In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, you play as Miles, an Afro-Latino teenager who is clearly uncomfortable and unsettled with his new role and responsibilities. We know that, because Miles tells us; he voices his concerns out loud and reflectively, to both his family and friends. But the game's next-level brilliance lies in its use of gameplay and non-verbal visual cues to reinforce that unease.

In 2018's Marvel's Spider-Man, Peter Parker's physical movements were smooth and seamless, whether he was swinging from building-to-building or zipping from point-to-point. His stealth takedowns had a sort of professionalism to them; he had honed his tricks over the course of a crime-fighting career—a career long enough to make enemies of multiple super-villains including Vulture, Rhino, Electro, Kingpin and Scorpion. Regardless of how skilled or unskilled the player was controlling Spider-Man, the game was aesthetically forgiving. It never stopped Peter from looking slick.

Miles, on the other hand, is significantly less surefooted. Again, this is regardless of the player's skill—it's baked into the character's idle movements and gestures. When Miles perches, he wobbles the slightest bit before regaining his balance. When he web swings, his lines are not smooth; his arms and legs flail before regaining their form. When he performs a stealth takedown from high up, he exaggeratedly leans forward and then backward to compensate for the enemy's weight. One day, he'll be as smooth as his mentor. But certainly not yet.

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