Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales a completely new experience in a familiar setting

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Marvel/PlayStation

If you played Marvel’s Spider-Man, the 2018 game that I really loved, you should know that there’s not much new here. 

This makes sense, as the sequel from Insomniac Games is set in the same New York City, uses a similar mission and collectible design, and has the same combat mechanics. 

But we’ve got a different story with a different Spider-Man. Here, Miles Morales is given responsibility for protecting New York while Peter Parker goes overseas to work as a photojournalist. 

Miles has his own story, his own subset of super powers, his own way of moving, and his own world within this familiar New York City. And because we’re in Miles’s world, this game feels different.

He can become invisible and he’s got bioelectric powers, which adds some nuance to how he fights (the finishing move animations in particular are incredible). 

Small details set this game apart

This game isn’t quite as expansive, in terms of story or side missions, as the 2018 game featuring Peter Parker as the Webslinger, but it’s just as much fun to swing through the city. 

If you played that first game, you might want to play the expansion, The City That Never Sleeps, which introduces Miles as a character. 

But you don’t need to have played as Peter if you just want to step into Miles’s shoes. Because there are a bunch of small detail things that set this game apart. 

There’s mural art all over the city, including one for Black Lives Matter. Miles communicates with the artist using ESL, and he and his mother slip between English and Spanish the way bi- and trilingual families do. 

There’s a respect between the characters—even between the enemies—that is often missing from games that are so reliant on conflict and combat. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a humanistic video game, and it’s exactly the kind of game we need right now. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is available now for PS4 and PS5. If you pick it up on PS4, you can move to PS5 when you’re ready, and you can take your save file with you. Rated teen.

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