The visuals are incredible
Turf War is a new take on shooters
The single player final boss is one of the best final boss fights in video game history
Buying clothing to customize and give your Inkling perks in multiplayer is awesome!
TONS of free content coming up
The single player campaign is rather slow, each level is more focused on platforming than anything else.
Turf War gets old pretty fast, you level up very slowly and there's only 2 available maps at any given time.
There are only 2 game modes available right now.
Nintendo’s newest IP is finally here, and it was so worth the wait. When Splatoon was first announced at last year’s E3 conference, I knew immediately that I was going to get it. Splatoon is a game where you play as these “Squid-kid” hybrids known as Inklings, and you fight against other Inklings in a third person shooter style arena. The goal of the multiplayer game is to shoot your color of ink all over the battle field and at other players, while the single player mode is more of a platformer that also reveals a bit of a hidden back story and lore to the game. The game itself is solid, I love it’s atmosphere, and it’s gameplay, but I also have a few problems with the game itself.
What you see and What you hear
Everything about the sound and the visuals are beyond outstanding. The graphics alone are incredible, on top of this really creative art style and retro 90s theme. The music is also great. Lots of great tracks that got into my head, and the sounds that go with shooting paint all over the place sound perfect. My one gripe with the music is that there isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to the soundtrack. I think there are maybe 4 or 5 songs that can show up in multiplayer, and those songs are great, but it gets a little repetitive.
The story isn’t the biggest draw to Splatoon by far, but it’s still a pretty entertaining story to say the least. The evil Octarians (The Octopus equivalent of the Inklings) have stolen your city’s supply of Zapfish along with the Great Zapfish that powers your city. You go through each level recovering a Zapfish and beating the boss continues the story, which leads to an incredibly epic final boss. There are also secret scrolls in each level, which provide back story to this bizarre world you’re experiencing. The story isn’t amazing, it’s more just a means for the single player, but the characters that go along with it are incredibly entertaining.
Despite some frustration with the motion controlled camera, I have absolutely no problems with how the game itself plays. In fact, I really like how it plays, what I don’t like is the variety of what you can play right now. There’s a lot to cover in the gameplay so I’m going to start with what I like, and then do what I don’t like. As I’m writing this review, there are 2 game modes, single player, and Turf War. I’ll touch on single player in a minute, but Turf War is Splatoon’s main mode.
You play in a team of 4 trying to ink as much territory as possible, and you can ink enemy players as well. You get 4 different types of weapons ranging from a couple rapid fire paint guns, a sniper rifle, and a paint roller, along with sub weapons like grenades and special weapons that you can use after covering a certain amount of ground. Here’s the thing though, you can’t customize your loadout, each main weapon has a pre assigned sub and special weapon, so you have to choose what loadout you think will work best for you. What I really like about Turf War is that you don’t win by just killing your opponents. It keeps track of how many you do, but the way to win is to focus on painting the flat surfaces you walk on. None of the weapons are strictly over powered either. In fact, a team of four different loadouts are more likely to win than a team of all any one weapon.
Here’s what I don’t like about Turf War. First, even though there are about 6 maps that are all very different from each other, only two maps are available to play on at any given time, and they change out randomly after several hours have gone by. It feels unnecessary, and it makes the Turf War get very repetitive very fast when you’re confined to two maps for your entire gaming session. Another thing that bothers me is that there is no way to coordinate with your team about what weapons you use (unless you’re playing online with friends). You choose your loadout before going into the matchmaking lobby, and then it’s a complete crapshoot whether or not you end up with a balanced team of weapons.
I was both glad and skeptical when they said a single player mode was going to be included into Splatoon. I’m glad that they would include an offline mode for people who don’t necessarily want to play online, and skeptical that they would be able to retain the same feeling of playing Turf War. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the single player mode did retain a lot of Splatoon’s essence. Each level is it’s own world, typically containing 5 or 6 levels and then a boss fight. Beating a boss also unlocks a new multiplayer weapon you can use. While each level in the single player felt unique and challenging, I got bored of it pretty fast. It’s much slower than anything else in the game (except boss fights) and after a while I noticed a really obvious pattern in the level design. Each having 3 or so levels that are based around platforming, a more open world level, and then a mini boss. 4 of the 5 worlds follow this pattern and it got old fast. All that being said, the final boss fight was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had when playing a video game. It was the perfect combination of challenging, exciting, fun, and unique!
Now, there’s actually another mode that I haven’t touched on. Ranked mode, and I honestly can’t say whether or not it’s good or bad, because it’s not available yet, and this leads into my biggest problem with Splatoon as a whole, the amount of content in the initial package. Nintendo has plans to give out free DLC for Splatoon every couple of weeks, these include new weapons, maps, maybe even game modes, and they’re also planning on having events for the game in the coming months.
This is actually a nice idea, to have lots of free content continuously flowing into the game over a few months, but because of this (and the deadline to get this game out for summer) the initial game feels lacking in content. There are only 2 game modes right now, both of which are very repetitive and slow. The game is fun as a whole, and I know it will be even better when more content comes out, especially ranked play, but as it is right now, the game feels unfinished and lacking.
Splatoon reminds me of so many things, like Nickelodeon, Jet Set Radio, Super Mario Sunshine, all of these feel like they’re apart of Splatoon and that’s one of the reasons that I love this game.
It’s not the quality of Splatoon that’s lacking, not by any means. The Quality of Splatoon from it’s visuals to it’s music and even to it’s gameplay mechanics are near perfection. This isn’t unfinished in the sense that Assassin’s Creed Unity or Sonic Boom were unfinished, it’s unfinished because it feels like there should be more to the game itself. That’s because there IS more to the game, we just don’t have it yet. If you’re worried that Splatoon isn’t worth the $60 price, don’t, it absolutely is. Splatoon is one of the best games for the WiiU, and a great new entry into Nintendo’s history books.