With the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales onto PC, this makes five Sony games to make their way here, confirming their commitment to the platform. This also gives us a game made for PlayStation 5 on PC, and it comes only two years after its original release. Miles Morales is such an interesting character, it’s so awesome to see him take center stage here, and the game as a whole makes for such a great fit on PC. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales renews focus on the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man” with a new flavor and style that makes it another must-play from the people at Insomniac.
If you’re just jumping into this without having played Marvel’s Spider-Man, then there’s a nice ‘Previously On..’ recap video that catches you up on all the events. If you intend to play that one at some point, then you should definitely go and do that first – like right now. The game picks up one year after the events of the first game, and Miles Morales has been under the tutelage of Peter Parker, learning how to be a Spider-Man. After this relatively short time, Peter Parker decides to take an actual vacation (albeit a working one) with Mary-Jane, far away from the New York City limits. As soon as Peter leaves, Miles is thrust into near-impossible situations that test him personally and professionally. Set around Christmas in Harlem, New York City looks different, blanketed in snow with a totally different mood. The first time you’re given control, that first swing feels as exhilarating for you as it is for Miles. Even if you’ve just come off the last game, there’s an inherent joy of learning along with Miles Morales. This game even ranked very high in my Top 10 Games of 2020 list, and for good reason, it’s just soars to the high highs and stays there.
While Marvel’s Spider-Man was great, you’ve seen these characters both hero and villain so many times before over the decades. Being introduced to these new characters really liven things up. From the awful CEO at the Roxxon Corporation and his police-like force. It’s a clash of the neon when The Underground show up, led by The Tinkerer for a real challenge. This is Miles as Spider-Man’s first adversary that is all his own, and who he has to face down. He doesn’t have to face them alone though, as he has his “guy in a chair” with Ganke, who builds apps and provides support to Miles from the comfort of home. Then you’ve got Miles’ mom, Rio whom he loves and wants to protect, yet puts in danger due to his dual identity. There’s a strong focus on friendship and family, like the thematically Spider-Man is known for, but feels closer to home here.
The structure of this game is very similar in nature to the prior game, as Miles has to balance his work/life balance. Thankfully he’s on a break from school, but he still has to carefully manage personal relationships with the time he needs to dedicate to being Spider-Man in (the other) Spider-Man’s absence with this new threat. There’s a bevy of main missions that will take you about eight hours to see the credits, but there’s also a good amount of side missions to take on and learn more about Miles’ life and history along the way.
The aforementioned app that Ganke designs for Spider-Man allows him to fight specific crimes and help citizens that request it. This also serves as a great way to learn how to stop all the dynamic crime events that occur around the city. Partaking in these will reward you with tokens that can be used for unlocking an upgrade or that new suit you’ve been looking forward to. Citizen requests are side missions that aren’t as simple as they seem, and have layers to them that feel fully fleshed out, and in some cases are better than the main missions at times. It’s just a fun way to engage with all the systems and unlock even cooler rewards you don’t come to expect.
Miles Morales is a more complex character than Peter Parker, and so is the Spider-Man that he is. Miles was bit by a different kind of spider, one that imbued him with bio-electric powers that continue to manifest as time goes on. The first of which, makes for a powerful punch with the charged venom abilities. These utilize the bio-electricity to shock and stun enemies in combat. It’s also a great puzzle solving tool, as you’ll often need that electricity to power generators. Then you have the camouflage that completely hides Miles within his surroundings. This makes stealth more viable than in the last game, and almost feels overpowered even without any upgrades put into it. All told, it’s a great change-up to the formula of what we know about Spider-Man up until this point.
As you complete missions, swing around the city, find collectibles, and just about anything else, you’ll earn experience for it. That experience will in-turn result in levels. These levels will increase Miles’ base health, swing speed, and other aspects. Achieving new levels will unlock new suits, suit mods, and areas of the skill tree to further his abilities. The skill tree is a bit smaller, less linear, and has far more interesting choices that I actually had to pause and think about before selecting.
Combat once again is just so sublime, it evokes that Batman Arkham style of free-flow combat, but somehow even more fluid than that. There’s no clumsiness to Miles having to fight, he feels well-trained and actually more acrobatic than Peter. There’s a sameness to the enemy types, as you’ll be fighting a lot of either Roxxon or The Underground, but each present their own challenges. What you have to do about them comes naturally, so you’ll have all the tools at your disposal in order to dispatch them with ease. There was never a moment where I dreaded combat, instead I always looked forward to it because of how fun it is.
While not as many, there’s a healthy amount of collectibles to pick-up in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. You’ll mix music with your uncle, chase down memories of your dad, take down hideouts, reclaim caches, or face Peter Parker’s quip-heavy holo-training. It’s remarkable how none of these activities while repetitive, feel rote or tired, I was eager to do all of it each and every time.
There’s a lot of similarities with this and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered (PC), but the fact that the game is set during Christmas, gives us an absolute spectacle. From the snow to the particle effects, it’s a stunning game that looks lifelike at times. Enable the Ray Tracing shadows and lighting, and you’ve got one of the best looking games on PC, bar-none. I enabled every Ray Tracing setting, and set everything I could to the max to see how it’d perform. Jumping into the open-world, the game will at minimum run at 60fps, but swing up to 120fps when indoors. It’s a very performant game, but also very demanding at times, so you may have to make compromises. These framerates are only achievable at 1440p, if I were trying to run this game at 4K, I’d see things slow to a crawl assuredly. Our friends at Digital Foundry are likely going to have something in-depth, but there’s many ways to customize the game to run just the way you like.
My PC Specs:
– Microsoft Windows 11 Pro
– Intel Core i9 9900K @ 5Ghz (Turbo)
– Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
– Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory
– EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12GB GDDR6X FTW3 ULTRA
– Seagate FireCuda SSD (500GB)
– Seagate BarraCuda SSD (1TB + 2TB)
– OWC Aura P12 NVMe SSD (2TB)
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is thankfully not an origin story, as that was handled expertly in the previous game. So what we get here is a fun and exciting game that just jumps right in without the painfully slow ramp-up that other games fall victim to. Once again Insomniac offers a refreshing take on the open-world game that’s never dull to engage with any and all of its systems. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a massive achievement, showing that lightning can strike twice.
A Steam code was provided in advance by the publisher for review purposes