This week I got my first platinum trophy on my PlayStation 5! What took years to achieve during the last generation (my first PS4 platinum), took only a few weeks on my brand new PS5. Will I become a Platinum Trophy Hunter this new generation? Probably not, but I hope to get more than last generation — TWO! (Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ghost of Tsushima) And I’m already halfway there.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a smaller game than its predecessor Marvel’s Spider-Man (which starred Peter Parker). It’s more of a spinoff than a proper sequel. My original plan was to replay Spider-Man Remastered before jumping into this one, but that plan was abandoned when I only found the Launch Edition of Miles Morales at Best Buy the day I picked up my PS5 (no Remaster included).
This game begins much like the first, with a crazy battle against a big boss, Rhino. The first game started off with an epic fight versus Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin). The initial Rhino chase seems to be one of Miles’s first real tests as Spider-Man with his mentor Peter Parker.
After a bit of a struggle Miles is able to take down Rhino, we also meet some new characters (including Troy Baker’s Simon Krieger). Pete informs Miles that he’s leaving to Europe for a few weeks with MJ and Miles is left to take charge as New York’s one-and-only Spider-Man.
Miles starts off as “the other Spider-Man.” It’s like sorry Peter couldn’t be here today, so now you get me. As the story progresses you see Miles get more comfortable as the friendly-neighborhood Spider-Man. Even though the controls are very much like the first game (with a few added abilities), Miles feels and looks a bit different. He’s a bit of a mess at first.
During the beginning of the game, swinging through the city and taking out baddies as Miles reminded me of playing Tony Hawk Project 8 as Dustin Dollin. Sure, he had the same move set as the other skaters, but his landings were a bit off. As someone who used to skateboard and owned many skate tapes back in the day, I knew that this was true to Dustin Dollin’s skate style. He was just a bit sloppy, and so is Miles (at first).
Performing stealth takedowns from high up above, it always felt like Miles was about to fall and ruin the whole stealth part of the mission. Miles’s sloppiness slowly morphs into his own “Spidey-style.” His swinging may feel like the first game, but if you look closely you notice subtle differences in the way he moves in the air. His spin moves, his poses and even the way he walks.
A NEW SPIDERMAN
As someone with Cuban parents it’s very cool to see a Black Latino Spider-Man. It feels good to hear Rio (Miles’s mom) speaking in Spanish and Miles answering in English or Spanglish. I grew up in a house like this and never thought of it as a weird thing until my guitar instructor pointed out that my parents speak to me in Spanish and I answer in English. It’s just fun to see this dynamic in a video game.
Miles is not the same Spider-Man as Peter. It’s cool that the fight mechanics are the same (or familiar enough), but Miles has his added Venom (electricity) powers. Miles can also turn invisible (Willie Beamon Invisible Juice) which I knew from the comics, but totally forgot about until I got that ability.
There’s a part in the story where Miles and Ganke (his buddy/guy in the chair) realize that Miles is not this placeholder Spider-Man, but instead he has to step up and become the one and only Spider-Man (at least for right now). The game goes into a montage and the true Miles Morales black suit is unlocked. I remember at this point thinking, “Aw man, it’s on! I’m Spider-Man.”
There are many improvements from the original, especially on PS5. Of course the load times are insane. You go from the PlayStation homepage to game menu to playing the game in seconds.
The first game also had subway cutscenes for fast travel using the New York Subway system. These cutscenes were fun at first, and there were a handful of different ones featuring Spider-Man riding the subway. In this game you choose where you want to go and you instantly come out of the subway station. In the first game it may have been faster to swing your way to your destination versus of riding the train.
There’s a part where you’re chasing the Tinkerer through the city. You’re swinging through town as the Tinkerer sort of skates across buildings and the streets using their power boots. The first game had these chases where it would seamlessly switch from cutscene back to gameplay and I feel like this game did the same, but improved on it a bit.
It’s true that this game isn’t a “full” Spider-Man game like the first, but it still felt full of content. There were a great deal of side missions and tons of quests and side challenges, but not too many. They also got rid of some of the ones that became a bit annoying (lab puzzles in the first game). Some were swapped out for something different (instead of backpacks you’d find time capsule items).
GETTING THE PLAT (NEW GAME+)
Although I was a little annoyed to reach the end of the game without being able to unlock every suit or ability, it made me restart the game in New Game+ mode which I’ve never really tried before. Also, I had to do it to get the Platinum trophy.
I’m happy I didn’t have to do all of the side quests and missions again (just complete the main story and obtain any missing trophies). In the end I was happy about replaying the game. It gave New Game+ something extra to achieve rather than just repeating the story to get it out of the way and collect my trophy.
Playing the main story in New Game+ made me realize how short this games story was. I spent much time in my first playthrough completing side missions, quests, challenges and stopping crimes. This made the game feel much longer than it actually was, without me ever getting bored. That first run felt long enough to be a full sequel to the original game.
I also learned a few things during my second playthrough. Thanks to New Game+ and some missing trophies I learned that I hadn’t been using wall and ceiling takedowns in my first playthrough (just perched takedowns), I actually became quite fond of these and ceiling takedowns became my go to (as long as there was a ceiling to crawl on).
I also didn’t use my favorite venom (electric) skill until my New Game+ playthrough. In my first run I loved using Venom Smash (where you jump high up into the air and KRAKADOOM down with a ground pound of explosive electricity). When I discovered the Mega Venom Blast, where you just blast electricity in a 360-degree wave all around you taking out any enemy in the vicinity, this became my new favorite. Even though I had to fill the entire venom meter to use this just once, I found myself saving that venom in big fights.
I really loved this game. The original Marvel’s Spider-Man was definitely one of my favorite games ever. I can swing through New York in Spider-Man games all day, especially when they feel and look this beautiful!
In the first game there was a balcony skipping technique that Spider-Man used while running up a building with a set of balconies. I remember hearing an interview with someone talking about how they had to design that animation and figure out how to make it look cool, and now it’s all I think about whenever I do this in both the first game and this one. It does look excellent and super cool though.
Something else that I noticed in the first game and this game is how Spider-Man doesn’t kill bad guys (and girls). Yes, there are evil hench-women working for the Tinkerer that you must fight. Spider-Man is all for equality because whether you’re a man or a woman, if you’re a baddie he’ll take you down (but he won’t kill you).
Back to my original point of not killing bad guys. I’m sure the design team had to work extra hard to make sure that every bad guy who’s launched off of a building ends up getting webbed to something, instead of falling to their death.
I’ve heard a lot about how Batman doesn’t kill bad guys, but in all of those Arkham games he goes hard on the henchmen. Whether he wants to or not I’m sure some of those guys died from Batman’s super tough blows to the head (either during battle or later on due to medical complications). Spider-Man truly doesn’t kill bad guys and this game proves it.
One thing that I’m super stoked for is the next game. This game was basically made to test out the limits of the PS5 and to get everyone ready for what we’ve been waiting for since Miles was playable in that one scene in the first game, Marvel’s Spider-Men: The Game.
Peter Parker and Miles Morales working together in one game? That would be insane. Imagine it as a Co-op experience or even as a game where you can switch between the two during missions. Whatever the next game is I’m super excited to play it and any other Spider-Man game coming from Insomniac in the future.
This scene at the end totally set us up for it.
I wanted to include some more of the shots I took while playing this game that I wasn’t able to use in the article above:
WARNING! Some of these shots may contain Spoilers so if you haven’t finished Spider-Man: Miles Morales maybe don’t scroll through and come back once you’ve finished the game.