By Anna Yang, Assistant Editor of Community and Culture
The waiting lobby for Splatoon 3, where three players prepare for Player vs Player Turf War battles.
|Developer||Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development|
|Release Date||September 9, 2022|
The third installation to Nintendo’s Splatoon series has arrived! If you’ve been wondering what’s the big deal, here’s all you need to know about the bright, funky, and inky Splatoon 3.
The majority of Splatoon 3’s appeal comes from the competitive multiplayer aspect. The most popular game mode, Turf War (or Regular Battle) features a 4v4 symmetrical setup: four players on each team, with the map split in half between your team’s turf and your enemy team’s turf. Players will choose between an “Inkling”, an anthropomorphic squid, or an “Octoling”, an anthropomorphic octopus (and as a bonus, both are completely customizable!). All characters can transform into squids to hide or swim through their color ink. Each player chooses a weapon type from the 54 available weapons, split between 11 weapon types. You can kill enemy players by “splatting” them with ink, but the main goal is to cover as much of the map as possible in your team’s color before the timer runs out.
Besides Turf War, there are two other multiplayer game modes available: Salmon Run Next Wave, a co-op multiplayer where a team of players fights computer-generated enemies, and four variations of Anarchy Battle modes (Ranked Battles).
If you do pick up Splatoon 3, try it with a friend! Like most team-based games, it’s more fun to play with people you know, and if you’re new, having someone by your side to figure it out can make the learning curve easier. However, if you can only go solo, don’t worry – the game is perfectly enjoyable on your own as well.
Finally, if multiplayer PvP is not your cup of tea, there’s a single player option in the form of Hero Mode, which is a story campaign following the characters of the Splatoon universe.
The Splatoon series has an ongoing plot that Splatoon 3 builds off of. The backstory of the series is set far into the future, when humanity has gone extinct and ocean life has evolved to live on land in their place. Each game in the series has had a story mode to introduce players to weapon systems, game mechanics, and basic playing. Splatoon 3’s story is called “Return of the Mammalians.”
If you’re interested in the story, going in blind will give you the best experience, but the basic storyline follows the player as Agent 3 of the New Squidbreak Splatoon. Your goal is to recover the stolen Great Zapfish, which powers the city of Splatsville, and defeat the Mammalian enemies along the way.
Most physical stores do not have Splatoon 3 in stock yet. However, Splatoon 2 features the same basic gameplay, which may make it worth picking up if you don’t feel up to the wait.
With a 95% enjoyment rating on Google, an 83% on Metacritic, and an 83% OpenCritic, Splatoon 3 has come out to generally positive reviews, and social media ratings have been positive as well.
The style is a standout. Bold, charming, and memorable, it just makes the game fun to look at. The visual performance on the Switch is excellent, and if you like color, Splatoon is perfect for you.
Another highlight is the characters. Two of the most popular characters are from the band Deep Cut, part of Splatoon 3’s storyline: Shiver, an Octoling based on Japanese culture, and Frye, an Inkling based on Indian culture, both of whom have amassed mass amounts of fan-made art and social media popularity since their release. The consistent cultural representation is great to see!
One issue worth mentioning is the abnormal amount of disconnections players have experienced at the game’s release. However, the majority of the playerbase isn’t too worried and believe Nintendo will take the time to fix that issue, and besides the disconnections, there haven’t been reports of bad performance of any other kind.
Some players of previous Splatoon games have also complained that Splatoon 3 doesn’t bring enough new content to the table to justify its existence. However, others argue that there have been several important quality-of-life changes, and any new game will bring in a wave of new players, giving multiplayer more variety. Sales seem to agree: in Japan, the game has sold 3.45 million copies in three days, breaking many records (including the one set by Animal Crossing: New Horizons at its release!).
Overall, Splatoon 3 is a quality addition to the previous games in the series. It’s perfect for anyone looking to try the Splatoon series for the first time or just looking for a casual game to enjoy with friends or alone. It covers a variety of gaming interests and is friendly towards new players and veterans alike. If you’re considering picking it up, you’re bound to have a great experience.