Playstation 5’s first great game is a web-slinging wonder

Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz

Wondering which game to play first on your new Playstation 5 console? Look no further than the man in the spidey suit.

You’ll get to dispatch criminals with roundhouse spin-kicks, use their heads as punching bags while hovering in the air, and spit out sticky webs so fast they’ll be stuck to a wall when the cops show up.

You’ll get to ride on the back of a giant armor-plated monstrosity called Rhino as he rampages through New York City, breaking out of prison vans, smashing into buildings, terrifying pedestrians, and in one exquisite sequence, absolutely obliterating a suburban mall.

And you’ll get to swing swiftly through the concrete jungle that is New York, spitting out waves of webs as you accelerate across an invisible one-man motorway in the sky.

Spider-man

Zipping through the sky is one of the best things about Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Photo/Insomniac Games

You’ll do all of this with no loading screens, 3D sound spitting out at you from all directions, a shuddering, haptic-driven controller in your hand, and some of the best graphics a gaming console can deliver.

Really, truly, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a technological marvel, a joy to watch, and a wonder to play.

It’s also the first great game of the new-generation of consoles ushered in this week.

Of course, the brand spanking Playstation 5 and Sony’s first big exclusive title landed in the country on Thursday, just two days after the launch of Xbox’s Series S&X.

The only people lucky enough to get their hands on them are those that managed to pre-order and pay for one months ago.

They’re in hot demand: Playstation 5 consoles are going for twice their original price on TradeMe, and no one really seems sure if any more will land in the country before Christmas.

Miles Morales

Peter Parker hands over the reigns to an all-new Spider-Man in Miles Morales. Photo/Insomniac Games

Pre-orders seem to have re-opened with some retailers again, so the best advice seems to be to try your luck and hope Santa delivers before the big day.

Why this launch period is different

Launch days haven’t always been this exciting. Back in 2013, the Playstation 4 arrived with with Knack, an absolute snore-fest of a platform game that should in no way be played by anyone ever again.

Coordinating the launch of a big budget triple-A title and a brand new console is clearly not easy, a fact proven when Series S&X arrived on Tuesday with no major exclusive game to speak of.

Instead, Xbox fans will have a shiny new console to play cross-platform games like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War while waiting for Halo Infinite to arrive next year.

So, for now, we should be thankful that we have a game that not only shows off the power, speed and precision of the Playstation 5 to perfection, but is an absolute joy to play.

How can Spider-Man still be this good?

Miles Morales, the quickfire follow-up to 2018’s super-fun reboot Marvel’s Spider-Man, is a blast, a giant web chock-full of frenzied action and fast-paced adventure to get your sticky hands all over.

Bored? You won’t know the meaning of the word.

It also offers plenty of improvements. The action is much faster, with the webbed wonder getting new powers and abilities to practice, like the venom punch, which decimates foes with a single blow, or cloaking, which helps you sneak quietly past enemies.

Spider-Man

Miles Morales takes over in the Playstation 5’s new Spider-Man game. Photo/Insomniac Games

There’s a new Spider-Man to get to know, with Morales taking over from Peter Parker, who shows up briefly in the beginning but quickly goes on holiday, leaving his underling in charge of protecting New York City.

As Morales, you’ll find plenty to do, like getting stuck in the middle of a gang war, taking on an underground terrorist tech group, investigating a dodgy uncle and helping your mum get elected to the city council.

And you’ll need to keep that giant marauding monster Rhino at bay too.

But the beating heart of Miles Morales lies in those inventive, exquisite fight sequences that never get old, never get tiring, and never get boring.

I grinned with glee every single time I found a new criminal collective to take on, blitzing through them with sneak attacks and sticky webs and combos galore.

At some point, Spider-Man should probably be getting old, but the Playstation 5 and Miles Morales is a combo that can’t be beat.

Once you’ve got a DualSense controller in hand, zipping through the sky, getting the drop on crooks, with smooth graphics and no loading screens holding things up, it feels close to gaming nirvana.

The new generation of gaming is here, and it’s off to a great start.

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is out now on the Playstation 5.
Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz has 20 years experience writing about New Zealand's technology and entertainment industries. He lives in Auckland.

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