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E3 2014 | “Splatoon” Paints The Shooter Realm Red

Posted on June 11, 2014 AT 11:04am

It’s been a real long time since Nintendo has made a new IP that could become the next memorable gaming experience. What we didn’t count on was the home of Mario & Link to create a multiplayer third-person shooter. However as the way it usually goes with Nintendo, they like to give such a gameplay experience a little twist, such as the case with Splatoon.

Splatoon has two teams of four players going head-to-head as each side attempts to cover the streets with their colored ink before time runs out. As you spray the town with ink you can get around faster via your colors whenever you transform into a squid (which also helps to reload your ink gun faster). Find yourself maneuvering through your enemy’s colors, and you’ll begin slowing down to a crawl.

When playing Splatoon you are given two weapons: a regular ink gun and a grenade that can cover a good amount of areas. However it takes a lot of ink to use up a grenade, so it’s best to use it whenever necessary. During one point of the game I was given an ink bazooka, which comes quite handy when you take out an opponent at close range with it. To aim you can either use the right stick or take advantage of the GamePad’s tilt technology, the latter of which I found to be surprisingly easier.

During our play-through we were given the chance to go two five-minute rounds. As soon as each match began the shooting spree commenced, as we started covering the walls and floors with our team’s ink color. I found that when you’re not really paying attention to your supply, your ink runs dry fast, but reloading my gun came very easy whenever I swam in my color during squid mode. Climbing up walls, steep areas, and sneaking under blocked areas as a squid came in handy as it helped to discover hidden areas to cover with my ink.

When it comes to player-vs-player combat that’s where the real fun begins. When you are a squid you cannot be seen by the opposite team, so when you see a foe close-by you can sneak up behind them and either shoot or throw a grenade at them to take them down. Not gonna lie: seeing an opponent explode after behind hit too many times was a sight I did not tire of. It was a strategy like that that led my team to victory both times, which — seeing as I’m not entirely good at multiplayer shooters — filled me with a victorious euphoria.

Sure, we have our Call of Duty and Battlefield when it comes to multiplayer shooter games, but there’s one element that has been lost in those that Splatoon proudly wears on its sleeve: the fun factor. Nintendo’s newest IP came out of left field during its E3 online presentation, and as soon as the first match started it showcased how a shooter could be silly, enjoyable, and lack any of the frustrations that usually come with the genre it’s part of. It’s a gaming experience like this that Nintendo truly needs, and from the demo alone they seem to have nailed down every key element needed to make an enjoyable third-person multiplayer shooter.

Splatoon is due on the Wii U sometime in 2015. Stock up on ink cartridges, because if the demo was any indication it’s gonna be a fun, messy ride.

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008, where he is a contributing editor and host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at

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