Upon first hearing about Splatoon, I honestly was more confused than excited. The concept of a shooting/painting game was so far away from anything I had imagined I’d be playing for hours on end. I am very pleased to say that I judged the game too quickly, and I now find myself helplessly hooked on what I believe is Nintendo’s most innovative and original game on the Wii U.
Splatoon is a game of fast paced action and reaction. You play as an “Inkling”, a kid/squid hybrid. You’ll find during playing that you must adapt to both the inkling and squid form to achieve success on the battlefield. The weapons you are able to wield as an inkling have a vast range from sniper rifle chargers, to rollers that can literally just roll over enemies, to buckets known as “sloshers” that literally throw ink. Of course the list goes on to include rapid fire weapons, paintbrush melee weapons, and blasters that hit very hard at medium to short range.
How you defeat an opponent is pretty standard, throw enough of your vibrantly colored ink at an opponent and they will be “splatted”. You always re-spawn so the possibility for vengeance is always just moments away. There are multiple online game modes in Splatoon but overall the goal is consistent, spread your ink throughout the level to gain turf and splat enemy players while taking their turf.
I brought up the fact that this game features multiple online game modes, and I have to say this game has to be played online to be fully enjoyed. The single player campaign is great, as well as a fun way to unlock some weapons in the beginning of the game. However once you have beaten the single player campaign there’s very little to do besides online play. Sure Splatoon comes with the standard couch multiplayer modes where you can play against friends or family on the same Wii U at home, but even that has very little to offer compared to Splatoon’s online play.
The online game modes are all team based and include a variety of modes ranging from capture the flag type gameplay, to controlling zones by painting them in your teams ink, to the regular battles known as “Turf Wars”, in which you spread ink all over the level to win. All online game modes share the same fast paced intensity and excitement that makes the game such a good action/shooting game in the first place.
I could write paragraph after paragraph describing Splatoon, but I don’t want to do that. I want people to try the game, experience it the same way I did when I first jumped into a battle and learned that water is bad. That’s right you’re part squid but don’t be mistaken, the water will destroy you. Also in squid form, you fall through grates, usually into water. You’ve been warned. All beginner traps aside, Splatoon is my new favorite game on the Wii U, and by far the most played game I own.
Like any game it has flaws, there’s very limited controller settings, people disconnect rather often online and their team will usually lose because of it. Also it can be very hard to get the gear you want for your characters look while still having the stats you want as well, but none of this can take away what Splatoon offers. Splatoon is a game unlike any other. There’s a saying in Splatoon, “stay fresh” and it rings loud and clear, because this is the freshest game out there.
Written by Derek Heinbokel