Miles Morales is a third person action game and the spin-off/sequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man. Peter Parker has left town leaving his protege Miles to be the Spider-Man of Harlem and the surrounding areas. Miles is youthful and inexperienced but has the help of his friend Ganke as well as his bio electrical Venom power to help him (nothing to do with the black sludge alien). The game uses puzzles that aren’t too hard to keep the player from mindless button bashing which is nice as there’s a bit of thought in design and gameplay.
The plot is fairly predictable if you’re aware of Miles Morales. An evil corporate army is doing evil things while a terrorist group causes trouble. Miles’ relationships with his friends and family add some emotional spin to everything with the stuff to do with his dad being quite touching. I do think the villains were generic or stupid with how they act given the build up they get.
Miles is obviously a less well known character than Peter Parker as are his strongest connected villains. We see Rhino and another two major Peter villains and Prowler appears as you might expect but there’s no massive “wow!” moment like what happened to me with the Spider-Man game.
Traversal takes after the Marvel’s Spider-Man in having a fast, fluid web swinging system that manages to be both exciting and simple with a large city that feels great to cross with webs even though there is a fast travel system. Miles’ Venom can even give him a boost in the air which just means more opportunity to gain speed making swinging even more fun.
Combat remains similar to the older game too with the attack, dodge system popularised by Batman Arkham Asylum being present. Miles’ Venom is creatively used for extra powerful stun attacks and quickly getting into aerial combat. There’s also invisibility that can be used to put enemies at a disadvantage mid battle, having the character pop out of sight just as they’re ready to gang up on you. Miles has fewer gadgets than the other Spider-Man but this keeps things nice and simple as the more useful ones are able to regenerate more often.
Different abilities and gadgets also help with stealth, taking out enemies from the shadows using remote mines, instant knock-outs and environmental objects. The different suit abilities and gadgets also feel quite useful for stealth.
There are a decent amount of side missions that involve helping people around the neighbourhood and a voice other than Jameson’s talks about Spider-Man in the in-game podcasts sometimes giving more of a man of the people feel to Miles’ Spidey. There are also collectibles in the game which include Memento items, postcards and sound recordings. We also get random crimes to stop and bases to attack meaning a decent amount to do.
I have some issues with the game. Miles’ spider sense didn’t seem totally accurate, the camera screwed me up in combat a few times as did occasionally unresponsive button presses, some upgrades are locked behind New Game + and the game seemed a little short. The only technical issue I had was when I tried to web something in an enclosed space and accidentally launched myself through a wall which probably wasn’t supposed to happen, other than that all was fine.
Overall, an enjoyable game that could have had a few more villain filled side missions but brings back some of the best traversal in gaming. Combat generally flows well and the bright colours make it interesting to watch. I had a lot of fun with this one and am considering New Game + but small irritations with the camera and a short run time mean it’s only fair to call it Good.