Following the widely celebrated release of Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4, a new web-head starred in the sequel. Spider-Man: Miles Morales introduced a rookie hero with both familiar and new powers to save New York. As the next game in the series, naturally Insomniac Games enhanced the formula that worked so well in the first. Miles brings new mechanics to the experience through his new venom and camouflage powers. Able to distribute electrifying finishers and cloaked stealth, everything suggests the newbie will be the superior experience. This is certainly true in so far as his web swinging goes, with the developers having perfected the game’s traversal. However, comparing the two games side-by-side, it’s clear Miles still has some catching up to do. Here are a few ways in which Peter plays better than Miles.
In many ways, it makes perfect sense that Peter’s experience would provide him with an edge in combat scenarios. However, when you consider the excessive electrical powers Miles brings into the mix, surely that would make him more powerful? Due to the mechanics of combat in each game, its surprisingly not so simple. For starters, an obvious difference between the two is Peter’s greater arsenal of gadgets. In each encounter, Peter is able to mix up his moves due to the diversity of tools at his disposal. Each enemy is vulnerable to at least one of these gadgets, making switching them up key to dominating crime encounters. By contrast, Miles focuses on area of effect moves that, whilst devastating, don’t finish enemies as quickly as Peter’s gadgets. While the newer game includes some gadgets, they are slower to take down enemies.
Another important thing is the implementation of the focus bar. Miles’ allows him to perform venom moves and heal, while Peter heals and performs finishers. The new game instead has finishers occur upon reaching a 15-hit combo. At maximum, Miles can store and use 3 consecutive finishers. By contrast, Peter can perform 6 consecutive finishers with the right skills. Miles can perform his without sacrificing focus, allowing him to reserve it for healing or crucial venom attacks. However, this is due to the fact that he needs these to succeed, due to hitting a little weaker than Peter. It’s unclear whether its due to enemy types or player damage output, but Parker makes quick work of his foes. Even if he uses his focus to heal, he is capable of taking enemies down quickly without it. Peter plays better than Miles simply because he isn’t as reliant on his focus.
This idea might be the most difficult to believe upon first hearing it. Surely the hero with invisibility powers is the stealthier option? Not to mention that the sequel introduced wall and ceiling takedowns that should have been in the first. While these are certainly boons, they are surprisingly not quite as efficient as Peter’s tactics. Reflecting on Miles’s camouflage ability, it’s not quite as effective as you’d first assume. It’s a great way of moving around undetected, but its not necessarily that discreet during actual takedowns. Given the agility and web-swinging available to both heroes, moving around unseen is easy either way. The indivisibility is more useful for momentary retreats during combat. However, takedowns still need to be timed carefully and often require slow patience. His only multi-takedowns come from remote mines that require placement on live wires for knockouts.
Once again, Peter brings more variety to his moveset thanks to more gadgets. What’s more important is the fact that his gadgets are capable of quicker takedowns when used right. The most obvious examples are the impact webs and trip mines, both capable of instant wall takedowns. However, even other gadgets, when used appropriately, can be just as efficient. Web bombs can stick an entire gang to a wall if placed right. Furthermore, if the bomb doesn’t pin them all to the wall, a quick concussive blast will finish it. Additionally, suspension matrix paired with trip mines immediately takes down enemies, and electric webbing stuns groups for impact web finishers. This doesn’t even include suit powers that can enhance stealth, such as the Noir Suit or Stealth “Big Time” Suit. When performing the respective timed stealth challenged in each game, it becomes apparent that Peter plays better than Miles.
The final area in which Peter seems to be given an edge is in regards to the many suit powers at his disposal. The trend behind his advantages over Miles reoccurs with this diversity of capabilities. While Miles possesses a variety of suit modifications, they only enhance his preestablished abilities, bringing nothing new to his arsenal. Peter also has access to such mods, but he is the only one with unique suit skills. Ranging from increased damage, robotic spider arms, electrical punches and more, they can completely change how he conquers his foes. This ultimately reflects Peter’s scientific prowess. Miles certainly shares this trait, but his inexperience would limit his ability to keep pace with Peter’s inventions.
The downside to these abilities is that they have a cooldown after use, and only one can be equipped at a time. Miles benefits from having everything in his arsenal at his disposal all at once. However, this leaves Miles a little stuck in his ways, only able to really perform the same way throughout the game. After a while it becomes a little repetitive, with nothing to introduce some new flare to the player’s encounters. It should be noted that each of these suit powers can actually cover the abilities Miles has that Peter lacks. It gives the original access to area of effect attacks, electrical stunning moving and even stealth enhancements. Peter plays better than Miles becomes he is consistently able to adapt, compensating for his shortcomings with science.
It Makes Sense, For Now
As previously suggested, Miles’ lack of experience realistically means he shouldn’t quite be on Peter’s level just yet. Additionally, given that the sequel will likely return to Peter’s gameplay, there was a risk with introducing Miles. If his gameplay was simply everything Peter could do and more, players would lament returning to the old way. Each character needed to justify their existence within the gameplay. It is likely some improvements will carry over into Peter’s sequel, such as improving traversal and wall takedowns. Miles, if he is playable, will likely also extend his arsenal of venom moves and gadgets. In time we could see Miles finally catch up or surpass Peter, or perhaps new plot devices will make that even more difficult. With the tease of the symbiote’s involvement in the next instalment, Peter might be in for a unique upgrade to his gameplay.