Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2

I’ve had a lot of fun with Splatoon 2’s multiplayer. On paper, it’s a glorified expansion pack, but the new weapons and mechanics are creative enough to justify a purchase even by those who already own the original on Wii U. It helps that Splatoon had enough ideas in it for three games, so there’s still nowhere else to go to get the experience of Jet Set Radio as a third-person shooter starring shapeshifting squids. All of the modes feel worthwhile, including the extensive new co-op horde mode. Additionally, the way the game automatically switches maps and modes prevents players from gravitating to a small number of options. The large number of possible loadouts (especially with the last three years of updates) ensures that everyone can find a playstyle that appeals to them, even if they just want to shoot the floor for the whole match.

Unfortunately, this is a game of two halves, and the single-player portion does not pull its weight. The alternative goals and evolving maps are absent, leaving only the hybrid shooter/platformer gameplay. But the pathetic range and wonky hitboxes on most weapons are beyond frustrating in a standard shooter context, and the need to paint a new path every ten steps makes movement itself a chore. It’s even worse when you’re forced to use a specific, often inconvenient weapon, which is most of the time. Perhaps Nintendo’s inexperience with the genre is to blame, as the multiplayer is also burdened with the inability to switch loadout mid-match, but they seem to know what they’re doing elsewhere, as the weapons are surprisingly well-balanced. Across both halves, the visuals and sounds associated with player ink are immensely satisfying, although the rest of the audio alternates between extremes of enjoyable and annoying.

6/10
6/10

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