Nintendo’s aims to make its mark in the realm of competitive online multiplayer this summer with its upcoming third-person shooter and new IP Splatoon for the Wii U. First revealed at Nintendo’s E3 2014 Digital Event, the title has since garnered much attention for its distinct theme and spin on the third-person shooter. Set for U.S. release on May 29, 2015, Splatoon will present players with colorful cartoony action and a fast-paced, competitive online arena.
Splatoon is all about cartoon warfare that exchanges bullets for colorful ink. Players will take control of shape-shifting, humanoid characters called Inklings across multiplayer and single players modes. While in human form, inklings come armed with ink-lobbing firearms that can be utilized to paint the environment and blast enemies. Transforming inklings into their squid forms allows them to rapidly traverse blotted environments, swim up inked walls, and hide from enemies. However little is known about the title’s story, players can expect to confront platforming puzzles and shootouts with octopi in a single-player story mode themed to the game’s ink and transformation mechanics and cephalopodic population.
Splatoon’s battle system will depend upon both precision and environmental awareness as enemies and players alike will take damage from standing on ground inked by opposing forces. Players will equip themselves with a main, sub, and secondary weapon before entering battlefields. Arms play on the game’s ink and underwater theme and include paint grenades, a giant paint roller for steamrolling enemies, and an ink submachine gun. Inklings can be customized by equipping shoes, shirts, headwear, and accessories to alter both their looks and stats.
A local multiplayer mode called “Battle Dojo” will allow up to two players – one utilizing a TV screen, the other the Wii U’s gamepad screen – to compete in a race to pop balloons. Online multiplayer will include several four-vs-four game modes. In “Turf War,” opposing teams compete to paint a majority of an arena with their team’s ink. The objective zone game mode “Splat Zones” has players compete by coloring and defending specified points in the environment. The title’s online multiplayer has already received mixed feedback following the announcement of its lack of in-game voice-chat. Developers explain that they decided to leave it out so as to prevent the negative interactions between players that they found all-too-common within many established competitive online communities.
Splashing Onto the Scene
Nintendo’s colorful new shooter will have a great deal to prove in order to fare against the many established IPs that dominate the online shooter market. While its original aesthetics and mechanics already help it stand out, we can only hope for a strong delivery and gratifying experience to make Splatoon truly memorable.