Released two years ago on PS4, Marvel’s Spider-Man had wowed its audience, giving the famous Weaver what it was due. A real field of expression, beautiful what is more. Proven gameplay and alluring, although totally pumped up to Rocksteady and its Batman Arkham saga .
And, finally, total freedom of action, despite a certain lack of originality on the whole. Two years later, Insomniac Games is trying to do it again, on a new area, the long awaited one of the Playstation 5 and with a new iteration of the character. With the same success?
Spider-Man Miles Morales Review
Might as well be honest with you from these first lines: the announcement of another Spider-Man, two years after the one laid by Insomniac , had me particularly hyped … before this hype came down as quickly as it had risen in my mind, following the communication from Sony on this new episode. What? Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales would be nothing but a DLC and not the long-awaited second episode? A stand alone of a few hours, no more? With missions substantially identical to those that Peter Parker had offered us several months earlier?
So there was a bit of awe as we embarked on what was on paper a short experiment. And, obviously, a great publicity for the PS5, given the timing of the product’s release and, again, the very aggressive communication from the various parties on this subject. But once the game starts … the first impression is that of a slap. As brutal as it is progressive. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is beautiful, very, very beautiful. At the time, the slap administered by the original album had already been substantial. There, Insomniac has taken another step forward in this area.
A hell of a graphic slap
Obviously, the PS5 architecture has a lot to do with it. And we can say without taking too many risks that we will see even more beautiful on the new generation console from Sony in the months to come. Nonetheless, as the other would say, the whole has a damn good mouth. The tone is also set from the first seconds, with a Miles who briefly introduces us to the New York metro (the opportunity also to set the tone, this time, for haptic feedback, but we will come back to that) and his new district of Harlem.
The reflections, on the ground, as on the highest elements, the details and their quality, of the clothes of Miles but also of the people crossed here and there, the facial expression of the characters as well as their lip synchronization touch to perfection. The movement of the hair, which could have been criticized in the previous episode, has been reworked, refined. Already very striking in Fidelity mode, namely in 4K 30 FPS and with Ray Tracing, Miles Morales takes all his essence in Performance mode, namely in 4K 60 fps, offering us a quality of fluidity and absolutely breathtaking rendering.
Shorter cutscenes, more immersive staging
The new Spider-Man looks good, it’s a fact. And the staging of his adventures is just as important. I’m not here to spoil the story for you, but know, as Sony and Insomniac had announced upstream, that Miles Morales wants to be a direct sequel to the events seen in Marvel’s Spider-Man. Exactly one year later. The neighborhood in which Miles lives finds itself the scene of a fight between an energy society with dubious means and motivations (Roxxon) and an army of opposition to criminal acts (the Underground).
And in the middle of all that, our new Tisseur, a little left to himself by the force of circumstances and the momentary absence of Peter Parker (always doubled by our national Donald Reignoux), in the grip of an identity crisis (am- I legitimate to be the new Spider-Man?), torn by his desire to honor the memory of his father, a police officer killed in the performance of these duties during the first episode and his desire to protect his mother, Rio Morales, engaged in an election campaign in his neighborhood.
The cutscenes garnishing this new adventure are of very high quality and sometimes lead to quite new in-game sequences – we think here of the Thanksgiving meal, during which Miles must restore power to his neighborhood, without being seen by his relatives – unfortunately a little too rare for our taste. But these famous introductory sequences have gained in lightness, two years after an opus in which they were largely singled out for their length. The same goes for the mini-phases of exploration, with objects to see or documents to read: in Marvel’s Spider-Man, nothing should be missed, otherwise you will not be able to move forward. The whole is much less restrictive now.
Gameplay that does not move (almost), novelties that make sense
Action is obviously at the heart of Miles Moralesand this is where the element of surprise is intended to be shorter than it was two years ago. Because … two years later, almost nothing has changed. It is above all a feeling of happiness and “reunion” which assails the player when it comes to spinning with our new hero above the streets and skyscrapers of Manhattan, because the gameplay is more or less the same. We weave our web wherever we want, hang on where we want / can and we travel the city, all thanks to a graphic and technical engine that ensures the job with class on the ground (what a rendering, especially that of snow) as in the air (ah the reflections in the windows of the towers). Miles’ gameplay is the same as Peter’s several months earlier, and the potatoes given to villains encountered along the way are just as identical. We send a villain in the air, we release him, we take him back with his web … we silently eliminate enemies by being suspended and hanging them with a web in the air. Finally, the finish-moves are always in the game and can be counted on the fingers of one hand, no more.
In short, no surprise. Well, very little. Because it would be incorrect to say that Miles’ gameplay is a complete copy and paste of that of Peter. Harlem atmosphere obliges, the adventures of our young Afro-American are woven on a background of hip-hop, the opportunity for us to slip here that the soundtrack of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is exceptional, on condition of love the genre, obviously. But since our new Spider wants to be more “young” than Peter Parker can already be, the latter has a gesture all his own, a sway of his own and specific figures in the air, which bring an undeniable touch. of fun.
At least at first, because in the long run, you get used to it and the famous surprise effect no longer plays a role. No, where Miles really differs from Peter is in the use of his powers. While the two men were both bitten by a spider, the skills of Miles’ skill vary significantly from Peter’s. Miles can thus use bio-electricity, which allows him to store energy and expel it in several forms: by smashing the ground, by densifying the power of his fists, by increasing the range of a rush … but our young superhero apprentice can also disappear and play invisible men for a few seconds.
A substantial lifespan but a lack of charisma all the same
Obviously, these new powers are all pretexts for the replayability of the title, which, in these phases of action, is there, for once, a copy and paste of what Marvel’s Spider-Man proposed two years earlier. The way to finish combos or to place them, or even quite simply to respond to a wave of enemies has therefore changed, as has the way of approaching infiltration missions, which were struggling to convince in the basic opus. There, thanks to the momentary camouflage, Miles Moralesbrings a little more binder and depth to these game sequences, especially since they are not cheated so far: enemies will walk around with heat sensors to be able to unmask you in the dark. Does that remind you of anything? Well yes. So, no need to quote it here suddenly. But it was still important to stress it. We will end this part by addressing the artificial intelligence of the enemies that we meet. If we appreciate the aggressiveness of the villains of both camps, their adversity is ultimately due to their gear and weaponry, more than their IQ, strongly undermined when we play the infiltration card. .
Despite this continuing trend of déjà vu, playing Miles Morales is sheer fun. As much as we were seduced by the first part or we discover the universe of Spider-Man through this extension. Because, more than a sequel, it is indeed an extension of the universe seen several months ago that Insomniac offers us. An extension that will not exceed ten hours in its guideline (namely just the basic story) but to which will be added several side missions, such as those related to the application “the little friendly Spider of the Neighborhood” (again, does that remind you of anything?) or those related to enemies (Roxxon, the Underground) or characters encountered along the way. As we do not change a winning recipe,Miles Morales the same progression system as Marvel’s Spider-Man: a three-part skill tree (combat, infiltration …) for the character, unlockable outfits – including Miles’ famous outfit in Spider-Man: New Generation and which is at least worth playing even once – and which invite the player to a certain replayability, some outfits not being unlockable otherwise.
And to play again at Miles Morales , to dive back into the spans of a universe more underground than the first, more rhythmic too, is done with happiness, so much the story, certainly quickly anticipated, is endearing, touching, too, without going too much into the mishmash however. A real good point, which however is not enough to counterbalance a proven fact in Miles Morales: despite the efforts of Roxxon and the Underground and the technology of each other, neither of these two new camps brings a real charisma and neither of them manages to make us forget the absence of super – villains (except one) in this episode. It could still have passed if the boss fights turned out to be epic but these are rare, often concern the same enemies (no spoil) and are, ultimately, only really successful at the end, with the ultimate boss, at the end. identity too quickly unmasked along the way. Too bad, because this is what is sorely lacking in the experience offered by Miles Morales and which would have given him a gameplay personality, where we must be satisfied with a personality displayed in the details,
Haptic feedback? Not that convincing
This personality, the haptic feedback could have carried it, too. Put forward by Sony, the new features of the DualSense were to densify in large widths the gaming experience offered by Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. In the facts ? We are far from it, alas. The adaptive triggers do not add anything to the gameplay, where it could have been the case since certain actions (QTE or others) could have lent themselves to it. The sensations offered by the haptic feedback are better, although not very present in the action. Very significant in the intro of the game (the famous passage in the subway) or in certain cutscenes, the vibrations supposed to accompany the throws of the canvas, certain strokes and certain gestures of Miles are finally felt very little and are too discreet to provide depth of play expected. If the right dosage should not be easy to find in terms of vibrations, we can only deplore the light side of the process, which, we remind you, was sold to us as revolutionary and that the we obviously waited with attention on this component. Too light, finally.
Imperfect therefore, this extension could have reached a whole new height with more daring and sensitivity on the part of Insomniac, finally bringing Miles Morales back to his status of stand alone. It nevertheless fulfills a good part of its specifications: give us a glimpse of what the PS5 can bring us, visually at least, failing to do it completely on the technical level, even if the playability of the Spider-Verse suit ( which takes the graphics and the jerky cartoon rendering of the animated film, going so far as to affect the entire game) is remarkable. And, without disclosing anything, it has the merit of laying certain foundations for the sequel and the arrival in the more or less near future of a new episode, which will, this time, have to be