We’re a little late to the reviewing party, but here in the UK the PlayStation 5 didn’t release until the 19th November, and although the game came out on the 12th, we wanted to wait to experience and review this on the PS5 itself.
I managed to play through the major story, and a LOT of side quests in order to write my review. We’re going to look at everything from the characters, the story, bugs, suits, and more.
I will be brutally honest during my review, and I’m under no obligation to Insomniac or have been paid or incentivised to make this review.
PLEASE NOTE, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. READ AHEAD IF YOU WISH, IF NOT, PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A DIFFERENT REVIEW OR CLICK OFF THE WEBSITE.
Let’s break it down;
The current period is set around 1 year after the events of the original Spider-Man game. Miles has been trained by Peter during that time, so when the game begins, Miles is almost fully-fledged as Spider-Man anyway.
Peter goes on a work-vacation with Mary Jane and leaves the city for Miles to look after. Of course, it all goes sideways. Two organisations are prevalent in this game, and that’s The Underground and Roxxon. Both of which hate each other, and hate Miles too.
The Underground have an agenda to blow up a Roxxon building, which is where Miles comes in to try and ease the tension, but lo and behold, The Tinkerer turns out to be Phin, which is Miles longstanding friend.
It turns out, her plan to blow up the building has been sabotaged by Roxxon, and will not just demolish a building, but rather than pretty much level Harlem.
So all in all, that’s the story. A lot of other things happen on the way including Prowler, but we’ll get to that in the characters section.
I loved the story. I will be honest, it wasn’t as good as the Spider-Man PS4 story, but it still had some exceptional moments and get me engrossed throughout the entire game. Plus, I love Miles so it’s just an added bonus.
The city, the sunsets, the ocean, the buildings, the suits, characters, the sky, everything is beautiful. I have a PS5 and played my game through that, however, my wife still has the PS4 so she’s currently playing through on that, and both systems look so immersive and incredible.
One thing I find stunning as well is the snow. The game is set in Harlem, which is in New York around the Christmas period, and it just looks stunning. The way the snow lands on the suits you’re wearing and it just pops, it just looks so damn good!
There isn’t much else to say on this, just with the exception that everything looks next-gen, the way Insomniac wanted it to be.
Similar to the graphics section, there isn’t a lot to say because everything is so well done. The actors voicing their particular characters have done awesome. You can sense that every single voice acting work was done with passion to their respective characters. You were never pushed out the moment due to a shoddy line, or phrase that never made sense.
Ike Amadi with the Prowler and Aaron Davies was one of the best bits of artwork ever. When he and Miles fight, the attention to detail in the voice work is phenomenal. Also Nadij Jeter as Miles. His emotional touches, the pain he finds himself in during the playthrough, you feel it as though you’re watching a movie.
Also, let’s not forget the other sounds we hear. The web-slinging sounds beautiful, the fighting, the background sounds of the public, NPC’s, it’s all done so well that you immerse yourself into it. Bravo.
The music is literally out of this world for this game. On My Own by Jaden near the start, or I’m Ready by Jaden when Miles and Ganke create the new suit just brings such a vibe to the game. The game has some of the best soundtracks in any game ever, another deserving note for Insomniac.
The game plays largely similar to the PS4 Spider-Man, with a few touch-ups. However, zero complaints from me here. The old saying rings true, don’t try to fix it if isn’t broken, right?
There were times I didn’t even want to play the story, and instead wanting to find the collectables because swinging through the city just feels so damn great. It never gets old. It’s fluid, quick, easy and every aspect of movement is fantastic.
The fighting again is largely similar with a few added moves in this one due to Miles’ powers with the venom or camouflage. More importantly, in this game, it does feel slightly better, more responsive, and the hits impact more which feels better on the flip side.
Movements, punches, kicks, swinging, a lot of it is done with a high level of attention which is another thing on a long list that Insomniac deserve all the praise in the world for.
Granted, there is iffy moments with the wall-running and just stopping dead in your tracks, but it’s never anything that bugs you for more than a second or two.
In this game, you have 2 suit mods and 2 visor mods. You unlock these by either crafting them or unlocking suits which come with these specific mods. This allows you to change how you play. If you’re more stealthy you can add mods that allow you to press triangle, and leg kick and unaware enemy without being detected. Another mod that allows you to camouflage the moment you’re detected.
This is more than enough for me to be happy about. I’d love a mode to build your own suit, maybe in the next game perhaps, but I really liked the way they did this. It didn’t make you feel forced to a specific suit. Like in the original, using the Iron Spider legs on another suit other than the Iron Spider was weird, it felt weird. Whereas with this, it doesn’t.
For the type of game that it is, customization is one of those departments where there isn’t a lot of legroom to do a lot with, so this for me, is more than enough in this department. Hence the high rating.
The choice of suits was welcomed, especially considering Miles is a fairly new character, even to the comics. Insomniac did a fantastic job creating brand new suits. My notable favourites are the Classic, 2099, Crimson Cowl and the one with the cat in the bag.
Miles Morales, Peter Parker, Vulture (simulation), Rhino, Prowler, Tinkerer, even Doc Oc makes a flashback return in a scene. It’s enough. A game like this doesn’t need to be overloaded with characters to make it good. This game makes it good by making the characters they bring in good, and that they did.
Each character had a meaning for being there. Peter’s vacation was fair enough. Rhino was defeated, took in, upgraded and used. Prowler was Aaron Davies in this game, Miles’ uncle. Phin was the main antagonist, but you felt with her reasoning and knew she was never really a bad person.
Even Ganke, Miles’ ‘tech guy in the chair’ was needed. Each character had a purpose and wasn’t just thrown in for the sake of being there like a lot of games do.
Granted, the game isn’t a lengthy game. It’s one of the reasons why the game is a lot cheaper than other AAA games coming out around this time. I managed to get to almost a platinum trophy in around 18 hours, but those 18 hours I was never bored. There’s always something to do.
I trace back to the comment I made earlier about swinging around just for the sake of collectables, which is absolutely fun in its own right. They don’t make it super difficult for no reason. Like GTA 5 where you have to sit with a walkthrough for 3 hours, then miss one and have to go all the way back.
This game gives you the tools so you can enjoy the experience that little bit more.
You can do side missions, main missions, activities, crimes, find collectables, take down bases or just explore the city. You’re never left without anything to do that feels necessary. You could say the collectables are a waste of time, but there’s just something that has a proud feeling when you finally finish a certain one and have a ton of tokens to upgrade gear or buy new suits.
For this game, it’s enough. It isn’t that much different than the PS4 version and that’s okay. Granted, in this one for the trophy hunters, they made it easier with the crimes. Especially with the new app that Ganke made.
After my experience with Marvel’s Avengers, I now have a lot of trust issues with day one releases now. I always think the games are going to be plagued with bugs just so they can fix it at a later date.
With Miles, I came across two. I literally had a notepad on my PC open noting any I came across. In 18 hours, I came across 2. They weren’t that bad either, they forced a checkpoint reset and that was it. Brilliant.
Here’s the two I had;
1. I was doing a side mission, where one of the Feast trucks was stuck in the snow. The guy drops the drop off document as he gets in the truck to which Miles has to chase him down to return it. The bug I found was after picking up the document, it just froze in his hand and nothing happened. I couldn’t continue, but a forced checkpoint reset done the trick and that was it. Thankfully the autosaves in this game are very frequent, so you never lose much progress, barely any, in fact.
2. On the final mission parts, I was in the midst of a fight with a lot of Underground troops. I was nearly dead since I was playing on the higher difficulties, and I used the R2-L2 button to swing to a higher point to catch my breath. As Miles pushed his webs out, they got stuck, and I couldn’t move. I got battered and died, again, all it did was just reset the checkpoint and it worked.
Others may experience different types of bugs but this was literally it for me. The game ran smoothly the entire way, no blue screens or force closes, nothing. There was an update when I got my PS5, but here in the UK we were a week behind so I’m not sure if bugs were in the game prior, but as of now, it’s a smooth enjoyable experience.
Well, it’s safe to say I was thoroughly entertained. In any game where I can sit for hours and not feel bored deserves a lot of praise. I’m that type of person where if something bores me, or doesn’t interest me, I find myself on my phone.
My phone had 92% battery left on the night I went to bed because I barely touched it. Everything noted above, is the exact reason why I was entertained. Only two games in the past year have had me so engrossed, and that was Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Last of Us 2.
I absolutely love the attention Miles Morales is getting, and in this game, it shows exactly why it’s his time to shine on the Spider-Man field. The game was fantastic, and I’m extremely excited to play any DLC that will come down the line. Even after I complete New Game+, I’m super excited to play through it all again.
A couple extra things
When Peter Parker was changed in the remaster, I didn’t like it. I loved the original, but I have to admit, playing through Miles I started to prefer it. The new design makes sense, and when I watched through the ending of the remaster, it was done and felt so much better. Especially with the Aunt May scene.
Venom was teased again after the end credit scenes. We got to see Norman Osborn in front of the tank with his son, and the green tint along with the symbiote. So, it’s looking likely we’re going to see that in the next Spider-Man game. I hope it’s a cross-game now they have the tools for both characters, that’s for sure.
One thing I never liked in the PS4 version was playing as MJ or Miles because you couldn’t do much with them in that game, whereas with this, you simply put, play as Miles throughout the entire game.
Overall, as I mentioned I can’t wait for the next game already. I hope they include both Miles and Peter in the next iteration, with the ability to play as both. Insomniac and Sony have done an exceptional job with this and it deserves every ounce of praise for the incredible work they have done.