Since its initial launch in 2015, the Splatoon series has offered colorful, unique gameplay entwined by scarce launch content and disappointing time limits for specific modes. . While post-launch content has greatly supported both games so far, I’ve always been disappointed that so little was initially offered. Now in the third entry, the series might feel a little less fresh, but Splatoon 3 fixes the series’ longstanding content troubles while retaining all the fun. made the series a success.
It feels great to slip back into your custom Inkling fashion shoes; Your vibrant ink splashes look, feel and sound satisfyingly messy, especially when you’re shooting enemies. Few games match the smooth, intuitive mobility that Splatoon offers you when submerged in water and moving through the map. While Splatoon 3 offers more modes than ever before, those core game principles carry on no matter which mode you play.
Splatoon’s competitive multiplayer section, where two opposing teams battle to cover the map (and each other) with their colored ink, is the destination for most games, and that’s where the content gets added. feel the most impactful. While the maps unfortunately still work in rotation over time, the area from which they are pulled is much deeper than in previous launches; The 12 Turf War maps, both old and new, roughly match the launch totals of the first two games combined.
Splatoon 3 also transitions on weapons from previous games while introducing cool arsenal additions like the useful multi-target bow with bullets that explode when fully charged, and the Splatana, which makes you feel… like a stubborn ninja. Meanwhile, Splatoon 3 gives highly skilled players new tools in the form of the Squid Surge, a new wall-climb, and the Squid Roll, a shielded jump that lets you earn a dime while swimming. The Squid Surge is less valuable unless you’re climbing a high wall, but the Squid Roll, with its ability to quickly link multiple moves together, can change the outcome of almost any encounter if used effectively.
Like previous games, the frenetic pace of these three-minute matches makes them ideal for small-scale gaming sessions while also appealing to those with a “just one game” mindset. again”. The final minutes, where the music kicks in and everyone tries to cover the ground as much as possible (literally), remains an adrenaline rush in the race that takes more paper than the opposing team. That rush is amplified in the revamped Splatfests, which now include three separate teams. Most of the experience remains unchanged, but the new Tricolor Turf Wars, where the four-player team in first place must defend the center position against two two-man teams, shakes things up. These intense matches require new strategies for everyone involved as groups converge from opposite sides of the map.
While the series is best known for its competitive multiplayer feature, the other two main modes are also worthwhile components. Splatoon 3’s Salmon Run evolves the exciting wave-based cooperative PvE multiplayer experience by adding more bosses (all of which require a unique strategy to defeat) and the ability to throw the eggs you get from them to the target basket. Work together to defeat the minions and get enough eggs from the fallen bosses to advance to the next round that never stops stimulating. The biggest benefit to this mode, however, is that the arbitrary time limits from Splatoon 2 are gone and in favor of the mode getting the same 24/7 availability of the other turrets.
This iteration also continues the series’ tradition of offering exciting single-player missions that take advantage of the franchise’s various mechanics. Splatoon 3’s single-player Hero mode is a great way to familiarize yourself with the game’s controls, strategy, and weapons, but it’s more than just a lavishly decorated tutorial. The story is trite, but thanks to various gimmicks introduced in a quick clip and quizzes involving your new companion, Smallfry, the Hero mode’s levels show off. largely satisfying exploration of how developers can stretch core gameplay in surprising and exciting ways.
I love missions like one where I grind on rails while taking in a fast-paced shooting gallery or another where I navigate through a maze full of enemies with a twist big at the end. While I loved nearly all of the time I spent in Hero Mode, there were still a few misses, with some missions delivering more frustration than fun and others coming too close. with the quests I played in Splatoon 2. The boss battles, which are among my favorites of previous games, serve up a mixed bag, although they are mostly disappointing. However, the successful works are among the best the series has ever presented.
Splatoon 3 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, nor does it need to. Instead, it improves on nearly every element of the franchise in sometimes small but meaningful ways. With a strong set of ready-made content available at launch and at least two years of free and premium content rolling out, Splatoon 3 is simultaneously the best entry to date and the most promising of the series. story.