Nintendo is daring to do something different. Don’t let the pretty, innocent shooting fun fool you. The shooting mechanics on Splatoon are first-class, and underneath the ink façade lies a ton of gameplay depth.
The most undeniable quality about Splatoon is its imaginative graphics which seem to make clever use of the Wii U’s hardware capabilities. There’s a lot of color and pomp to this game, and it is remarkably different from the dark, post-war, crimson-tainted scenes of regular shooter games. The graphics are quite fluid, and though the environments are a bit repetitive, you’ll certainly get your fill of satisfaction from all the color.
In the city of Inkopolis, there are loveable humanoid creatures known as Inklings that can shapeshift into squid-like creatures. You can play the game online in teams of four-vs-four, local multiplayer in one-vs-one, or offline in a single-player campaign mode. This is a third-person shooter game, the only difference being instead of your Inklings shooting bullets, they shoot and splatter ink in their team colors to cover as much territory as possible. In the squid form, you can swim through your ink color and watch your tank replenish. Swimming through other colors will result in damage in your squid form, and you can’t go through enemy ink easily in your humanoid form.
There are primary ink weapons (ink buckets, firearms, splash rollers, etc.) which have different stats, secondary weapons such as ink balloons, disruptive fields, etc., and special attacks which you achieve by covering enough ground with paint. You can earn in-game money with experience which you can use to purchase gear, weapons, etc.
The controls on Splatoon are quite seamless. Transitioning between squid and humanoid forms is quite smooth, with standard buttons and minus any complex combinations. You can choose to use Wii Remote or Pro controllers. I personally prefer the latter as I have much more freedom and can devise and execute my strategy effectively. Aiming is also quite effective here, and you’ll be surprised at how rapid the shooter mechanics are.
Replay Value: 4.5
This is definitely a game that I can come back to any day or even a year or two from now. Yes, it is let down in terms of lacking map variety and repetitive environments. However, you’ll probably have so much fun playing you won’t notice that the canvas of Inkopolis rarely changes. Online multiplayer offers the best of game strategy while the single-player campaign is also quite exciting with some awesome bosses to cap it off.
Splatoon is quite the pleasant surprise, and it even has a sequel. Its vibrant visuals, effective shooter mechanics and a whole lot of depth and tactical nuances prove critics (including myself) wrong, shooter games don’t have to be all about blood and gore. Furthermore, shooters tend to get boring very quickly, with a lot of the same old tactics and enemies to fight against. Splatoon offers a completely different perspective.
Splatoon offers a different and refreshing take on the shooter genre, and it might just add that much-needed color to your life..
Pros : Vibrant visuals.
Has great gameplay and shooter mechanics.
Offers unique strategy options.
Cons : Has few and repetitive maps.
Replay Value 4.5
Average : 4.5
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