Review by George de Sausmarez
Splatoon's never ending flurry of DLC makes it a hard game to review at any one time. I've managed to prise myself away for long enough to get my thoughts down.
In case you’ve been stuck under a rock for the past few months, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the game itself.
Splatoon is Nintendo’s input into the multiplayer shooter genre. It takes away from the gritty war simulators that we have become accustomed to over the recent decade and throws in some colour and adorable mascots in a Shibuya-ish teen pop culture setting. Along with the slick art style comes rather satisfying gameplay, which feels polished and gratifying (especially the sound effect of the opponent splatting, which I'll never get bored of.
Your objective in the regular matches is simple, cover more ground with your ink than the opponent. Splat zones are King-of-the-Hill type games to hold ground for a length of time, Tower Control, which involved riding a tower to the enemy base and Rainmaker, where you have to collect a weapon and carry it to the enemy base, like a reverse Capture-the-Flag.
Now that’s out of the way, I can explain about the update we had a few weeks back.
Many of you may not realise that since release, Splatoon has been slowly cranking out DLC which would make most Triple A companies cry (not you Witcher). New weapons have been added which are unlike any of the standard variations presented on the disc. It requires you to change tactics from the one you might have previously playing and keeps the meta variable. These aren't just reskins, they are brand new.
The main focus of the large update was the ability to party up before a match rather than just joining and crossing your fingers - it's something that should have been there on day one and was desperately needed. It's unforgiving to see a console exclusive game which is trying to shake up the market miss such a basic prequisite of online gaming.
My main urk with this game is the matchmaking in question, is rather unbalanced. The game often puts you in unfair matches. I've been at level 8 and have been drawn against a team of level 18, 19 & 20’s with only a couple 12’s to help and a level 3 picking his nose at the back. This still needs to be addressed somehow. Although, there is no difference in weapon strength regardless of your level the matchmaking should still be smart enough to work out that the beginners need a break otherwise there experience is going to be damaged and they might not come back. Most of the time, the higher level team will win and nobody likes to keep loosing.
Regardless of all of these issues, Splatoon is still an extremely fun game to play and everyone should have a go to try something that's genuinely a bit different. Everyone group has one guy that bought a Wii U. You've probably been round to play Mario Kart & Smash Bros. Next time, make sure you give Splatoon a go too.
A solid exclusive from Nintendo - just please keep them coming!