Our Splatoon 2 Review is Ready. Does Nintendo’s Ink Shooter Still Hold-Up?
Anyone who’s played the 1st Splatoon on the Wii U knows how much fun Nintendo’s Ink-blasting shooter can be. Playing as an Inkling (a weird kid-squid hybrid) players can transform from squid to kid by holding/letting-go of the L & ZL buttons. The mechanic works great – just like it did on the Wii U. Transforming into a squid allows players to quickly swim through ink that matches their team’s color. This allows all types of gameplay mechanics. Being able to swim up walls or hide in ink makes the Splatoon series a blast to play. While the original Splatoon paved the way for these ink-based physics and the overall quickness of the Splatoon world – it’s Splatoon 2 that takes the multiplayer to the next level.
Splatoon 2’s Awesome Multiplayer Modes
Splatoon 2 has one of the most addictive multiplayer experiences on the Switch thus-far. Like the original, Splatoon 2 starts off with just the Turf War mode unlocked. In Turf Mode teams fight to cover the most ground with their team’s color ink. Turf War is fun to play, but doesn’t include any additional objectives other than trying to stay alive while coating the map in ink. After you reach level 10 Splatoon 2’s Ranked Mode unlocks. Ranked Mode offers classic Splatoon match types like Tower Control and Rainmaker Mode.
Tower Control, Splat Zones and Rainmaker Modes
Tower Control requires you and your team to capture and ride a small block tower to the other team’s side of the map. This becomes a challenge with a strong opposing team, with many matches feeling like a long winded tug-o-war. Rainmaker mode pits to teams in a fight to gain control of the rainmaker gun, which shoots powerful explosive ink-vortex bombs. The team that moves the rainmaker closest to the opposing team’s side wins. Spat Zones requires players to coat different sections of a multiplayer map in ink. After inking an area your team must retain control of the area to earn points. All of these modes seem simple – but become a real blast and test of gaming skill.
New Mode, Clam Blitz – Splatoon’s Spin on American Football?
Nintendo also added a new mode to Ranked Matches – called Clam Blitz. Clam Blitz requires teams to move a football to the other team’s side – similar to Rainmaker Mode. Both teams start with 100 points. Each time an opposing team throws their football at your goal they take off 20 points. The goal is to decrease your team by getting your football to their side and throw it at the goal. After successfully hitting the target with the football your team can then throw any clams to reduce the opposing team’s points even further.
Like the original Splatoon, Splatoon 2 runs occasional Spatfests. Splatfests require players to choose between 2-different things in a community poll. For instance, one Splatfest was Dogs vs. Cats. Players choose which one they prefer placing them with teams where everyone voted for the same. After the voting period ends Splatoon 2’s Spatfest starts. Players will face off against teams made-up of players who chose the other option. After the Splatfest is over (it runs for a couple of days) the winning side is announced.
Graphically, How Does Splatoon 2 Look?
Splatoon 2 is a pretty good looking game, with most objects and characters in the world filled with character and charm. Most of the graphical beauty is centered on the Inklings and the ink – which globs nicely on stages & multiplayer maps. Being able to swim quickly through ink – up and down walls certainly impresses in a graphically technical way. One disappointment is the game’s backgrounds and outlying environments that are out-of-reach of the player. While retaining an abstract style – Splatoon 2 seems almost lazy when it comes to background settings – especially in the single player mode. This is a small complaint- and by no means makes Splatoon 2 an ugly game. Like the original Splatoon, the sequel uses bright colors and plenty of ink splattering explosions to make it a real treat.
Super Soaked Summer Music!
Splatoon 2 definitely has one of the most original soundtracks of any game released in the last few years. While many of the tunes from the original Splatoon are present, Splatoon 2 also introduces a wide variety of new tunes. Splatoon 2 does leverage the same song more than once like the Wii U’s Splatoon. Nintendo’s ability at mixing and changing rhythm and different music pitches and tones allows many of the redundant beats to still feel fresh even after sinking hours into the game’s multiplayer modes.
What Splatoon 2 Does Better than the original Splatoon on Wii U
- More Guns & Items
- Players can buy shoes (which also have power-up & level-up ability)
- Special Weapons (like kill-streak perks in other shooters)
- Salmon Run (2-4 players defend co-op)
- Local multiplayer (Turf War Battles (1-8 players)
Single Player Disappointment
I won’t spoil the single player mode in Splatoon 2 for those interested in the game’s story and solo experience. Overall its similar to the original Splatoon’s single-player mode. There are some new things to collect while going through each of Splatoon 2’s missions – but in the end feels like a linear experience. This linear experience disappoints when considering the many different ideas Nintendo could’ve added. I for one wanted to get to know more about the world the Inklings inhabit. With all the Nintendo charm gleaming from the Splatoon series – it needs a better solo mode to flesh out the world of Splatoon, characters and inhabitants. Splatoon definitely fits well with the other Nintendo characters – and still being a fairly young IP deserves a more complete single player experience.
In conclusion Splatoon 2 is one of the most addictive online games for the Nintendo Switch. Fans of the original Splatoon will love Splatoon 2. The second entry in the series offers additional online modes and a better online ranking system. Splatoon 2 is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys online shooters.
Splatoon 2 (Switch) Review Score
- Gameplay: 9/10
- Graphics: 8/10
- Music & Sound: 8.5/10
- Replay Value: 9/10
- Final Score: 8.6/10