What was once a rarity is now the standard. When a video game adaption of a super-hero is announced, it’s usually expected to be pretty good. Insomniac and Sony’s Spider-Man was a surprise hit among fans and critics. Players have been begging for more since cutting to black on the first campaign, and Insomniac has delivered us a smaller-scale side-story focusing on Marvel’s third web-head to give our spider-senses a taste of what the next generation can do for Spider-Man!

Still cleaning up after Fisk’s mess, Peter Parker must go on a month-long journey to assist Mary Jane Watson as a photographer. It’s up to his trainee, and New York’s second Spider-Man, Miles Morales to pick up the slack. Miles is thrust right into the middle of a gang war between the energy company Roxxon and a mysterious underground militia run by the Tinkerer. Miles may have all the powers, and more, but can he truly step up to be the one and only Spider-Man?

Insomniac’s Spider-Man dropped us right into a world of an experienced adult Spider-Man. His rogues’ gallery had been built and his confidence was proven. Miles is a young teen with a bold attitude and tons of baggage. This new campaign, while short, focused directly on Miles himself. There are few “distractions” and every key player has a close connection to Miles and what brought him to take up the mask. I liked it way more than the original campaign.

Swinging around rooftops and webbing up foes is incredibly satisfying. The game makes the skill floor incredibly low, allowing anyone to pick up and enjoy, but rewards quick-thinking and high movement. Miles has a few tricks of his own too! Invisibility and the venom-strike gives are great get-out-of-jail-free cards for Miles. Combat flows nicer with them too. You’re never allowed to keep repeating a strategy, and it keeps the combat from feeling tedious like the original could get.

New York is just about the same as you left it! J. Jonah Jameson is still blabbering his mouth, all the lairs and hideouts are back in production, and you can visit each key area from the last game. Especially on PS5, Miles Morales is a lot prettier. Peter may have been ruined, but the rest of New York was not! I spent my adventure in the 30FPS performance mode. With greater particle effects and ray-tracing. Miles Morales is the first game to ever truly shock me. The first time I’ve dropped my jaw and said “this is the power of the next generation.”

Miles has just as many distractions as Peter did. There are even a few new ones! While the photography and back-pack sidequests are gone, Miles will partake in sound remixing and time-capsule digging. Construction sites and enemy bases are just as tedious as ever. Miles Morales brings back the live crime system, but heavily improves it. You can now track every recorded crime through your very own friendly neighborhood spider-app! Trust me, it helps a lot.

Spider-Man Miles Morales is an amazing game. It’s much more focused. There’s a greater sense of dread and a higher difficulty. Mastering this new Spider-Man is much harder than mastering Peter. It’s an appetizer. You’re supposed to be left begging for more, and I think it leaves you too hungry. I can see exactly why Sony has decided to price it at only $50. It’s such a beautiful flame that burning out so quickly saddens me.