When the Switch first came out, there were scoffers and catcallers that cried, “Hey, look! Nintendo’s trying to make Splatoon a thing!” Pay them no heed. By now, they are surely eating their words, because Splatoon 2 is the shooter you didn’t know you needed.
On the surface, it looks like a child’s introduction to shooters. But what Splatoon does is turn the genre on its head. While the aesthetic of many shooters is grimy and dark and about a world that needs saving, Splatoon 2, like its predecessor, is bold and colourful and is a televised sport within the game’s universe. It even has casters that update you on which maps are currently in rotation every time every time you start it up.
For those who have no idea what it is, Splatoon is all about that ink. Ink your territory, the objective, and your enemies. If you even stand in ink a different colour to your own, you get hurt! The idea is pretty clever in its simplicity. As you play against other players you level up and gain access to customisable aesthetics, like shirts and shoes.
However, I would say that the single-player experience is by far the best thing the game has to offer. It introduces you the basic mechanics of the game as well as all the weapons available in the multiplayer. After diving into a sewer, you are greeted by Marie, one of the Squid Sisters. She enlists you to help her find her sister, who has gone missing after the mishaps of the last game.
There are several hub worlds around which you discover entrances to obstacle courses. While it was more of a chore in the previous game, this time round it’s satisfying swimming around the hubs and uncovering new sewer drains. The ‘obstacle courses’ are also very fun to traverse, filled with challenging puzzles and (later on) pesky enemies that just don’t want to die.
When I first started playing it, the motion controllers were pretty hard to use, so I switched to what I was comfortable with: using the right analogue stick to aim. But, my friends, I highly recommend you get used to the motion controllers, because once you do … you can actually hit things.
Unfortunately, the multiplayer mechanics aren’t as in-depth as the campaign’s. Since the campaign was (for me, never having played the original Splatoon) full of quirky puzzles and neat ideas for traversal, it was almost disappointing to find that not a lot of it was utilised in the multiplayer. Though, this might change as more maps come into rotation.
If you have a Switch, this is one of those games you just have to have. It’s simple team fun that’s easy to jump into. If you have a few friends, I would totally recommend a Splatoon party. However, I’d probably just get it for the cool campaign.