Spider-Man Miles Morales – Overpriced DLC? Or Great Expansion?

So I completed Spider-Man Miles Morales a few days ago, and as I play through it again on New Game + and collect the last few trophies I need to get a Platinum I thought I’ll take a little break and talk about the game.

Let’s swing right in! (sorry not sorry)

I am going to straight up say, I don’t think it’s an over priced DLC at all. BUT, that is only if you are buying the PS5 version and I will tell you why later. If you are buying the PS4 version, it is over priced. We have seen Sony do expansions on some of the first party games before, for example Uncharted the Lost Legacy. That game was sold at a reduced retail price at almost half the price of Uncharted 4, as it was just an expansion and not a full blown game. Spider-Man Miles Morales on the PS4 is going for the same price as the version for the PS5. Even-though you’re not getting all the additional features the PS5 version has. Both are being sold in the UK for around £49.99, for context usually brand new games cost between £40 to £50, expansions are never that expensive. The PS4 version should have been £30 in my opinion or £40 max. Now it being overpriced on the PS4 doesn’t mean its a bad game, it is a great game but without the extra next gen features, the short duration of the game doesn’t justify spending the same amount as you would on a full game.

But before I talk about the next gen features of Miles Morales on the PS5, let’s actually talk about the game itself.

One Year on…

The story takes place one year after the first game, by now Miles has gotten familiar with his powers, so much so he teams up with Peter Parker to help him fight crimes. Having said that, he is only 17 and still learning on the job, which is evident when he accidentally causes the convoy carrying Rhino and a load of prisoners back to the Raft to crash. From there him and Peter take down the Rhino together, Peter says he has to go away for a few weeks. Leaving the city of New York under Miles’s care.

Still not a fan of Peter’s new face..

I won’t tell you anymore about the story, but I will say while I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first one. It is a great story still, its a coming of age story for Miles and you see how he learns to take the mantle of being Spider-Man. I really enjoyed playing as Miles, he obviously looks up to Peter Parker and sees him as a mentor, but at the same time he is his own person. He has his own faults, his own quips and his personality is infectious. Being Spider-Man means he has had to grow up fast, but he still talks and acts like the teenager he is from time to time and it felt organic seeing him really learn what it takes to be a superhero.

The supporting cast is also great, there are a number of key characters from the comics present here and at times he is tested with keeping them safe while keeping his alter ego hidden. It being a shorter game, the story is a bit more focused and simple. But I didn’t have an issue with it, maybe It could have done with another villain or two, but the main villains and adversaries were well written and the climax was well executed. Also the J Jonah Jameson podcast is back and better than ever, honestly these are sound bites of gold. Jonah is more bitter and angry here, and now having two Spider-Man’s to rant about has fuelled him up even more. There is a second podcast, called the Danikast. This one is hosted by a lady called Danika, to be honest she is just there praising Spider-Man and trying to highlight what the bad guys are doing. I didn’t really find her that interesting or engaging and for me really didn’t bring anything to table or keep me interested in hearing what she has to say.

Ultimate Spider-Man

Now for everyone who has played Spider-Man 2018, you will instantly pick up the web swinging and combat

Its like riding a bike! You never forget

I personally felt this was a good thing, the formulae works and there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Instead Insomniac made sure there were difference in styles of combat and web swinging between Miles and Peter. When you’re web swinging as Peter, you’re like an elite gymnast someone who has mastered the art and does it so gracefully. Where as with Miles, it’s more carefree. He will have his hands both behind his head as he is gliding, rising up high and falling down backwards to the way he jumps and web zips. Its more hasty and more freestyle, its good fun honestly! His combat is different too, he has this ability called Venom Power. Where he uses bio-electricty running through his body, to launch enemies backwards with one punch, generating enough force to launch them into the air, breaking down shields and more. As you progress through the game it will become a prominent tool in your combat and sometimes can just make you feel OP, even when playing on Ultimate difficulty. Just like Peter he has his own gadgets too, such as holograms, gravity pull and bio trap mines. It is not as robust as Peter’s but come on he only 1 year into the job, so it makes sense.

The enemies you face off with, although they are different factions essentially are the same as the previous game. I think that is one area the game disappointed, could have mixed them up a bit more to give combat a bit more of a refresh. However, there is more of an emphasis on stealth in this game. That is due to Miles having the ability to make himself invisible for a short period of time, it will then regenerate after a little while to use again. In essence it makes it easier to be stealthy, but due to the time constraints and larger volumes of bad guys to take down in some areas, it can also be more challenging. I did say in the first game, I would like more stealth so in that area Insomniac definitely delivered.

Now you don’t see me!

White Christmas

The game is set around Christmas time, so it was nice to return to New York in the snow. Other than that it is the same map, no new landmarks or areas to visit. It would have been nice to play in some new locations, but I guess they are saving it for the sequel.

With side quests, I think this game managed them better. Miles has a Spider-Man app, that allows people to make requests and report crimes. It was a cool way to pick and choose which ones you wanted to do and when. Some were simple things like finding a lost cat, to investigating a robbery. They do fall short when it comes to adding layers to the story, unlike the first game some added more background to the plot or intertwined with some of the main characters. But atleast the missions themselves actually had layers to them, no fetch quests here or generic beat up a bunch of bad guys in said location. Having said that though…

Random crimes are back, and they are basically the same as the previous game. Car jacking, civilians being ambushed, stopping an illegal weapons trade etc. For me personally the novetly has worn off on most of these crimes, I think random crimes need an overhaul or replaced with something else. I also found that they were way more prominent in this game, even after completing the bonus objectives many of the same kept on appearing and I just started to ignore them.

Honestly, it felt like the Police in the game had already taken Christmas off!

There are tons of collectibles to find, Peter’s old backpacks have been replaced with time capsules Miles and his friends hid around the city. I enjoyed finding these, as it gives you more insight on the characters and a few easter eggs too. There are weapon caches to find to help upgrade your suits and gadgets. Thankfully there are no radio towers to hack, the city map is available to you right from the beginning. There are enemy hideouts to take down, just like random crimes I think they need to be either replaced or reinvented somehow.

It was great fun to return to New York city, nothing more fun than just web swinging and running up skyscrapers diving down fast to then launch yourself up at the last second. But I will admit, I am ready for something new now, and I hope in the sequel the city gets a revamp and new areas can be more fleshed out or explored.

With Great Power Comes Next Gen

Now let me tell you why the PS5 version of the game is worth that £50 pricetag. First of all load times, the game boots up quick, like really quick!

No loadscreens anywhere, I no longer have time to make a cup of tea!

Seriously, if you choose the fast travel option you won’t see Miles sitting in the train browsing his phone. Instead he is coming out of the underground, ready to start webswinging. Cut scenes load up in an instant, missions start in an instant. There is no waiting around here, its a great display of the PS5s SSD technology at work here. Also..

60FPS! Now I know why PC Master race, always have looked down at us console gamers

I hold my hands up, playing in 60fps is a big deal and I cant go back to playing in 30FPS. Basically there are two ways to play the game.

Fidelity Mode: 4K resolution, with ray tracing enabled at 30FPs. Performance Mode: 4K resolution, no ray tracing but at 60FPS.

Performance mode it still a beauty

I tried fidelity mode at first, yeah it was cool seeing puddles with the sun glowing off it and windows from buildings showing a true reflection. But playing in performance mode, its just way more fun. It’s like this is how we should be web swinging and playing as Spider-Man, in performance mode the game still looks amazing and still looks better than the original. I genuinely didn’t notice that much of a significant downgrade in visuals to warrant staying at only 30FPS. I will be very surprised if after trying both settings, people still chose to play in fidelity mode. Playing in performance mode, has just got me excited in playing more games at 60fps in 4K now.

With the fast load times and performance mode, there is a significant difference between the PS4 version and the PS5 version, and it does justify the £50 price. But I do hope that future titles like this, when the new generation is a couple years in, that the price does go back to the £40 price tag, but as an early adopter I think it was worth paying that extra.

You forgot to talk about the adaptive triggers!

Ahh yes! also with the Dual-shock 5 the game does make use of some of its capabilities. When you’re web swinging especially, you feel the tension as you’re pulling and swinging on the web. I think they added this late on, as I feel like they could have done more with the controller and its extra capabilities, but it no doubt still added a bit more immersion to the experience.

A Must Buy for Spider-Man Fans

Look if you enjoyed the first game and love Spider-Man, I think you are picking this up. I will say the game delivers of giving you more Spider-Man, Miles holds his own here and is unique to Peter. The expansion really teases you on what we could expect in the sequel, in terms of the possibility of playing as both in one game and having more team ups. It being an expansion means its a bit short and if you’re buying it on PS4 you are right to feel like you’re paying more than you should have. But for those of you buying it on PS5, I think you will enjoy those extra features enough to feel justified. Insomniac overall delivered once again, and this was a great launch title for the PS5.

Now lets go get that Platinum!

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