Doesn’t time thwip by fast? Though it seems like yesterday, it’s been four years since Insomniac delivered a Spidey-verse take I called “tighter than a spandex suit that rides up in the crotch.” Most of my peers agreed. It was indeed a superhero game to be placed upon an Avenger’s Tower-sized pedestal.
It remains high in our esteem today. Especially in light of Gotham Knights…
We’re also two years beyond the debut of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, THE title to get for anybody lucky enough to scoop a launch PS5. Quality-wise, this particular spiderling didn’t fall far from the nest. However, due to its roughly halved runtime – and then a curious lack of DLC – it’s pretty tough to call it ‘Miles’ better than what spawned it.
Miles Morales PC
That said, it was still tough to put down. A decent swathe of new suits, suit mods, Predatoresque stealth opportunities and Venom-filled fighting mechanics salved the sting of a truncated narrative.
And when it came to building upon the sheer joy of traversal, Miles’ exuberant web-slinging antics were just (chef’s kiss)…cooler. Those animators somehow made “Peter Parkour” even more visceral and fun. One would need a 10/10 Tinder profile to have a better swinging experience in NYC.
Risque recaps aside, let’s turn our spider senses toward today’s topic: Spider-Man: Miles Morales coming to PC. Much like the August 2022 port of Spider-Man Remastered before it, the considerable visual upgrade is the main focus here.
TL;DR: it’s brilliant. The rough metaphorical equivalent of upgrading from a homemade tracky-dacks “Human Spider” costume into the sort of shiny Advanced Suit that’d make Stupid Sexy Flanders jealous.
This being the case, the embedded screenshots and videos are going to do most of the heavy lifting for me here. All you really need to know is that there are a variety of graphics quality options to tailor to a wide range of devices. I wish I could tell you how that information pertains to a Steam Deck that you, I, and most every Australian gamer cannot reasonably buy. Get ON IT, Valve.
Moving on, we have unlocked frame rates, and If you’re not in the deep end of the GPU pool, you can rely heavily on upscaling technologies like AMD FSR 2.1, Intel XeSS and IGTI.
Most impressive of all, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales supports NVIDIA DLSS 3. For those of you out of the loop, this tech is for GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs which combines DLSS Super Resolution, DLSS Frame Generation and NVIDIA Reflex to boost your frame rate. Can confirm: Gobsmacking stuff if you’ve got the gear to do it justice.
Mind you, there are some interesting quirks to note here. For users with a RTX 40 GPU, DLSS Frame Generation is available as an option in the Display menu (Windows 10 users will have to do some tinkering as it’s off by default). Currently, however, v-sync is not
supported when using Frame Generation.
DLSS Frame Generation may only be used in combination with DLSS Super Resolution, or other upscaling technologies in the game. Moving along, the eye candy that gave me the most diabeetus came from improved ray-traced reflections and shadows. If you’re looking to perve on something particularly sensual, may I suggest you turn your camera towards the shadows for outdoor light cast by the sun and the moon? Basically, it’s gorgeous stuff that provides exactly what Insomniac insists: realistic shadowing replete with natural gradients in softness. The lovely Winter wonderland aesthetic and details of this spin-off really pop in this version, too.
Honestly, the Big Apple has never looked this delicious. And that’s coming from a guy who took a bite of it in one of the best ways possible – via a 4K, curved Super Ultra-wide (32:9) monitor. Short of some sort of VR mod (that I pray is in the works), threading through skyscrapers at a flawless solid 120+ fps has never been this breathtaking.
Side note: it has to be said that Nixxes Software has done a bang up job on this port. It might just be a quirk of my setup, but MIles Morales runs noticeably better on my rig than its sister product, Spider-Man Remastered.
Anyway, other enhancements to note include haptic feedback and adaptive trigger effects for anybody who plugs in a DualSense controller. As seems to be the case with most of PlayStation’s PS4/PS5 cross-gen titles, said effects aren’t best-in-class for this device.
You’ll need to look to bonafide PS5 exclusives, like Returnal, to get your mind fully blown. Best trade it for a mouse, purely for the thwip-fast directional changes it can provide as you’re commuting. Beyond those worthy upgrades, my affections (and the odd feeling of disappointment) remain unchanged for Spider-Man: Miles Morales. I still think the face change of Peter Parker is unnecessary, though that doppelganger buggers off quickly and lets Miles have his own unique, pint-sized plot line centred in Harlem.
I’m glad that RRP is down $20 from Spider-Man Remastered (and as opposed to the $124.95 PS5 owners paid) because it really ought to be. In case you’ve forgotten, Spider-Man Miles Morales is a smaller block party in terms of in-game systems/goodies when compared to Spider-Man Remastered.
Let’s look at it in raw numbers. Suits, 47 down to 20; DLC, 3 packs to 0; suit powers, 24 to 14, and gadgets, 8 to 4. Sadly, the state of collectables tells roughly the same tale – half as many on offer.
That being said, Miles wins serious points for being very much his own spider man in terms of crimefighting. He has a unique perk tree rooted in his unique Venom skills and Camo abilities. The former effectively layers in a secondary “be skilful to earn great power” finisher mechanic.
Even after all this time, it’s flashy, fun to use and elevates what’s now become the best third-person fighting system in superhero games. In Gotham Knights, you had full rights to reclaim that borrowed mantle but decided to go another way. It did not end well. Similarly, Miles’ signature spider ability (turning invisible) improves upon the brilliant stealth antics lifted from the Arkham series. You can still sneakily yank baddies up to be web-soaked pinatas, but the truly skilful can use their limited ghost time to decimate a mob of mobsters without leaving a single trace.
Better yet, I didn’t spot any of the rough edges present during the last time I reviewed Miles Morales. Things like unconscious goons breakdancing and AI requiring a punch-start because they’d ceased functioning. Mind you, I did review the pre-launch code. Being late-to-the-party PC gamers, we reap the benefit of a dozen major patches.
Taken as a whole, 2020’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales was an impressive glimpse into the visuals of a new generation of consoles, though it was constrained by its multi-platform nature. With the right rig, this PC version knows no such limitations and represents a superhero in full, figurative and literal, flight. In short – a characteristic that also defines the content of this product and robs it of true greatness – this is another impressive “best version”.
Spider-man: Miles Morales was reviewed on PC using digital code provided by PlayStation Australia.