With the excellent Spider-Man: Miles Morales now on PC, let’s talk about how Sony isn’t getting it and how supersampling is going to save gaming.
Sony and their plethora of first-party games are back in focus, as Spider-Man: Miles Morales is now available on PC. A superb, condensed adventure through the lens of the new, teenage Spider-Man, it’s yet another walk down recent memory lane.
The superhero moments and the bombast? Perfection. Miles and his early-years reactions to things like Rhino, or trying to keep his secret identity is priceless – if a little lost in the noise of a fairly predictable villain arc.
Spider-Man Miles Morales: Key details
- Price: $49.99/£39.99
- Developer: Insomniac Games/Nixxes Software
- Release Date: November 18, 2022
- Platforms: PS4, PS5, PC
Spider-Man Miles Morales trailer:
Spider-Man is a button masher
I will say that, with Batman: Arkham Asylum being over 10 years old at this point, its combat system feels tired. Insomniac know that it was the only way to accurately portray Spider-Man in a modern video game context, but the overall bashing of buttons and the requirement to hold them for certain combos makes combat sometimes feel like a chore.
For a company renowned for going above and beyond to add new flavors of powers to the repertoire, it does feel like they hinged too much on gadgets rather than Miles himself. Although the addition of new powers and options is welcome, if you didn’t enjoy Marvel’s Spider-Man’s combat, you can safely skip Miles Morales.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an excellent romp, the tastier, Diet Coke version of the original’s full-fat experience. It never outstays its welcome and the rhythm it puts out is far more enjoyable than the slog some of these open-world games can fall into.
My Spider supersampling is tingling
This all said though, the game itself isn’t the main focus of this review. The PC port brings with it a bounty of treats to choose from, including a particularly intriguing one for those of us usually wrapped up in the tech space.
The PC port of Miles Morales brings not only AMD’s FSR 2.1 and Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0 and 3.0, but XeSS and IGTI (Insomniac Games Temporal Injection). All of these can be found in Spider-Man’s PC port, but it’s the first time I’ve seen so many options available in a game.
We weren’t able to test DLSS 3.0 for this review.
AMD still has far too much work to do, especially on the Steam Deck, where textures all but vanished into a vague smudge on the screen.
Insomniac’s port is wonderfully fleshed out. From the options to their own upscaling methods, we found that the game ran flawlessly on our RTX 2070 and Ryzen 2700X combo PC, off of a PCIe 3.0 drive. Load times were snappier on the Steam Deck’s PCIe 4.0 drive and DDR5 RAM, but you don’t need to upgrade any time soon.
Not only because the game will probably run on anything from a GTX 1070 and above, but that supersampling is here to save the day once again.
FSR, DLSS, and XeSS
Supersampling is a method of allowing less capable hardware to play more demanding games. It shrinks the image down and blows it back up via AI or machine learning algorithms.
While AMD’s FSR 2.0 and 2.1 made the game look hideous in performance modes, DLSS 2.0 had no issues with preserving the image at 1440p. More surprising is the new supersampling on the street, XeSS, which stunned me on both PC and Steam Deck.
XeSS is the dark horse here, as Intel’s supersampling method gave crisp images on all settings, as well as providing the most stable framerate on the Steam Deck.
IGTI fared better on PC than Steam Deck, where it decided to have some sort of hissy fit and close the game. I couldn’t get the game to recreate that bug, so chalked it up to an anomaly. While not perfect, it did allow for this old RTX 2070 to soar to 4K heights – even if it sounded like the PC was about to blast off into space.
Better late than never, I suppose
The biggest issue with Miles Morales on a PC port front is that it took so long for it to arrive. Sony’s act of holding back the games for a year before releasing them on PC is asinine at best. Limiting access to games, or entertainment for the sake of selling a few extra consoles – ones they would have sold anyway – rather than releasing them in conjunction is going to be the spider bite in our sides.
Perhaps it’s also to avoid the PS5 being shown up on launch day. Either way, this game should have come out a lot sooner than it did. Especially as swinging through the city on Steam Deck is a pleasure.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales on Steam Deck
On Steam Deck, you’re looking at a solid 30FPS, unless you do some tweaking in the settings. When trying to get the game at 60FPS, we had to make sacrifices to the actual settings of the game, rather than using supersampling.
As we also mentioned, the game surprised us with its XeSS performance, rather than the more native AMD FSR 2.1, which we don’t recommend.
The game is verified for the Steam Deck too, but unless you limit the frame rate, you’re going to get a few mishaps during more intense moments. In the introduction fight with Rhino, we flopped about as the game tried to keep up with the hardware. Once we’d done the legwork, it was right as rain.
The Verdict – 4/5
If you’re a fan of Insomniac’s original Spider-Man outing, or just want a thinner experience than the main game, you can do worse than Miles Morales. The PC port is outstanding in a lot of different ways, and yes, if you’re on Steam Deck, you’ll have a great time too.
Reviewed on PC & Steam Deck