If Astro’s Playroom presents a look at some of the more novel appeals of the PlayStation 5, Miles Morales is a decent example of another draw of the new generation – it’s about taking a game you know well and making it look better, run smoother and get you into the action as quick as you can load up a blockbuster movie on Netflix. It’s about presenting a more seamless brand of entertainment, and if you want a breezy thrill there are few better candidates than Insomniac’s take on Spider-Man.
2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man was a truly lovely thing, a superhero game that felt refreshingly different. Yes, it cribbed much of the fundamentals from the Arkham series, but just as Rocksteady’s devotion to the Dark Knight lent those games a giddy edge, here Insomniac’s affection for a different flavour of comic book classic shone through. A lightness of touch and a certain goofiness embodied Spider-Man’s charm – here was something earnest and optimistic rather than dark and brooding.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales inherits all that – rather than a full-on sequel this is an expansion that’s, well, expansive, with a run-time not too much shorter than the original – and adds a little more besides. Having nailed so many of the fundamentals last time round, Insomniac has been afforded the opportunity to build upon the original in ways that further explore the character of Spider-Man. And it really helps that the person under the mask is Miles Morales.