Splatoon 3 – review – PILE
“More of the same” is usually thrown around as an insult, but in the case of Splaton 3 it is anything but.
When a group of enthusiastic young Nintendolings brought up Splatoon for the Wii U, they came up with a great concept. The thought process may have been something like, “Hey, let’s do a Call of Duty-like a third-person shooter that parents will let their kids play, because it’s not all violent and all that”. So the weapons became ink guns and the soldiers became cool and edgy squid/humanoid hybrids. Throw yourself into a bit of the Wii’s classic Australian wonder From Blob and a good piece of Radio Jet Set attitude and voila!
The first Switch release, Splaton 2 perfected the formula without hardly revolutionizing it, and that is precisely what Splaton 3 also done. It should be kept in mind that Splaton 2 was a shining example of nailing both gameplay and atmosphere, so there wasn’t much to improve on. As such, we’re getting a new story mode – or “Hero” – titled The return of mammalsa selection of multiplayer modes and a shiny new card game named Tableturf Battle, which is accessible after reaching level four.
“The first Switch release, Splaton 2 perfected the formula without hardly revolutionizing it, and that is precisely what Splaton 3 also done.
Our theme colors this time around are blue and yellow, echoing the arid Splatlands we start in, before heading to this release’s metropolis, Splatsville – aka “the city of chaos”. This is where, as you level up and accumulate currency, you can funkify your character through shopping. Shopping rocks!
After some customization tweaks to your Inkling or Octoling rep in-game and selecting a hairstyle for your little pal Smallfry, it’s time for the intro release. This has motion controls enabled by default, and our STACK The best advice here is that as soon as you regain control in Splatsville, go to the options menu and turn it off. Ugh!
Once you arrive in Splatsville, you can also opt to dive straight into multiplayer or embark on a larger single-player campaign than in the two predecessors. You and your little buddy meet old Cap’n Cuttlefish, who subsequently disappears, and then there’s fuzzy slime and lots more contradictory things in your quest to regain control of the mega power source that is the Great Zapfish, which has, once again, gone AWOL.
Again, Hero Mode allows newbies to be indoctrinated in all things Splatoony. Learning many nuances such as weapon handling and neat transmog between squid and biped, and the benefits each configuration offers, it’s also handy as a refresher course for those who may not have done the thing. ink for a while.
As with these two previous games, Splaton 3 isn’t really about single player play though. The basic multiplayer option is the classic Turf War, where you deal in ink alongside three teammates trying to color your world with more of your tint than your four opponents. There are 12 maps to attack, five of which are all shiny and new, with the carrot of new weapons and abilities to unlock as you progress.
Then comes the return of Splaton 2‘s Salmon Run, a quest to collect salmon eggs by hitting opponents. Some would call it a horde mode, because basically it is.
Rounding things out is Anarchy Battle, which replaces the Ranked Battle experience. Accessible after reaching level 10 (or immediately if you are a Splaton 2 veteran with a saved game to prove it), they can be played solo or with real-world friends. Speaking of friends, a big improvement is the ability to team up with them rather than just continually suffering from random types.
Have you been lucky enough to catch some of the almost insanely elusive Splatoon amiibo? Tap, tap, tap with them and they’ll give you fun bonuses, including gear and abilities.
Our one big disappointment with an otherwise fabulous fun experience? There is – inexplicably – still no local split-screen multiplayer experience. The best thing is that if you’re carrying two (or more) Switch consoles, they can be hooked together, which still means no big screen – boo! The first time it was excusable, the second time an oversight, the third time it’s really hard to forgive.
“We’re the squids in a-Splats-a-ville – WHOA-OH!”
Ultimately, while Splaton 3 isn’t spouting masses of inktakular content for obsessive types like its latest release, much more is promised via free updates slated for the next two years, so value – and variation – is assured.
If you are already converted, then Splaton 3 is a must. If you’re not yet indoctrinated on the path of ink, then hop on board and sing along… We’re the squids of a-Splats-a-ville – WHOA-OH!
Splaton 3 is now available on Switch.