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Why Spider-Man: Miles Morales Feels Like Batman: Arkham Origins


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The core themes relayed through these two games hold steady. Spider-Man: Miles Morales feels an awful lot like Batman: Arkham Origins.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is all about guiding an underdog through his journey to become all he was meant to be. Players find Miles at the beginning of his career as the new Spider-Man, in a city filled with villains who are used to fighting a guy who is far more experienced and significantly stronger. This challenge is one that grows him both as a hero and as a person, and avid superhero fans may notice these themes are also expressed in the 2013 release, Batman: Arkham Origins.

Arkham Origins, while not the best Batman video game to come out of the last decade, was a great title nevertheless. Taking place before the series’ previous titles, it reintroduced players to a younger version of their favorite caped crusader, as he, too, worked to find his footing.

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Related: Where Peter Parker Is In Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Arkham Origins and Spider-Man: Miles Morales don’t seem to have much in common at first glance, but the two titles actually share more than a few gameplay similarities. The core themes relayed to the player through these two games hold steady when compared to other notable entries in their respective franchises. Here’s why Spider-Man: Miles Morales feels an awful lot like Batman: Arkham Origins.

Why Spider-Man: Miles Morales Feels Like Batman: Arkham Origins

Miles Morales Stealth

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While Spider-Man: Miles Morales isn’t a prequel like Arkham Origins, it does give players the same sense of diving into the shoes of a past version of Spider-Man. Miles is noticeably smaller, nimbler, and weaker than Peter is in the previous game. Just swinging around the city displays how inexperienced Miles is with Spider-Man’s signature traversal method. Likewise, when fighting enemies, there is a recognizable difference in how many hits it typically takes for Miles to take down the same criminals Peter took on in the first game.

Batman: Arkham Origins shares this tendency to make the player feel slightly disempowered from the previous titles for the sake of understanding the character. Batman starts the game as a relatively new hero who has yet to meet most of his infamous villains. Players are wise to be a bit more clever with their tactics in Arkham Origins because of the hero’s lack of experience and brute strength. Miles Morales‘ stealth mechanics also echo those in Arkham Origins. After a bit of time attempting to dispatch grown men with Miles’ fists, many players may resort to sticking to the ceiling fixtures in the same manner encouraged in Arkham Origins.

This attention to detail is appreciated in both games, in the way that it makes players truly feel the predicament that the playable characters find themselves in. Games have the power to make players feel powerful, of course, but a lack of power also tells a story. Disempowerment forces players to be smarter when they make their way through these titles. This subtle increase in struggle is deeply helpful for a player’s overall enjoyment. It’s what binds Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Batman: Arkham Origins, and it’s something many more games should also adopt.

Next: Spider-Man: Miles Morales Reaffirms Insomniac’s Mastery of the Hero

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Updated: November 15, 2020 — 10:00 pm

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