The much anticipated sequel to PS4’s Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales puts you in control of the title character, a teenage super hero and scientific genius who is still struggling to learn how to use his powers. It’s been a year since the conclusion of the previous game and, in that time, Manhattan has struggled to recover from the Devil’s Breath incident. Crime is still rampant but, luckily, Spider-Man has an assistant to help him out. Now living in Harlem, Miles Morales can not only do everything that a spider can but he also has a whole host of new powers that the original Spider-Man could only dream of. Miles is going to need all of them because the original Spider-Man is going to be in Europe for the next few weeks and Miles is going to have to protect New York City on his own.
The main mission finds Miles caught in the middle of a war between Roxxon Oil and the mysterious Tinkerer. The side missions give Miles a chance to do everything from looking for lost cats to preventing another old foe from engineering a criminal takeover of Harlem. Along the way, Miles discovers that his uncle is the mercenary known as the Prowler and that his oldest friend, Phin Mason, has a big secret of her own. He also discovers that he has an entire community willing to support him in his time of need.
I have to admit that it took me a while to get into Spider-Man: Miles Morales. At the start of the game, Miles is so inexperienced and nervous about filling in for Spider-Man that he actually came across as being a little whiny. As the game progressed, Miles got more confident and stronger and so did the story. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is best viewed as a coming of age story. In the first game, Peter Parker was already an experienced Spider-Man and he knew what he was capable of doing. Spider-Man: Miles Morales gives us a chance to watch as Miles first comes to realize just how powerful he can be. The game is all about Miles learning what it means to be a hero and coming to realize that it takes more than just super powers to make the world a better place. Miles not only discovers his own inner strength but he also the strength of his community. The game is as much about the people that Miles helps as it is about Miles himself.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks great. While I would like to see a Spider-Man game that takes place in a location other than Manhattan, the island still looks great and one of the joys of the game is just to swing form building to building and appreciate the amount of detail that has been put into the setting. The game takes place during the holidays, which means that it never stops snowing. The final battle takes place during a fierce blizzard and it’s a visual tour de force. The game controls are still simple and easy to master. Once you figure out how to throw a venom punch, it’s hard not to resist the temptation to do it every single chance that you get.
If I do have a complaint with the game, it’s that it’s too short. The main mission resolves itself too quickly and the game could have used a few more side missions. The side missions are often fun and diverting but none of them can really compare to the first game. None of them are as exciting or as challenging as trying to take down Tombstone or battle the Taskmaster. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is still a fun game but, because of its shortened length, it feel very much like just one chapter in a much bigger saga. Fortunately, the main story ends with a hint as to what’s waiting in the future and you’ll definitely want to play the game to the end so that you can see it for yourself.
For the most part, I enjoyed playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the Spider-Man video game franchise.