On my daily (ok, hourly) Twitter scrolling session a few weeks ago, I came across an ad for the new Spider-Man game. As much as I knew I wanted to play it after loving Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018), I told myself to wait until I’m lucky enough to own a PS5. That thought soon went out of the window when I saw… Spider-cat. Two minutes later, I’m clicking ‘add to basket’ and wondering where it all went wrong. I’m a simple girl with simple tastes and a cat wearing a mask swinging through New York in a backpack is one of them. The game I’m talking about is of course, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, an action-adventure game by Insomniac Games. Following on after the events of the first game, we now follow the story of Miles Morales who is getting to grips with his new abilities. For those worrying that the sequel will be too alike its predecessor, do not worry. Not only are there new gameplay mechanics introduced, such as Miles’ Venom Ability (never gets any less fun), the story feels a lot more personal and vibrant than the first.
The game begins with Miles being left to care for Harlem in Peter’s absence as well as helping his mother’s campaign for City Council. Fun little swings around the city soon come to an end when a gang war erupts between Roxxon Energy Corporation and a high-tech criminal gang known as the Underground. Miles finds himself stuck between these two as they destroy New York and it is up to him to protect his people whilst also working out who these people are. Something I would have just loved to have dealt with as a teenager… not.
When I wasn’t sticking enemies to buildings and stopping every two minutes to use Photomode, I was falling in love with the game’s rich variety of characters and even more so, how diverse they were. The entire main cast consists of POC with of course Miles himself being the son of an African-American dad and a Puerto Rican mother. I loved seeing Miles’ culture and background shine in this game, especially during phone calls with his mother, Rio when they joked back and forth in Spanish. Not only that but I have to take a second to talk about Hailey – a deaf street-artist who communicates solely using ASL (and is also portrayed by a deaf Voice Actor.) She felt like an integral part of the game despite being a secondary character and it fills me with hope to see disabilities feature more in popular games.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to swing from a web and kick somebody off a skyscraper, then wonder no more because this game is as fun as the first. Whether you like to play stealthily or all guns/webs blazing, both techniques offer various ways of doing so. As well as holograms who fight alongside you and traps that cause wide areas of damage, there are multiple ways to take down the hordes of enemies you face. Combos are still your friend in this game, especially as they supply Miles with more Venom power which can cause devastating effects and can make a big difference when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed.
One thing I didn’t like about the previous instalment was the side quests. Although fun at first, I could only summon so much enthusiasm about constantly rescuing people from car boots. However, in this game Miles’ best friend, Ganke creates the Friendly Spider-man phone app which alerts you to any side quests and random events going on. And luckily, they are much more diverse and fun this time. It is also through a side quest that you get to interact and eventually travel with, Spider-cat.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a definite step-up from the previous game – it is more diverse, emotionally charged and with a lot more to do despite it being a lot shorter. The gameplay felt smooth and swinging through New York felt even more exhilarating than before. I loved the game’s emphasis on home and family as well as reminding us that Miles is just a teenager who has extraordinary abilities and has to juggle both sides of his identity. Overall, a definite step in the right direction in this franchise and I’m excited to see what comes next.