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Letters from the Front

( Played on PS5.)

Miles Morales maybe finding his calling in becoming a successor to Peter Parker, but the studio behind 2018’s Spiderman has hit their stride as it hopefully converts this stand alone game into a set of games that will follow this iconic hero. Spiderman: Miles Morales is a flashy debut for Miles, telling an engaging story while fixing some things from the main game. It maybe smaller, but, everything is just as essential as it was in the main game two years ago.

While it can be played on the Playstation 4, Miles Morales is Insomniac’s debut on the new Playstation 5 and showcasing their power on this new piece of hardware. Miles Morales takes advantage of the brand new system to its full potential like improved lighting and particle effects to make New York City come to life in ways that only a new piece of hardware can do.

Miles Morales follows in the same footstep as the original and other great spidey stories by making sure the events of life underneath the mask come head-to-head with the trials and tribulations of the famous superhero. And while the gameplay is very similar to the original, the story takes us back to Miles’ hometown of Harlem, New York where his family and community needs him the most. Where Peter Parker had his connections to the city, Miles’ connection to the city is as deep as a root goes: his mother’s political career, his very Dominican-esque upbringing, his connections to his uncle and his best friend knowing his alter-ego, his deep connection to the historic neighborhood of Harlem. His backstory is fleshed out by little clues, audio diaries, and a lot more that makes you invested in a character and where that character goes. It’s nice to see Insomanic crafting a character that you can invest in. It’s a stirring spidey tale that continues to leave me with wanting more.

In terms of gameplay, slipping back into the webslingers’ boots was just as comfortable as it was quite exciting. Miles controls largely the same as Peter when it comes to the basics but unlike Peter, Insomniac has done a good job of adding depth to Miles’ movement and fighting skills to allow him to stand out as his own character instead of feeling like a reskin of Peter Parker. When it comes to combat, Miles’ has a set of new tricks up his sleeve that makes him stand out from Peter Parker. There’s Miles’ bioelectricity, which is largely executed with L1 + a combo of the face buttons. After charging a meter in combat, Miles can unleash paralyzing bursts of electricity that packs quite a punch. Some of these Venom attacks (no relation to the anti-hero) focus on one foe, while others allow for crowd control, and yet more can help get an air combo going while pushing enemies away. Mixing them in with Miles’ basics attacks adds a nice visual touch that looks epic.

Another aspect that makes Miles his own man is his cloaking ability, which allows him to become invisible for short amount of time. It can be used as a stealth mechanic, a mechanic to confuse enemies, or to slip away when things get a little too hectic. Finding ways to mix all these mechanics up in what is essentially a nine-hour campaign is nice and keeps things from not getting stale.

When it comes to visual fidelity, Spiderman: Miles Morales is nice to look at. Spiderman: Miles Morales is set in the same New York as in the original game, just swap summer to the Holiday season and there you have it. New York City during the holiday season is quite nice, with a lot of things that make New York pop during the Holiday season being in the game. Miles Morales captures that magic. The PS5’s ray tracing ability truly comes into play when you walk around the streets of Harlem or when you’re in the skies above New York as Spiderman where his reflection is bounced off windows or his reflection can be seen while web-swinging through the iconic city. The native 4K resolution and HDR alongside ray-tracing makes the city pop in ways that the PS4 couldn’t even do. Sunlight cutting through the clouds, snow on the ground, snowflakes all around you, makes you say “Wow!” , Spiderman: Miles Morales is a fantastic start to this generation when it comes to visual fidelity.

Spiderman: Miles Morales maybe less packed than the original when it comes to content, but it’s so far standing out as an essential story for Spiderman fans and for Miles Morales himself. It’s a wonderful introduction to the iconic characters, it’s so far a worthy followup. Stay tuned for my review.

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