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.