After a few pretty nasty glitches, I finally got around to finishing Spider-Man : Miles Morales. Glitches aside, I was pretty darn impressed with it. It was unique enough to be a different entity from the 2018 game, but shared enough similarities to be familiar and nostalgic. Is it too early to be nostalgic about a game from 2 years ago? Probably, especially considering how often I play it. Maybe nostalgic is the wrong term, but it puts out the same vibe and feelings.
For the sake of Martin Li, let’s start on the negatives. Man, I sure am funny. I’m talking about the glitches I experienced. For starters, there was the trashcan glitch. I didn’t personally experience this glitch, but I wouldn’t have been too angry if I did. It seemed mostly harmless. For those of you who haunted heard, it was a glitch which saw Spider-Man turn into objects that he touched. So he could turn into a trashcan, a bench or a brick, amongst other things. Very amusing. This was patched out when I started MM.
The glitches I experienced where pretty nasty and nearly made me cry. Literally. I know that sounds dramatic, but you will come to understand, I’m sure. I was just chilling out and doing some of the FNSM App Activities (I’ll explain them later) when it happened. The game froze. No big deal, these things happen from time to time. It was what happened next that freaked me out. My PS5 shut down and became completely unresponsive. I could not get it to power back on. Gulp. I waited a while, plugged it back in and thankfully, it booted back up. I couldn’t find anything on the internet about it, so I decided to brave Miles Morales again.
I’d lost a little bit of progress, so I got back to work on the FNSM activities. This time my controller kept dropping out. It was still on, but the console wouldn’t respond. I had to turn it off (by holding it’s power button down for 15 seconds each time) and trying again. It would work for a minute or so and then drop out again. After 4 or 5 times, I decided to just quit and call it a day with MM. That’s when the next big drama happened. The console stopped responding again. The lights were on, but the TV screen was black. I had to force shutdown.
After some more online research, I found that other people were experiencing the same issues and doing the same quests that I was doing. Nobody had an answer though (that I could see), so I foolishly booted it up to see if I could get to the bottom of the mystery. And, I did just that.
It turns out, that whenever I completed an activity, it wasn’t actually ending. Considering this is a semi linear game, you can only have one quest active at a time. Because of this glitch, I would have 3 or 4 active at one time, which is what lead to the crash. Or so I am assuming, I’m no expert. To solve the problem, after each quest I had to manually quit it. I would still get all my experience and the quest still finished. It didn’t interfere with the trophies either. As far as I am aware, this issue has not been patched yet. So, if you have the same problem, you know how to get around it. I made a post on reddit about it and got 1 upvote. When you help someone, you help everyone.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s dive into the game. In short, it is incredible. I was filled with the same childlike joy and giddiness the first time I got to swing through New York as Spider-Man that I felt in the 2018 game. I was excited and (glitches aside) the game did not disappoint. Some spoilers will lie ahead.
In the opening mission, you are assisting the OG Spidey (and the police) in escorting some prisoners back to the raft. One of the prisoners is none other than Rhino! After a silly error, Miles frees Rhino and some of the other prisoners. I was worried that the story was going to head down the road of ‘rookie hero makes mistakes, needs to right the world and make everyone trust him again’. Fortunately, they didn’t. After Rhino took out Peter, Miles was left alone to defeat Rhino and right his wrong. He succeeded, in thanks to his new ‘Venom’ Powers. Not that Venom. It’s kind of like some form of electric powers that Morales has for some reason.
After this, Peter tells Miles that he is going to Symkaria on a working holiday and Miles will be the only Spider-Man in the city for a couple weeks. With New York left in his hands, Morales sets out to keep the city safe and learn about his new powers.
The gameplay is fairly similar to the 2018 title, just with Venom powers and a new skill tree. Miles also learns a ‘Camouflage’ skill, rendering him invisible for a short period of time. This opens up an interesting and new dynamic to stealth missions and enemy bases.
In the open world of New York City, there is still a decent amount of things to do and collectibles to…collect. An element I really liked was the sound samples and postcards. Instead of just going to a location on the map and grabbing a backpack or snapping a photo, you are given a riddle to solve. It just makes you think a little bit more on your way to the collectibles. I really enjoyed it.
I didn’t enjoy the training missions that were left behind for you by Peter. They just felt needlessly difficult and I did not have fun at all. For me, they didn’t feel fair. I have finished them all with a ‘Spectacular’ rating and I do not have the energy or patience to try and get an ‘Ultimate” score on them. I came close a couple of times, but it’s not worth it. Unfortunately, you have to do these to unlock certain skills. They are certainly doable, just annoying and frustrating.
The side missions and street crimes (which seem to endlessly spawn) are delivered to you through the Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man App, or the FNSM App. It is an app that was created by Miles’ pal, Ganke. Residents of New York can put in a request for help from Spider-Man. I really liked the idea of the app, it felt way more natural than swinging through Harlem and waiting for enough street crimes to appear to check off the box.
Before I get into the story, I want to talk about the suits. Wow. They sure look good. I love the idea of Spider-Man wearing streetwear. It’s so cool to fight crime in hoodies and headphones. I loved them. The 2020 Miles Morales outfit is my favourite, but the Cat costume is a close second. There is also a black and gold combo which reminded me of the late, great Kobe Bryant. A nice purple and green one, shout out to the Hardy Boys (it was actually in reference to the Prowler, but whatever). All the street costumes were ace. I was rarely in a proper Spider-Man costume.
Whilst we are on the topic of suits, I should probably talk about the gadgets and mods before I move on. You have significantly less gadgets, but I find I actually use these ones. You can use the remote mine to take out a group of enemies whilst remaining hidden. The gravity well literally drags a group of enemies into one spot, which sets them up nicely for a remote mine or a Venom Smash. Then there is the holo-drone, which spawns a hologram to help fight your enemies. Obviously, on top of that, you have the usual web shooters. I haven’t played around with the mods much, but they just seem to be various buffs for your suit. Reduced melee damage or harder to detect in stealth etc etc.
Ok, on to the story! It’s pretty good. I won’t spoil the whole thing, but Miles’ comes to know his own villains and learns to overcome them. Along the way he earns the respect of New York, especially Harlem. He learns about loss and sacrifice, but fails miserably at keeping his identity a secret. I wonder if that will come into play in the next game. The next game which is set up for again with another post credits scene, also featuring Harry Osborne. This time it also included Dr. Connors. Awesome. I can’t wait! Fortunately, I have New Game plus to keep me busy and a few more trophies to mop up on my way to the platinum.
All in all, it was a pretty great game and a good time. I really like how it is a smallish game as well. I love big open worlds, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to smash out a game in a day or two. I can very much recommend Miles Morales, just be mindful to watch out for the glitch I mentioned!