One of the first trailers shown at the recent PlayStation 5 reveal was for Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The internet went into a frenzy, and this writer lost his mind during a video chat.
Marvel’s Spider-Man had quickly became a fan favorite PlayStation 4 title, and getting another game in that universe is thrilling to say the least. Naturally, when the trailer debuted, most people assumed it was a sequel, but messaging has been mixed since the announcement. A Sony executive mentioned the game would be an expansion while Insomniac themselves revealed that Spider-Man: Miles Morales would, in fact, be a standalone experience.
With us knowing that the PlayStation 5 launch title will be its own game, we’re left speculating what to expect. Here are a few theories about what Spider-Man: Miles Morales might actually be.
A continuation of the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man
* Warning! Marvel’s Spider-Man spoilers ahead!*
Sure, Insomniac mentioned that Miles’ journey will be a standalone adventure, but we don’t know whether the game will take place in the same timeline. At the end of the 2018 video game, Miles Morales develops the same spider-like powers as Peter Parker and confides in the hero about his newfound abilities. Fans of the comics know who Miles is destined to become, so it was a welcome surprise to see Insomniac plant the seeds for the future web-slinger.
With a seemingly new version of Harry Osborn making an appearance at the final scene, will Peter or Miles face off against the iconic character? This theory seems the least likely of the bunch, because Marvel’s Spider-Man focuses largely on Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship. Miles plays an essential part, but it would be a huge disservice to the character if Insomniac makes him piggyback off of Peter’s story.
New gameplay, new villain, a new story
Miles Morales has a lot in common with Peter Parker when it comes to abilities, but they are two wholly different people. They are different ages, and come from different backgrounds. Despite their similarities, there are many unique aspects about the two heroes.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales can and should lean heavily into Miles’ culture. For those who have seen Into The Spider-Verse, hip-hop and graffiti graced the narrative. The visual aesthetic was something unlike anything seen before in a Spiderman movie, and Miles Morales’s story and character had a flair of its own. A video game adventure starring Miles should reflect his personality and interests. Imagine being able to swing around town and tag the walls with graffiti!
Insomniac needs to tap into what makes Miles unique, and avoid rehashing elements from the 2018 video game.
The last thing anybody wants is a carbon copy of the same game with a different backdrop. Miles is not only an iconic character, but he is also important to a new generation of gamers and comic fans who crave representation.
As a minority myself, there aren’t many characters in video games that make me go, “I see myself in that person.” Miles offers a chance for a lot of people to relate to Spiderman’s life and struggles in a real way. Making a narrative that gives him the respect he deserves will do the character justice. Spider-Man: Miles Morales has the chance to be one of the best games of the year, but Insomniac needs to knock it out of the park.
A multiverse event for the ages
I mentioned it earlier, but Miles really became popular because of Into The Spider-Verse. Sure, he became famous because of the Ultimates comic series, but the animated film made the web-slinger a household name. Since Spider-Man: Miles Morales is considered a standalone experience from the development studio themselves, what if the game sets up a universe and a sequel unique to the character?
There are endless possibilities when it comes to the Spider-Verse, and tapping into that could make the PS5 launch game an unforgettable experience. While I love Miles, Silk (Cindy Moon), Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, and Spider-Man Noir are some of my favorites. It would be thrilling to play a game where all of these characters make an appearance, and I don’t think they would fit thematically with Peter Parker’s adventure. Declaring Spider-Man: Miles Morales a standalone game would give Insomniac a lot of freedom to create a narrative unlike anything else.
Imagine having the mainline games in the franchise follow Peter Parker, but then have a series of standalone adventures following other spiders in their own timelines? It would be cool to have Miles be the web that literally ties all of the universes together.
With many people craving representation in gaming, Miles bridging the gap and leading a narrative that brings forth strong female, Black, Asian, and Hispanic characters would be something almost unprecedented in the gaming sphere. His standalone adventure could literally be the game that makes the Marvel property one of the most valuable franchises in the entire PlayStation library.
Sony has the chance to start the next generation of video games on a spectacular note if Spider-Man: Miles Morales ends up being a critical gem. With some solid messaging and an adventure that respects Miles Morales as a character, Sony is poised to make a real splash come this holiday season. Let’s hope that Insomniac Games can capture the magic of the Spider-Man universe once again with their second outing.