Splatoon 2 Review
The freshest and most stylish active Nintendo franchise has made its way onto the Nintendo Switch with Splatoon 2. For those of you who played the first iteration on the Wii U or played during the various Testfire and Splatfest events, you know exactly what to expect from Splatoon 2. For everyone else, Splatoon 2 is a fast-paced third person shooter in which you take control of an Inkling, a kid that can transform into a squid and back, utilizing ink to complete objectives. I enjoyed the original Splatoon for its easy learning curve, short yet fast-paced battles, accessibility for all gamers, and because it was a blast to play, all of which also apply to Splatoon 2.
While the majority of Splatoon 2’s gameplay revolves around multiplayer content, an offline single player mode exists in the form of a story mode campaign. The Great Zapfish has been squid-napped by the Octarians, and the player is tasked with infiltrating Octo Canyon and saving the day. While Marie of the Squid Sisters is still around, Callie is nowhere to be found. The story of Splatoon 2 is not going to win any “Best Story” awards, but it features interesting scenarios and allows the single player portion to act as a great tutorial for weapon usage and movement capabilities.
“Splatoon 2 is fast-paced, frantic, mechanically sound, and most of all fun.”
In addition to the single player portion, players will be treated to the familiar Turf Wars, Splatfests, and Ranked Battles (Splat Zones, Tower Control, and Rainmaker). Making their debut on Splatoon 2 are League Battles, a 2-hour long series of battles where you compete outside of your individual rank, and Salmon Run, a cooperative horde-like mode where fighting Salmoids and collecting eggs is the main objective. These additions may feel quite light but adding an additional competitive mode as well as a cooperative mode expands Splatoon’s game mode coverage to include pretty much anything anyone could ask for.
As for the gameplay itself, Splatoon 2 feels like the first Splatoon, so much so that you may not be able to tell them apart if they were not side-by-side. While the gameplay formula remains relatively unchanged, the formula itself is already extremely well done. Splatoon 2 is fast-paced, frantic, mechanically sound, and most of all fun. Whether splatting your foes with an Ink Roller or hiding in squid form to splat an unsuspecting Inkling, the game plays exactly as you would expect it to. Smooth responsive controls, in addition to choosing how you play, shows the amount of polish Nintendo put into this charming shooter.
Though looking very similar to Splatoon, Splatoon 2 is a near perfect relative to what Nintendo is trying to achieve visually. While photorealistic graphics were not the goal, Splatoon 2 offers crisp, bright, vibrant visuals that exude the fresh style featured in game. In terms of the visuals, the game most impressed me with their buttery smooth frame rate. For those who have trouble distinguishing colors, you can also lock the color choices so that they will be easier to see, kudos Nintendo. Lastly, the frame rate does seem to be slower in Inkopolis, but as it acts as a hub/menu of sorts, it does not affect the gameplay. Overall, Splatoon 2 is one of the visually best games for the Nintendo Switch thus far.
Splatoon 2’s style starts with its aesthetics but continues through to its audio. Featuring some fresh tunes and background music, the game continues to exude style throughout the entire experience. The music contributes heavily to the pace of the game, with noticeable audio cues regarding attacks, callouts, and time remaining. Unfortunately, the battle music does get repetitive, but still functions adequately in its role as background music. Overall, the audio in Splatoon 2, no matter how repetitive, is enjoyable.
“While hard to compare gritty first-person shooters with Splatoon 2, it’s equally hard to argue against the aesthetically pleasing visuals, smooth framerate, polished gameplay, and pure fun of the game.”
With some impressive titles already released this year, the Nintendo Switch continues its hot streak with Splatoon 2. This may seem like a bold statement but Splatoon 2 finds itself to be one of the best shooters available right now. Granted, it is hard to compare gritty AAA first-person shooters with Splatoon 2 but it’s equally hard to argue against the aesthetically pleasing visuals, smooth framerate, polished gameplay, and pure fun of the game. Overall, Splatoon 2 is that refreshingly fun, summer title that looks and plays equally well.
***A Nintendo Switch code was provided by Nintendo Canada***
- Fast paced, fun gameplay
- Solid single player mode
- Smooth, vibrant visuals
- Feels very similar to the original
- Somewhat repetitive