Miles Morales' Tinkerer Twist Was Obvious (But That Doesn't Make It Bad)

It was easy to predict the Tinkerer’s true identity in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but that doesn't mean the twist was bad. There is a widely held misconception that predictability in storytelling means that the story is poorly written or clichéd. A story’s ability to surprise or shock the audience may work in its favor - as was the case with Marvel's Spider-Man, which deviated from the comics in notable aspects - but just because it has those elements certainly does not cement it as a great story. By the same measure, a story with predictable elements does not make it cliché - it simply means the story is doing its job.

[Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales.]

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales kicks off a few months after the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man and follows Miles Morales’s journey to taking the mantle of the web-slinger in the absence of Peter Parker, who is traveling with Mary Jane. Miles has to deal with the corrupt Roxxon Energy Corporation trying to take over Harlem. He also faces a gang of high-tech criminals known as the Underground, led by the illusive Tinkerer. Eventually, Miles Morales learns who the Tinkerer really is: his childhood friend Phin Mason.

Related: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 May Be Setting Up Another Miles Morales Game

It's possible that Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales could have hidden this deception better. However, Phin’s first scene feels deliberately arranged so as to make the twist as evident as possible. She’s literally "tinkering" with the Morales’s doorbell in the opening. Ultimately, the game’s story isn’t so much about the shock of identity reveals. Instead, it’s about how two people leading secret lives approach their powers and responsibilities. Phin shows a different path Miles could have taken. From her example, he learns what not to do.

Marvel’s Spider-Man had a similar approach with one of its villains. Most players knew Otto Octavius would become Doc Ock, even though he was positioned as a friendly mentor at the beginning of the game. Marvel's Spider-Man cleverly foreshadowed Doc Ock's betrayal, building tension by making the player question whether his transformation would happen in the current scene or later. It was a brilliant approach to a character portrayed countless times, and illustrated the benefits of the unique approach Insomniac took. It was predictable that Doc Ock would appear, and that he would eventually wind up as a villain, but that didn’t make the story cliché. The connection here is that Peter and Miles must face people they loved and admired who have taken their secret lives to the wrong place.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a beautifully made game with a fantastic story. It hits the right beats and checks all the boxes that make it an incredible Spider-Man tale. For those who haven’t yet experienced it, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales will arrive on PC later this year. It's well worth playing before Marvel's Spider-Man 2 releases in 2023.

Next: Spider-Man: Miles Morales Had A Daredevil Easter Egg You Probably Missed

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