Splatoon 2 picks up where its predecessor left off on the Wii U. Delivering more fun, action, cutesy visuals and ink loads of shenanigans that feel more at home on the Switch than ever.
So just quickly in case you’re not familiar with the Splatoonverse, the main gameplay consists of 4 on 4 battle where your squid avatar is armed with a variety of weapon which shoots out coloured ink. The main objective being to cover more of the playing arena with your colour while the opposing team is doing the exact same thing. The maps themselves aren’t overly huge which invites tight contests and frantic action as you walk, run and swim through the ink trying to gain the upper hand over the opposing team.
Before I launch into the multiplayer aspect, I just want to touch on the single player mode which is actually very well put together and keeps you playing in between the online multiplayer part of the game. The campaign part of the game revolves around you being recruited by war veteran Captain Cuttlefish in the Octo Valley to help save The Great Zapfish who supplies Inkopolis with its power. This campaign has a section at the start which serves as a tutorial and introduces you to the gameplay and the various weapons you can upgrade to once you reach a certain level in the game. There’s also various clothes and add ons, all which serves various power ups and aids during the game.
The idea of the tutorial is to pick up Golden Eggs while taking out the various enemies that occupy the levels. Each level has a minimum number of Golden Eggs to collect and as you pick up each one, you deposit it in a container but be warned, the enemy can and will intercept you, stealing the egg and making a run for it. If you’re quick enough you can take them out and get the egg back to else you need to get a new egg all over again. I never found this tedious though and always heaps of fun which kept the game going.
The campaign itself sees you using and utilising your newly acquired skills and knowledge to traverse various levels which are chockfull with enemies and hazards which will require the use of ink to navigate and get around. As you reach the end of each level, you’re give a Zapfish which results in you being whisked out of that level and starting a new one. These levels are fun, varied and will keep you on your toes as you progress through in order to reach a boss at the end. When you do beat the boss, you then go back to the main map and start a new series of levels to rescue the other Zapfish. I still haven’t finished this mode but it’s proving to be bucketloads of fun.
Now, the multiplayer aspect is where the game comes alive and where you’ll find the most rewards. As with other similar games, when you complete a round of skirmish, win or lose, your player receives points and can progress through various levels. As I type this my character is up to Level 5, lowly I know but it’s given me access to new weapons which will hopefully start to give me an edge in the battles. My internet connection is just ADSL 2+ but I’ve experienced zero lag and drop outs whatsoever. This is something to be commended as with the nonstop, fast paced style of the game, you may expect some lag but so far, so good. You have your choice of ranked matches or regular ones and the maps you play on rotate once every four hours which is a nice touch.
Here’s a breakdown of the rules that are set out for each battle type:
- Splat Zones is a King of the Hill style of gameplay where you need to keep a certain part of your territory occupied with your team’s colour as the enemy attempts to colour it with their colour ink. You have a counter which you need to get down to zero before time runs out.
- Turf Wars which is what the game defaults to is where you invade the enemies land all the while spraying your team’s ink as you go in three minutes.
- Rainmaker is your Capture The Flag game where you venture into enemy territory, steal their flag and race it back towards your base.
- Tower Control is similar to Rainmaker expect you’re transporting a tower and when the time runs out, you get points for how close you got to your base even if you weren’t successful in bringing it all the way home.
It’s safe to say that this is one game that a lot of Switch owners have been waiting for and it’s easy to call it a system seller as well. With it’s blend of cool characters, loads of customisation options, awesome catchy soundtrack and massive blend of fun, it’s one game that will keep players busy for hours. I didn’t get a chance to play it with the newly launch Nintendo Switch phone app which is used for voice communication but I imaging it’ll come in handy for strategising and communicating orders to team mates. It’s one game where you really need to come together as a team or else it’s difficult to come up a winner.
To the best of my knowledge, the game doesn’t have offline bot play so if you wanted to play it on the go on public transport, you can’t do that. I could be wrong but I haven’t been able to find a mode like this only the single player campaign mode. I missed the first Splatoon on the Wii U which was always a regret but this release more than makes up for it and like a lot of people I just can’t stop playing! It’s inktacular, full of ink loads of fun and needless to say, it’s inkcredible!
*Thanks to Nintendo for the review copy*
Final score: 9.5/10