Sony Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was one of the best animated movies of the last few years. It was so good and so popular that it’s probably why the young web-swinger it focuses on, Miles Morales, was included in the also-excellent Spider-Man PS4 game. The sequel focuses on Miles, and includes a wonderful outfit from the Spider-Verse movie.
But the animated Spidey suit doesn’t just look like the younger, more lithe Miles from the movie, it moves like him, too. See, one of the most innovative parts of the movie’s animation was how different characters moved differently in the same scene, allowing the animators to subvert the medium itself in order to express the story through motion. It’s a bit technical, but here’s a good breakdown of how Into the Spider-Verse shattered decades of animation norms to make something unique.
The Spider-Verse suit in the new Miles Morales game takes inspiration from that. It eschews the silky-smooth animation of other AAA games to give Miles a stilted, stuttering look, evoking both traditional 2D animation and staggered comic book panels. Other visual touches abound: the suit’s halftone pixel shading, the 60s Batman-style visual “pow!” pop-ups as punches land, the slightly unsure, flailing motions of this new and inexperienced Spider-Man. It all combines in a wonderfully cohesive way.
I only wish the rest of the game world got a similar makeover. It’s weird to see New York and its occupants done up in the typical realistic visuals and animations, and Spidey stilted and with cartoon proportions. A cel-shaded filter, like the one applied to the old-fashioned animated suit from the first game, would go a long way here.
Miles Morales players will be able to unlock the Into the Spider-Verse suit by playing through the game’s story, but those who pre-order the game can get access to it right away. Playing through the game as the wonderful-looking hero of the movie might just make a pre-order worth it for a lot of fans. Spider-Man: Miles Morales releases November 12th, the same day as the PlayStation 5. It will also be available for the PS4.