Splatton is getting a massive update on August 5, 2015. The new content will offer Squad Battle and Private Battle as new matching options, new weapon types, a level-cap increase, and more than 40 pieces of new gear.
Squad Battle allows players to participate in Ranked Battles with a team of their friends, instead of the original random selection. Two to four friends can form a squad and they will always be on the same team.
Friends can face off in customization matches with Private Battles. Ranging from 1v1 to 4v4, up to eight friends can compete in battles of their own choosing.
The level-cap will increase from lvl 20 to lvl 50 in Regular Battle and Rank A+ to S+ in Ranked Battle.
The two new weapon types are the Slosher, a bucket-like weapon that launches ink at an incredible range; and the Splatling, a gatling-gun style rifle can charge blasts of all-powerful ink.
The 40 pieces of new gear will vary between leather jackets to a sushi-chef costume.
What’s amazing is that there is more content to look forward to with more maps, weapons, and events continuing to come out in August. Don’t forget the Rainmaker game-type, which was mentioned during the Splatoon Direct back in May, has yet to make it’s debut. Nintendo has been supporting Splatoon with content updates on a bi-weekly basis and promises to do so for the rest of the summer and the coming Fall.
Splatoon is the Wii U’s first foray into the genre of Team Shooter’s. Although it has it’s faults, Splatoon is a wonderfully chaotic game that offers new game mechanics in a genre that has become over-saturated by post-apocalyptic tropes and ultra real graphics. Deep in it’s pools of ink, there is an addicting, surprisingly intricate multiplayer shooter.
Splatoon is a gorgeous game. The bright colors and superb lighting do an incredible job of immersing you in a world of gooey greatness. The ink effects are reminiscent to Super Mario Sunshine’s use of goop, while the skateboard/punk culture of Splatoon is similar to the style of Jet Set Radio for the Dreamcast. It successfully blends the two but gives the game an indefinable look that is entirely its own.
Rather than eliminating your opponent, the objective of the game is to claim as much of the map in your ink while simultaneously defending your area from rivals looking to do the same. This is where Splatoon shines, as the Wii U’s HD capability is put to full use as you drench the arena in your glorious ink. The single player campaign is short, but it offers a solid 6-8 play through, although it tends to feel repetitive.
Online battles are 4v4 3 minute matches of colorful chaos. As soon as the match begins, your squid-like characters begin to spray the arena in a mad frenzy. Although battles are only 3 minutes, the action never ceases. The frantic spraying and squirting will keep you coming back in your attempt to dominate the arena. The introduction of your Squidling is an excellent addition to the shooter genre as it allows you to move around in the ink in your squid form, rather then the usual fare of running around looking for opponents.
Splatoon is a breath of fresh air within the shooter genre. It may not have the cutting edge graphics of a modern Call of Duty or the grittiness of Fallout (Both are great games), however, Splatoon has heart. The gorgeous colors, the upbeat music, and the addicting game play is a testament to not only the Wii U’s potential, but to Nintendo’s philosophy that great game play makes a great game.
Nintendo is one of the most successful entertainment juggernauts in the world. Almost all of their first-party game characters are international icons that have become a part of our culture. But as time has passed, the rise of Call of Duty has shown us one thing: gamers love first-person shooters and that is not going away anytime soon.
It’s an overstatement to say that Nintendo has held on by a thread in the modern era because their previous console, the Nintendo Wii, has sold over 101.02 million consoles worldwide. So the recent Wii U struggles are most likely a temporary situation that is being remedied as we speak with the release of Mario Kart 8.
Nintendo will not be a platform for everyone through purely third-party titles as many studios have given up making their triple-a titles for the system and its confusing Gamepad controller.
But if Nintendo can break the ice and create new IPs that are of the shooter variety, they could wipe the competition with shooters and their already successful first-party favorites (Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, etc.)
Splatoon is a very important experiment for Nintendo. Can they make a shooter title molded from the core values and creativity that is Nintendo and succeed not just critically but commercially as well?
From what we saw at E3 2014 in June, Splatoon is a multiplayer 4-on-4 shooter, where players use ink for offense, defense and transportation around the maps. It looks both fun and strategic and exactly what a Nintendo shooter would look like.
I am very excited for this title and hope it succeeds and spurs Nintendo to explore more ideas for shooters (keeping my fingers crossed for a shooter spinoff of Super Smash Bros., with all of Nintendo’s greatest characters in a team deathmatch).
Check out the Splatoon announcement trailer from Nintendo’s digital E3 press conference.