Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Insomniac's technical showcase of an engine shines once again, this time even featuring a sixty frames per second mode with
ray traced reflections! The falling snow effect looks phenomenal as the player swings over the city with perfect fluidity-- but roaming about on foot brings with it a different reality, as the colorfulness and variety of the city in the original game is replaced with "St. Paul Minnesota after the plows come through": mucky and boring. The snow on the sides of the road has low triangle counts, and doesn't use any kind of tessellation like competing titles. Still a good looking game, but definitely missing the "wow" factor of the previous title.
The elevator orchestra music from the first game has been replaced with ghetto-ized renditions, complete with rap music horn samples and drum machines. The voice cast from the first game returns, with performances just as strong as before. Interestingly, Troy Baker-- the voice of "Simon Krieger"-- also delivered the voice of "A.J." in companion launch-window PlayStation 5 title, "Dirt 5".
Peter Parker's Spider-Man character felt like a delicate cross between a super hero and a flesh-and-blood mortal: combat had a "paper-rock-scissors" sensation, with different enemy types requiring the player to constantly stay on his toes by cleverly deploying different gadgets and moves to stay alive. By contrast, this new character has unblockable lightning attacks with a nearly-instantaneous cooldown that take out entire packs of enemies in one blow, removing any sense of strategy from the proceedings. Oh, and he can also turn invisible at will, hopelessly dumbing down the stealth elements too. Traversal is still fun, and the combat does eventually
become more challenging-- but the majority of the game is a cakewalk.
This new Spider-Man game is one of the most racist video games this reviewer has ever played: from start-to-end it's saving brown-skinned "Mary Sue" interracial immigrant lesbians from dirt-stupid white male thieves, while combating-- big surprise-- a billion dollar evil corporation run by a white male, while slinging past "BLM" murals. It's stupidly woke, even by stupidly woke standards-- some day when the Millennials finally grow up we'll look back and laugh at this ridiculous period in history and its silly games. The core mechanics from its predecessor are there, but the new abilities are so overpowered that the game almost plays itself. "Miles Morales" is a big let-down overall after the very solid first game.