A 4-versus-4 third-person team-based twist on multiplayer shooters, Splatoon sees players take control of a creature called an Inkling. These curious characters may look human normally, but they can transform into squids that surf through a special ink, which they fire out of their specialized weapons. Their objective? To cover as much of the land in their own brand of ink, of course, all in the hopes of making it easier to slip and slide through the world.
There are still a few questions surrounding Splatoon, like what kind of a single-player experience it supposedly includes. I can’t imagine it being very deep, and that worries me, but I can only judge based on what I played. And I can say that, at the very least, it has a very competent multiplayer component.
After playing three rounds of Splatoon’s primary game of dominating territory, I admit to being pleasantly surprised at how much it hooked me. The game offers a variety of special weapons like ink grenades, ink bazookas, and ink rollers and even allows you to spawn on teammates after being knocked out by enemy colors. In terms of its take on a mode that would normally be incredibly violent, it felt instead more like Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare: All the fun multiplayer action and none of the blood and guts. A refreshing change of pace, indeed.
My only real complaint with Splatoon is that it’s another Wii U game that relies too much on gimmicks. In this case, it’s the GamePad’s gyroscope. Instead of being able to aim with the second stick, like in most other shooters, you have to move the entire controller around, which is counterintuitive to the twitch instincts most gamers develop with shooters of any kind. It definitely led to more frustrating moments when all eight players would meet in the middle of the map for an all-out shootout. Despite this, I think Splatoon might surprise some people if you can adjust your playstyle to compensate for gyroscope. This may be a rare Nintendo shooter, but it’s impressive so far.