The announcement of Spider-Man: Miles Morales has caused some confusion. Allow us (and Insomniac Games) to address that confusion for you.
One of the games featured in the PlayStation 5 reveal event was Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It’s a game that features fan-favourite Morales as its main protagonist. This marks a change from the original Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4, where Morales is playable, but he (and Gwen Stacey) are secondary playable characters to Peter Parker’s trad Spider-Man.
But it’s a little different to the game that precedes it.
For one thing, the footage we’ve seen of Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks like it features an older-looking Morales. This represents a change from the 15-year-old depiction we’ve seen in the PS4 game, and also the hit animated movie, Into the Spiderverse.
We’ve also heard talk of the game being spruced up for the PS5. In an interview [paywalled] with the Telegraph, Simon Rutter, EVP head of European business at Sony Interactive Entertainment, saying that “major enhancements to the game and the game engine, obviously deploying some of the major PlayStation 5 technology and features,” which led to confusion that this might be a remaster of the full PS4 game.
We’ve also only heard it mentioned in the same breath as the upcoming PlayStation 5 console; never the PlayStation 4. So the question is, then: What exactly is Spider-Man: Miles Morales? A full sequel? A remaster? An expansion?
It’s an expansion, according to a tweet from Insomniac Games. Well, more accurately, it looks like a standalone expansion, or “expandalone” for short.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the next adventure in the Marvel's Spider-Man universe. We will reveal more about this standalone game at a future date. #MilesMoralesPS5 pic.twitter.com/GOTAvNhUaF
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) June 12, 2020
Think of it like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, a brilliant, shorter, standalone game built on the underpinnings of Uncharted 4, which retailed for two-thirds the price of the main game. Or even The Last of Us: Left Behind, a three-hour DLC for The Last of Us which could also be purchased without the base game as an expandalone game.
According to a Bloomberg report, Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be packaged more like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy than The Last of Us: Left Behind. We don’t know how long it will be or how it will be priced, of course,
The talk of “major enhancements to the game” appears to simply relate to porting the base Marvel’s Spider-Man game – the engine, the world, the visuals – to the superior PlayStation 5 platform. Remember those videos we saw of the PS4 game running on PS5, to illustrate the reduction or removal of loading times? It’s that sort of thing.
What Insomniac and Sony haven’t confirmed at this stage is whether Spider-Man: Miles Morales will ever be available on PlayStation 4. It would make sense, from a sales perspective, to see the game span the two console generations.
But if they plan to use Spider-Man: Miles Morales as a carrot to tempt people onto the PS5, it seems less likely that the expandalone will see a PS4 release.
Update: June 19, 2020
Responding to the general confusion over whether Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a full-game, DLC, or something else, a new post has appeared on the PlayStation blog that sheds more light on what fans can expect. In it, Brian Horton, creative director at Insomniac Games, answers a few questions about the game:
How big/long is Spider-Man: Miles Morales?
“We know a lot of you want to know how big this game is. Our team at Insomniac has been working incredibly hard to bring you a fantastic Miles Morales adventure since we concluded development on Marvel’s Spider-Man. You’ll experience a full story arc with Miles, one that’s more akin to a game like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in terms of overall scope. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an important, heartfelt, emotional and essential experience to expanding the Marvel’s Spider-Man universe. And we hope it will be for you as well.”
If the game’s about Miles Morales, does that mean Peter Parker’s dead/gone/otherwise out of the picture?
“Many of you fans have wondered if Peter Parker is OK. Don’t worry, we still have much of Peter’s story left to tell. But this game is all about Miles, a critical part of our Spider-Man universe, and you won’t want to miss what happens.”
Anything else of note in the blog post?
“We can’t wait to see you swinging through a wintery Marvel’s New York City this holiday.” [Ooh, exciting – Spider-Man: Miles Morales is going to be like a Spidey Christmas Special – Ed.]
So hopefully that clears up the burning question everyone had about Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It is an expandalone game, similar in size and scope to what Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was to Uncharted 4.
You know, just as we said, five days ago.