The words Nintendo and online shooter don’t normally get thrown around in the same sentences much but that is about to change. The house that Mario made decided to try their hand at an online shooter and thanks to their creative magic, we have Splatoon. A game where squid kids wage war against other squid gangs by slinging as much ink as possible from super soaker-styled ink guns in order to claim their turf. Sounds ridiculous? It is and that’s what makes it so wonderful.
Splatoon is a breath of fresh air from Nintendo. The look and feel of the game are wonderfully inviting to all players. It’s colorful and fun but also fast and frantic at the same time. The turf inking concept lends new life to the online shooter concept as you have to be constantly on the move to ensure your color ink takes the majority of the map. When you aren’t waging war, you are shopping to your hearts content in order to unlock new weapons and cool new outfits that give you new random perks and abilities which legitimately makes it have more loot than Destiny.
At launch, there are only 6 maps and 2 online modes but new maps, guns, and modes are quickly being added. The connection for the games also are usually very very strong with disconnects being quite the rarity. My only gripes are that when you want to change loadouts, you have to wait for the match to have ended and must exit back out to the lobby in order to make changes. I really wish I could quick switch weapons in game when I get splattered aka being killed. The controls are also decent but take a lot of fiddling in order for it to feel just right for you.
The game also has a single player story mode that sees you platforming and solving ink-based puzzles as you face off against an evil group of octopi looking to sap all the power from your main world hub city, Inkopolis. It’s a lot of fun and is a very nice break from the online modes. A local one-on-one mode where you see who can pop the most bubbles is also in the game. It’s neat but it makes me wish there was local co-op online so you and a friend could be splatting fools and inking turf together.
Splatoon is the shot in the arm that both the online shooter and Nintendo needed. The game’s style and creativity go a long way but thankfully it’s fast and frantic gameplay match making the end result an INK-credible game that you’ll find yourself having a hard time putting down.