes in the ACTUAL facts instead of just the perceived ones.
Another difference is the allies of Miles. Our new Spider-Man had his best friend in Genke, who was a great foil for Miles throughout the game, as well as his mother, Rio, who in many ways is Miles’ rock and inspiration. But don’t worry, she doesn’t play too much like Aunt May, yet it’s undeniable the love those two had for their sons. I also appreciated the connections that Miles slowly made with the neighborhood via the “Friendly Neighborhood” app. It was a clever way to get Miles out and about, and my only complaint is that I wish they had done more with it.
After “getting the bugs out,” Miles finds himself caught in a war between the corporation known as Roxxon (a company that Marvel Comics fans should know very well) and a mysterious tech group called The Underground, who are determined to take the company down. They’re headed up by The Tinkerer, whom you’ll figure out the secret identity of very quickly.
The struggle that Miles undergoes as he tries to unravel all that’s happened is compelling enough, and there are some fun twists and turns along the way. For example, the arrival of Uncle Aaron, aka The Prowler, is a fun twist on things, given how he starts out his relationship with Miles in the game and where it ends up. It doesn’t go the way of Into The Spider-Verse if you’re curious. And I’m glad about that!
I’m also glad about the quality of the voice acting. That was a very key part of the quality of the first title, and it carries over here. Miles, Rio, Phin, Aaron, heck, even Simon Kreiger delivers in good ways. On a personal note, I was very pleased to see a deaf character in the game via Hailey. I used to be somewhat fluent in ASL, and to see not only her being deaf but Miles knowing ASL (American Sign Language) himself was very inclusive, and I hope we see that in more gamers going forward.
As for gameplay, if you played Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PC when it came out earlier this year, you’ll be aware of what you’re in for. Miles will have access to campaign missions, side missions, fortress takedowns, try to stop crimes-in-progress, etc.
The combat also plays mostly the same, with a few catches. As you know, Miles and Peter have different powersets when you dig deeper. The “Venom” power of Miles is on full display here and plays a key part in the story. He also has his camouflage too, so his skill tree is different than Peter’s. Furthermore, there are fewer gadgets he uses outside of his webs, and the ones he does use are sometimes different than Peter’s. There’s definitely enough variety here to keep things fresh and not feel like a repeat of before.
However, where this Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review is going to differ from my previous Spider-Man experience is the flaws that the game has. The first one you’re likely very aware of is the length. If you recall, when I did the original game on PC, I put 23+ hours into the game by the time I was done with the main campaign. I spent a little longer finishing up side tasks, then put about another 7-8 hours into the three-part DLC. I was over 31.5 hours before I finally knew I was done. In contrast, with Miles Morales, I was done in about 9 hours, and there’s no DLC in this game.
I admit that some of you won’t have a problem with the length, but some of you might, given the depth of the experience that we had in the first game. I recall when the original game came out, and many reviews talked about how short it was, and I wondered if they weren’t being fair…but they were. You can blast through the game in one day if you wanted. That’s pretty short. Plus, in contrast to the original, I didn’t feel as compelled to do the various activities. I did the side missions because I felt those would be compelling, and they were. But others felt a little copied and pasted from the last game. Plus, outside of the app, there was a lack of a connection between Miles and what he was doing at times. The Prowler missions were an exception, but those got tedious at times.
It may have been because Miles was at the beginning of his career versus Pete being well into his, but I felt they could’ve gone deeper with some of these tasks.
Visually, the game is stunning, much like the previous PC port. However, there were quite a few bugs and glitches I found. Some walk animations were off in a key cutscene, the snow in certain areas would randomly stop and start depending on your camera angle, and more. It’s not Pokemon Scarlet and Violet levels of bad, but it’s still noticeable.
Another issue is that, once again, if you use the keyboard on your PC, you’re going to have some frustrations control-wise. I repeatedly found myself in trouble in combat because of things going wrong, and I lost a fight once because instead of pressing “Q” to catch something, I accidentally hit “Tab,” which opened up a menu. When I clicked out of it, I got hit and died. Not cool. The final boss fight also frustrated me because it kept telling me to do things, and I did them, and nothing seemed to happen, so I kept dying. Then one time, despite me not doing anything differently, the boss went down, and I was like, “What happened?”
My biggest complaint is that the shorter campaign didn’t let things breathe. Phin as The Tinkerer and Roxxon’s head being the villains wasn’t surprising at all, even without spoilers that I had already heard from reading past reviews. But unlike the original game’s characters like Martin Li or Dr. Octavius, the game didn’t let the characters grow enough to make us care, or not care, about them so that what happened would affect us. You could feel Pete’s heartbreak after Octavius turned because we spent so long trying to make his dream work, and everything went wrong.
With Phin, she wasn’t even mentioned in the first game, and then she shows up and acts awkwardly about certain things, and you’re like, “Yeah, she’s the bad guy.” And for Krieger, you knew he was a monster because of how “calm” and “PR” he was about things he talked about. So his reveal of him being a jerk was hardly a shock.
Going back to Phin, she retreads on some ground in terms of the revenge game that was a very similar beat to the first game too. She lost her family because of a corporate head and wanted to take that company and its leader down at any cost. That’s Mr. Negative to a T, with only very small differences. While Miles and Phin were shown to be best friends, I wish we had more flashbacks or missions with them together so that there was a little more depth to the betrayal she not only does to Miles but sticks to a bit stubborn until the classic “redemption play” came at the end.
In the end, don’t think these critiques against the game keep it from being a great title. It was fun, and I was glad to be back in this universe so soon after my first experience. While not everything was as grand as Peter Parker’s adventure, Miles Morales had a great showing, and the third title in the line can’t come soon enough.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a bit shorter than you’d probably like, but there is a lot of heart, personality, and style in the game that can’t be ignored. Make no mistake, despite being available on the PS4 and PS5, the PC version is the definitive edition.
- Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PC) Review