“Wow, a mainstream super hero who looks like me.” That was my first thought when starting the video game “Spider-Man: Miles Morales”.
Miles hails form the Bronx but in this story is coping with a move to Harlem after the death of his father. We find him still learning the way of the web from the first Spider-Man, Peter Parker. After a quick stint with Rhino, where Miles saves Peter with some bio-electric power unknown to either of them, Peter tells Miles he’s going to be the only Spider-Man for a while.
Miles is seventeen, starting off a little later than Peter did as Spider-Man, but what makes this game so amazing is that it isn’t forced onto you. Miles is just as much Spider-Man as Peter. You know that and accept it from the start of the game, the one who seems to struggle with it most is Miles.
Just as with any new responsibility thrust onto a teenager, Miles struggles to balance his secret identity with his responsibility to the city as Spider-Man. He struggles to help his mom, Rio Morales continue her fight to be on city council. The both of them still have a lot of healing to do now that his dad is gone. But through the game, you get phone calls while you swing around the city as Miles where he and his mom help each other heal and he embraces his roots of being Puerto Rican and Black.
The game is a journey, as much for Miles as it is for the gamer. It’s about discovery of the self and how we can’t compare who we are with who someone else is even if we share in similar responsibilities, as Miles often does between him and Peter. No person should compare themselves to others because at the end of the day, all you can do is your best in your own way and hope that in time the efforts will shine through and make a difference in the big picture.
Another amazing dynamic are the sounds and sights of the game. The music stands out from start to finish and majority of the scenery Miles swings through tends to be decorated in street art. The different suits you can unlock as-well stand out for Miles as they should. To unlock all the suits, you just have to complete multiple objectives in the map, all of which are separate from the main story so you can do them first or do them in-between main story play or even after.
The game gives you choices and options to explore New-York in your own style of swing and Spider-Suit.
I recommend completing the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man” app quests. Once you do, you’ll be gifted a suit from all the people in Harlem thanking you for looking out for them. The bonus for me though, was swinging to the suit’s location. After the short cut scene of Miles putting it on, the camera pans out to a custom Black Lives Matter mural on the wall.
Never before have I known a game to make a profoundly beautiful statement.
The Spider-Man game that came before this was amazing on its own. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is just as amazing (if not more). I could say more about the experience overall but I think it’s something you need to watch or play on your own. It’s available for Playstation 4 and next generation Playstation 5 and can be seen on play-throughs by many a streaming gamer.