I loved nearly everything about Splatoon, the controls are a little awkward but I adjusted quickly.
The music is so infectiously catchy, though there wasn't much diversity in the music...
Games are short but satisfying.
During the very first play sitting of the Global Test Launch, there was a LOT of lag, but by the third, it was almost all gone. Almost. I definitely had some, but a little is to be expected.
This past weekend I got a chance to play the new Splatoon Global Testfire! At three different times between Friday and Saturday, for one hour at a time, they let players try out Splatoon! Now these were very selective times so it’s completely understandable if you didn’t get a chance to play it, that’s why I’m here! This won’t be a full fledged review, just my initial thoughts on the game so far.
For those that don’t know, Splatoon is a game about paintball, you are a squid kid, otherwise known as an Inkling, and it’s basically a 4v4 paintball game using different kinds of weapons, but it’s not purely about taking out opponents, in this demo your main goal was to cover as much territory in your color of paint as possible.
There was very little I actually disliked about Splatoon, you got 4 weapons that played pretty differently, each with their own sub weapon and special weapon. There was the Splatter, the Splatter Jr which is the same as the Splatter only with worse range, the Roller which can cover a LOT of ground very easily but is essentially a melee weapon, and the Charger which is basically a sniper rifle. There was a clear sense of difference in difficulty between these, the Splatter Jr set up was the easiest by far, it came with a bubble to protect you from damage, and you can also share your bubble with teammates. The hardest by far was the sniper rifle, it takes a while to fully charge up, and while it does have great forward range, it’s really useless close up or for getting certain surfaces.
The 2 maps that we got to play were pretty different from each other, one had lots of aerial advantages with places to fall off, and the other was very narrow, forcing the two teams to go at each other. The only game mode was one where you win by covering the most territory, focusing on killing opponents would own help so much, in fact doing that would more often make you lose. There’s definitely advantages for certain weapons on specific maps, the one with more high points are better for snipers. I’d be very interested to see how this works with more weapons and more maps.
The aspect I noticed the most when playing, was that the more diverse the weapons in the team are, the better your chances of winning. For example, any team with just 4 Rollers is screwed, they could cover a lot of paint easily, but they were completely helpless against ranged enemies, or in other words, literally any other enemy. Rollers were surprisingly the most common weapon set up I saw in the 2 hours I got to play, teams of 3 to 4/4 Rollers were incredibly common. On one hand, I really like that a team with diversity in weapons is more likely to succeed, one weapon isn’t inherently stronger than the other. At the same time, at least in this demo, choosing teams and weapon set ups was a complete crapshoot, you choose your weapon and then get put into a team. It’s possible, in the full version if you’re playing with friends you could coordinate, but I suspect this will be an issue in the full version.
If one thing really bothered me about the game it was the control scheme. You look almost entirely with the motion controls of the gamepad, though you can look around with the right joystick. This makes shooting particularly frustrating at times because it’s so difficult to aim. With a melee weapon like the Roller this isn’t an issue, but the 2 Splatters, and the sniper rifle, it was really troublesome. Aside from a few connection issues which were to be expected, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Splatoon.