What IS Splatoon I hear you cry? You’ve no doubt either heard of or seen the adverts for Splatoon, but might not really know what it is yet. Splatoon is Nintendo’s Newest IP, an online 4v4 shooter with a twist.
Harkening back to the Goldeneye 64 days with their “Paintball Mode”, Splatoon takes away the deadly weapons used in Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo and the like, and replaces them with an arsenal of paint based weaponry.
While “splatting” your opponents is certainly a fun option, unlike FPS games, it is not the aim of this game. Called “Turf Wars”, the main objective is to paint the town red…. Or whatever colour paint your team is using. The winner is the team who, at the end of the 3 minute game, has more of the arena floor covered in their colour paint. To keep it nicely team based and what not, Splatting your opponents (i.e. killing them) causes them to explode in a blast of your team’s colour paint. So while the objective might not be to kill each other – it certainly helps! Both from spreading more of your paint, and stopping them from spreading theirs.
As most modern shooters do, Splatoon includes a variety of weaponry to achieve your objective. From the “Splattershot Jr.” to the “Paint Roller”, falling into a few categories of weapon. Each weapon you choose comes with a Sub Weapon (usually grenade variant) and a Super Weapon.
The other distinctive feature of Splatoon is that you can turn into a “Squid” and swim through your ink at high speeds, virtually unseen by your enemies. This makes for some excellent mobility, and its not just limited to the floor, you can swim up painted walls to get to higher ground to lay down paint based doom upon your enemies and the arena. Also, when in squid form, if you tap another player on the game pads touch screen you’ll “Super Launch” to their location, jumping across the map to join in the messiness there – great when you’ve just respawned and need to get back to the front lines!
So the important question for any review has to be: Is this game any good? And for Splatoon the answer is simple: Yes, this game is amazing!
When it was initially announced at E3 last year, I was immediately very excited for this new IP from Nintendo. That excitement waned slightly at the concern that all that was being shown was the online multiplayer, which is an aspect that some Nintendo Wii U titles have suffered with from not having enough people in the lobbies playing the game. I remember Black Ops 2 online servers rarely had more than 2000 people online world wide.
But Nintendo have really pushed this title, from TV and Cinema adverts, to a big push on Social Media and some big launch and demo events, this game topped charts on the week of release, and sold out in many places (especially after GAME had their stock stolen!).
Thus far I’ve had zero issues getting into games, wait times are incredibly low, and the action is non-stop! So non-stop in fact that there is even a NES style squid jumping mini-game to play between games while it loads the next map etc – which usually I struggle to have enough time to finish a single level on!
The graphics are wonderful, colourful and so much fun to play on. While there are a load of different paint colours for teams to play with (randomised) they’re always very contrasting colours, which makes for a very vibrant game.
While the game is mostly focused around its online play, be it Turf Wars in the Regular Battle (Non Ranked) or Splat Zones or Tower Control in Ranked Battle (Variants of Take and Hold and Tug of War Payload respectively), that’s not to say that the game is solely an online shooter. Splatoon also has a pretty in depth single player campaign mode called “Hero Mode” which just uses the basic Splattershot weapon, although it is upgradable throughout the campaign.
Being a Wii U Nintendo IP it, of course, has Amiibo support. 3 Amiibos were released with the game, one for each of the Girl and Boy “Inklings” and one for the Squid, which was only available in the special edition bundled with the game (which was what GAME had stolen). The Amiibos add to both the single player and multiplayer aspects of the game. Single mode in that when you scan the Amiibo you can do challenge mode variants of the Single player maps, which allow you to unlock new gear and weapons, exclusive to the Amiibos, for use online in Multiplayer.
This game is already one of the top games to have on the Wii U, any Wii U owners who don’t have this already are very much advised to get it. And if you don’t yet own a Wii U, I know some people are considering getting one just for this game, especially with the rest of the supporting cast of excellent Wii U games already available.
While I’m currently struggling to fit as much game time as I’d like into my busy schedule, Splatoon has made that even harder, now having to get as much game time in as possible because it’s just so much fun! In my opinion, as a big Wii U and Nintendo fan anyway, this game easily jumps straight into my Top 5 Wii U titles so far!
Get this game, and add me up!