My Spidey Senses Are Tingling
Unlike most other masked vigilantes, the web-slinging wall-crawler was created to be the epitome of a friendly neighborhood superhero. A local champion who will defend his community to the very end. Both Peter Parker and Miles Morales wear that badge proudly. Their problems might be smaller in scope than other world saviors, but real nonetheless. Their struggle with antagonistic forces and their own life events are often beyond their control – but yet they persevere, defying all odds.
This is the coming-of-age story of Miles Morales. When Peter Parker leaves for Europe with Mary Jane, the task to protect New York and especially Harlem falls on the shoulders of ‘the other Spider-Man’ Miles. Would he be able to move out of the shadow of the OG Spider-Man and save the city from forces which want to tear it apart? Would he be able to protect his family and friends? It’s time to take a leap of faith with me and find out.
Roxxon: Zero, Spider-Man: I Lost Count
Iterations have been working for Sony. Sequels which do not shake the tree much – but instead improve on every little aspect from presentation, and gameplay, to graphics and audio. An evolution, rather than a revolution. It worked wonderfully with Ragnarok and Forbidden West. And it does with Miles Morales too. With added movement animations that give him his own style, to his new Venom powers which give combat a new spin, a generous dollop of Christmas snow over the city, and flashy new enemies, evolves the game considerably from its immediate predecessor. It might be smaller in length, clocking in at under 8 hours to complete the main campaign, but the story packs a mighty punch.
The story never misses a beat – and there is no moment to stand and breathe, as it hurtles at breakneck speed. It starts off with a spectacular fight against Rhino, but moves on fast to a break-in at the Roxxon Plaza, where we are introduced to the Underground. A group which is wanting to stop Roxxon, the atypical evil corporation (with an added army to boot) disguises itself as the benevolent free energy supplier. The Underground is after Nuform, Roxxon’s unstable experimental power source. Led by their mysterious and charismatic leader, the Tinkerer. And in the mix, is a masked mercenary called the Prowler, whose intentions are kept unknown. I know this game was released some time back, but I won’t be spoiling the story for you by telling you their identities. With the help of his friend and confidant, Ganke, who creates the citizen help app, Miles keeps trying to keep the city dwellers, and his family – aspirant politician and mom Rio, uncle Aaron and estranged friend Phin, safe. And with a war brewing between the Underground and Roxxon, Miles must learn the costs that come with being a hero, and realize that there are sacrifices that he might not be willing to make.
With Great Power, Comes Greater Framerates
Insomniac launched the PS4/PS5 version back in 2020. The PC port has landed on our laps two years later, thanks to an incredible collaboration with Sony’s most strategic acquisition, Nixxes. And boy did the experience help! The game has launched with almost no bugs or glitches thanks to their last stab at porting with the OG Spider-Man. It boasts of ray-traced reflections, shadows, unlocked framerate, ultrawide display support, NVIDIA DLSS and Reflex, and DualSense controller support (via cable) and I am saving the best for the last – Steam Deck verified. A smooth 60 fps on 1440p at a mix of High/Ultra settings on my trusty 3070, and a consistent 30 fps on the Steam Deck – the game runs like a dream.
Snowy Harlem in winter looks gorgeous, and the colors just pop off the screen (especially the purple!). The crackling bio-electricity of his Venom Blast, or his Daft Punk-esque LED helmet of the 2020 suit – every tiny detail adds to the visual spectacle of this game!
But you must have heard all of this already. You are here because this is the PC review! And that’s incomplete if I don’t mention the mods that have punched their way through into my playtime with this game. You get 19 suits in the base game, and you still aren’t satisfied? Bam! Add some more suits like the Leap Of Faith suit from Into The Spider-Verse movie. Do you want to soar higher and faster, and swing like a maniac? Here’s Buffed Traversal Venom Jump. Tired of looking at fake billboards of fictional companies? Here’s Realistic NYC to liven things up with real Gucci ads. Throw in a slew of new movement hijinks from the movie with Faithful Animations into the mix. Now you have got something that wasn’t even possible before! Welcome to PCMR.
Calling It Quits Now, Baby I’m A Wreck
Spider-Man (2018) was my first game on the PS4, and I loved every moment of it. Even though it was my first time using a controller, the swinging and combat controls were intuitive enough to make me believe that was the best way to play the game. This time around with Miles Morales, I went for the keyboard-mouse combo, to check out if it was good enough. With closely placed keys like Space, Shift, C and X you can swing, sprint, point-zip and perch-dive to your heart’s content! I would often zone out while shimmying across New York, so engrossed in the fluid movement, that I would miss map markers and objectives!
So where is the chink in the proverbial armor? I think the only one that I can point out is the price. At INR 3,299 for its short campaign, it does not hold up along with Sony’s other PC releases this year – mainly, the seminal God Of War (2018), or the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, which is two games for the price of one. Maybe it would have been a better idea to bundle Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered with this game, and price it at a healthy $60 or $70 USD? Considering the fact that two years have already passed since its original release on the PS4/PS5? But that’s a nitpick I am willing to ignore.
Why Do You Keep Fighting?
Miles Morales is an intense streamlined experience, that provides some much-needed perspective on the ongoing story of the Spider-Man saga. With the sequel coming up soon, where an epic team-up of the spider-men is teased, this part of the story becomes quintessential to understanding where Miles comes from, and how he has grown. With powers and a personality that set him apart from Peter Parker, Miles Morales uplifts himself from the misnomer that he is just the other Spider-Man. This is a fresh take, which makes him equally important to the story that Insomniac wants to passionately tell. Miles, from the game, might sometimes make a misstep owing to the fact that he is an amateur, but the game does not. Insomniac ain’t new to this, and the mastery with which they wield this game shows that they are in the big leagues now.
The visual fidelity, gameplay improvement and optimization that Miles Morales for PC brings to the table, make it worth the price for gamers who want to see the best of what Insomniac has to offer! If you haven’t played it yet, you are doing yourself a disservice.
FINAL RATING: ESSENTIAL