In combat, Miles regularly takes on dozens of henchmen at a time, fluidly swapping among enemies and dodging attacks with Arkham-inspired choreography (or, probably more accurately, “Spider-Man-inspired,” but we all know my history there). It’s never difficult to find a target, and battles feel fantastically frenetic, even when it seems like Miles should be overwhelmed. He collects powers beyond Peter Parker’s — electricity and invisibility — and these tools are employed in stealth missions and high-action moments in equal measure.
Part of the reason the game feels so seamless is its complete lack of loading screens on the PS5. Between missions, cutscenes and respawns, Miles Morales is an uninterrupted reel, just as Sony has been promising since day negative-one of this console generation. If Miles dies in a fight with some suped-up baddies, the scene immediately resets from the last checkpoint and the action continues. Cutscenes bleed seamlessly into gameplay moments and back. There’s no downtime on PS5, unless you decide to take some.
Even the cutscenes themselves make it difficult to put the controller down. Not only are they beautifully animated, but they’re often sprinkled with quick-time events. They also generate a constant stream of physical feedback in the DualSense, offering a taste of how delicate and precise the haptics in the new controller can be.
Miles Morales is packed with classic superhero action and drama. An evil corporation values profit over human life; a bridge battle breaks out culminating in a massive explosion; nearly everyone around Miles is secretly a supervillain, hero or programming genius slash master tailor. These aren’t spoilers, they’re just tropes. And when they’re deployed well, as they are in Miles Morales, they’re incredibly fun.
Though Insomniac is billing Miles Morales as a standalone expansion, smaller in scope than the PS4 original, the game is dense with side quests, collectibles, training modules and places to explore. The Harlem on the screen is rich with life, and the characters around Miles are relatable and warm. They make you want to spend time with them, and the city similarly invites you to stay, offering an endless horizon of runways exclusively for Spider-Man (er, -Men?).