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‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ review: Swing through fast-paced play with punchy new powers

Screenshot from ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ video game   | Photo Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

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One of the most memorable hallmarks in recent gaming history was 2018’s Spider-Man, a refreshing PlayStation exclusive with an older Spider-man and an addictive rendition of the web-swinging mechanics. The game lets you traverse a wonderful rendition of New York. After playing the much awaited follow-up, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I cannot go back and play the 2018 Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Developer: Insomniac Games
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Price: ₹3,999 on PlayStation 4; Coming soon on PlayStation 5

Peter Parker picked a pitiful point to pause and plan a vacation, ultimately leaving Miles Morales — Spider-Man in training — taking over the responsibility of keeping New York City safe. Miles is an African-American-Latino hailing fromHarlem; he finds he has the ability to channel bio-electricity and even go invisible — yet with these powers, things seem to always get worse, the more fires he tries to put out. Witnessing a new gang, led by a mysterious new villain, emerging on the streets, this holiday season in New York is about to heat up.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is by no means as long as Spider-Man, but it is more focussed and better-paced. It fixes a lot of its predecessor’s problems and adds a lot of new things into the mix making a more wholesome game. It is short for a full game, about 10 hours to finish the campaign, but there is so much to do that it will take you easily 20-plus hours to finish all the sub-missions.

Screenshot from ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ video game, featuring the Rhino

Screenshot from ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ video game, featuring the Rhino   | Photo Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

‘Cinematic’ gameplay

The bio-electric Venom powers and camouflage adds a lot of depth to the already robust fighting system. Miles has a bop to him, as you string together Venom hits and normal attacks to keep enemies juggling in the air, adding more fluidity to the combo chains. The camera just somehow seems to flow along, making every move look cinematic. With great speed comes vulnerability too, Miles is quite fragile so you need to use that agility to dodge enemies.

Screenshot from ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ video game featuring Venom bio-electric powers

Screenshot from ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ video game featuring Venom bio-electric powers   | Photo Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Traversal — the ability to navigate within the city via Web Shooters — still retains the fluidity and addictiveness of the original, so much so I never felt the need to actually use the fast-travel system. The moment you start swinging, a hip-hop remix of the original traversal theme starts and before you know it, you are on the other side of the map, with some time left to complete a few crime missions or requests from the in-game Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man app. Swinging through the city is almost therapeutic, pulling off tricks and swooshing very close above cars.

While Peter Parker may have had a longer history, Miles has his share of unique suits to unlock though none are more eye-catching than the Into The Spider-Verse suit, complete with half-tone patterns, a lower hand drawn frame rate to it and appropriate comic POW special effects. This is the closest we’ll get to a Spider-Verse game, especially if you loved the unique animated movie that frankly is one of the best Spider-Man movies out there.

Screenshot from ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ video game

Screenshot from ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ video game   | Photo Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

No, we did not have a PlayStation 5 for Spider-Man: Miles Morales, though, the game looked incredible and worked flawlessly on a PS4 Pro. The graphics were mostly the same with a few improvements, all of them welcome, except for Parker’s new popstar-like face, where the original felt more weary yet hopeful. The game did push the PS4 Pro to its limit so much so, the console fans were loud.

The only negative of Miles Morales would be the full price for a game that is only a slightly bigger than an expansion. Though it features a new hero and new moves, it could have been a bit less expensive. However , this is a fantastic game to close out an otherwise bleak year, starring a hero that inspires youth and hope in gamers.

The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 6:40:47 PM |

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