Initial release date: November 12, 2020
PC release date: November 18, 2022
Mode: Single-player video game
Developers: Insomniac Games, Nixxes Software
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Series: Spider-Man, Insomniac's Marvel's Spider-Man
Nominations: BAFTA Games Award for Music, MORE
Publishers: Sony Interactive Entertainment, PlayStation Studios
"Review Copy Provided By PlayStation"
This generation of PlayStation has kicked off in a MAJOR way with Demon’s Souls, GodFall, and now Spider-Man: Miles Morales. This game is an expansion to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man and follows up a year later from the last DLC of that game with this being in many ways an interquel between Spider-Man and whatever the sequel is going to be. Think of this as the Infamous Second Son: Second Light to Infamous Second Son as it is shorter than the main game yet stands on its own with its own story to tell and placement in the story’s timeline. The question here is does Spider-Man: Miles Morales exceed on PC and the Steam Deck, or does it feel like a quick cash grab that should’ve stayed DLC? Let’s find out!
The game kicks off with both Spider-Men, Peter and Miles, battling Rhino which ends in Peter getting hurt and knocked out leaving Miles to face him alone and in the process of the fight Miles activates his Venom Strike abilities and subdues Rhino. From there Peter informs Miles that he will be going to Europe with MJ for a vacation/work and is leaving the city in Miles’ hands to protect and then gives Miles his very own official Spider-Man suit. From there Miles vows to protect New York and become Spider-Man in Peter’s absence.
Touching on the technical aspects that you get to tinker with for this port; you get substantially improved lighting along with ray tracing/ray-traced reflections off buildings and bodies of water, an even higher frame rate in comparison to the PS5 version, graphical enhancements to everything in the game from characters to NPCs to environments, and best of all is the massive jump in loading time to the point of being near non-existent. You can adjust the reflections, shadows, character detail, lighting, field of view, as well as utilize FSR 2.1 in conjunction with NVIDIA DLSS or if you’ve got a rig powerful enough then just run the game at max settings. You can run the game at 4K, 1440p, or 1080p with a refresh rate from as low as 30FPS all the way to over 120FPS depending on your PC rig.
What I absolutely love is the fact that the game works perfectly with ultrawide monitors so I can play this on my 49” ultrawide as well as my 34” ultrawide monitors without any visual distortions and gives not only the general gameplay a more cinematic feel but also the cutscenes and brings them to life in a way that normally wouldn’t feel as spectacular as it does, so I give a hats off to Nixxes for incorporating it so perfectly.
If you played Spider-Man 2018 then you’ll feel right at home with this game because basically everything from that game is here in this expansion with a lot of new things exclusive to Miles. Speaking of controls; you can play this game with any controller setup from mouse and keyboard, Xbox Controller, Switch Controller (if you want to), and PS4 and PS5 controllers. What’s cool about using a PS5 controller is that it allows you to utilize DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers however you’ll need to have a wired connection if you want to use those features.
When it comes to playing this on the Steam Deck, you can expect to get a good hour and a half of gameplay if you have it on its default settings which have the graphical settings set to medium and framerate set to 30fps with AMD FSR 2.1 turned on. You can adjust the graphical detail as well as the framerate and push it up to 60FPS although depending on what you have turned on the game may have a fluctuating framerate if you don’t have the settings on medium with the higher refresh rate. If you tinker with the TDP settings and per game profiles on your Steam Deck, then you could get near 2 and a half hours of gaming on the go. The fans do kick in when playing this portably, but they never got loud to the point where it was unbearable nor overtook the speakers on the Steam Deck. The Steam Deck does get warm when playing this on it but never burning to the touch so keep that in mind.
There’s also the inclusion of the force feedback with the DualSense controller which gives you various feelings of tension when you’re web slinging and then there’s various vibrations based on what’s going on in the game.
There isn’t really a lot of massive changes between Spider-Man Remastered and Spider-Man: Miles Morales other than a new Spider-Man to play as and a few different abilities and gameplay functions. If you’ve previously played the game on PS4 or PS5 then the core gameplay hasn’t changed at all.
This game is GORGEOUS; Miles and crew all look superb, and the lip synching is on point. The characters are a perfect blend of realistic looking and video gamey looking if that makes sense. Miles Morales is voiced and modeled after actor Nadji Jeter and there are times when I struggle to not think the in-game character isn’t the real life version as everything from subtle animations and movements are all there from the real life actor and its awesome.
The city has never looked this beautiful in a game ever as the vistas and the streets themselves feel so alive and vibrant. The various people moving about the city and the conversations going on and the various podcasts you can listen to do so well to immerse you into this world. The level of detail in the buildings, streets, weather effects, and more are all superb. Insomniac’s version of New York is a lively recreation with all the real-life landmarks you would expect plus a couple Marvel-centric ones too. While street population isn’t as dense as I would have expected it to be, I found myself spending more of my time swinging between buildings than on the ground interacting with pedestrians.
This game has an amazing title theme with some hip hop flavor added to Spider-Man’s theme to reflect that this is Miles’ story and game and not Peter’s. The voice acting in this game is right up there with being on the level of quality of a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie and that’s to say that it’s incredibly natural and life like and believable. The OST is remixes of a lot of what you heard in the previous game with a few new heavy hitters and some atmospheric ones too based on the mood and scene you’re in.
All in all the audio is top notch quality!
Miles’ voice can be grating at times, as I know he’s supposed to be a nerdy teenager but man it comes across at times as incredibly annoying. I’m not a fan of Miles as a character even with being black and Hispanic myself. I do feel he has his good moments as a character but is overall just…..annoying, however, he does come into his own as the story continues in the game and grows into a character I slowly started to like and look forward to seeing where this version of Miles is taken.
The fact that when you fight the Underground group you ultimately are only fighting a handful of the same recycled enemies from several white characters both male and female with either short or shoulder length hair or a few black characters with the females having afros and there’s being very little visual distinction in the enemies. I understand this was done to free up resources in the engine but I’m honestly unimpressed by this.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales was a defining launch title for the PS5 from both a performance standpoint and visual fidelity standpoint and now with it being on PC and Steam Deck it’s even better! From the gameplay to the graphics to the story to the world, an immense amount of care is apparent and greatly appreciated. Spider-Man Remastered was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in 2022 and being able to play Miles Morales on the Steam Deck makes it just that much more amazing! Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a game you should definitely add to your collection and is a MUST OWN if you have the Steam Deck.