Updated: Mar 31, 2019
Nintendo has never tried this type of game before, so when they announced this game people were confused and skeptical. The gameplay is nothing that you have seen before in a shooter, which is not a bad thing. Nintendo likes to make things different and they care more about how you play the game. Lets walk through what makes Splatoon 2 so special.
This is one of the most supported games from Nintendo in terms of free content updates. They frequently update the game with more stages, modes, weapons and gear. The game is currently on version 4.2.0 at the time of this review. You will almost always find something new in this game to try out; this is one of the best features and is what keeps me coming back.
The single player mode in this game has you go through several areas, each with several missions to complete. The missions can be fun and can teach you a lot about how to move around effectively. This mode to me is something of a tutorial and I advise you to go through at least the first couple of missions. Something that you will learn is that your ammo is your ink, and you gain more ammo by diving into the ink. You can also use the ink to go to a location faster or dodge your enemy. Now, if you want to play a shooter with a great single player experience this is not the game for you. I am not saying the single player isn't good but it's not great and will leave you wanting more.
This game is loaded with many pieces of gear and tons of weapons. Gear includes your hat, shoes, or shirt, and each piece of clothing has attributes that will boost certain parts of your game. They include things like swim speed, walk speed, health, death counter reduction and much more. Each clothing item starts out with one main attribute but has 3 empty slots for more - to gain more you need to level them up by playing more online games. When you level up a piece of clothing it randomly selects a new attribute.
Now to the best part - the weapons in this game. As you can imagine, these weapons for ink shooting are very different than normal weapons in a shooter. You have the typical weapons similar to a gun (Splattershot) and a sniper rifle (Charger). You also have some interesting ones like a Splatroller - think of a giant paint roller you can push around and then pick up and use to fling ink at people. There are also buckets, which are kind of self explanatory. How these are only some of the examples as there are hundreds of these weapons in this game, and more being added all the time. The thing with weapons is they have specials and secondary weapons. Usually the secondary is something like an ink bomb or a little seeking robot bomb. The specials are what set apart players in this game. I use the smack down, as you can see below, but there are others like an ink missile launcher, a shield hamster ball, a giant stamp and more. I suggest you play around with all the different weapons until you find something you like.
In this area of game play you pick your load out and what mode you would like to play. There are multiple modes you can play online and even more stages. Winning games in online multiplayer will raise your level which will unlock more weapons and gear. Now, how Nintendo has the modes and stages run is something not seen in most online shooters. Each mode rotates every 2 hours with two stages accompanying them. I will go through what each mode is and what to expect in each of these modes.
This mode has each team of 4 battling it out to cover the map in their team color. These games run for 3 minutes and when the time ends it calculates the percentage each team has covered at the end. This is the simplest of the game modes, but can be a ton of fun and gets intense with such a short amount of time. Playing Turf War also enables you to level up to play ranked modes which include several different game modes.
There are several different modes under the ranked umbrella. These modes rotate every 2 hours and so do the stages. You also have to be a level 10 to play in these modes. You rank up by winning and getting battle points to raise your rank. The ranking system goes from C- to A+, S, S+ and the highest rank, X. These games last 5 minutes long and have different goals. Lets talk about the game modes and what the goal is in each one.
You can think of this mode as a "king of the hill" game. You are trying to keep control of a zone, sometimes two right next to each other. You keep control by keeping the area in your teams color the longest. These zones are places usually in the middle of map where the most action will be. This is personally one of my favorite game modes.
This is a relatively new mode to Splatoon and a game mode I still need to get used to playing. The goal of this mode is to collect clams that are scattered throughout the map. Once a player picks up ten clams, it transforms into a power clam, which is used to destroy the barrier around the other team's goal. Once that barrier is down you and your team need to throw as many clams into that goal as you can. Also this is all happening while being shot at by the enemy team trying to do the same thing on your goal.
This mode is pretty self explanatory in that you have to control a tower that is travelling to the enemies base. The tower starts in the middle of the map and when someone gets on the tower it pushes it towards the opposite teams base. The match will end when one team rides the tower all the way to the opponent's goal spot, or when five minutes are up. When time runs out the team who pushed the tower the farthest wins.
Rainmaker is very similar to tower control in that you have to move an object to the other side of the map. The big difference is that the object is a giant weapon called the Rainmaker and only one person can move it at a time. To get the Rainmaker you have to shoot the shield around it to break it; this shield reappears every time the Rainmaker is dropped by a player. When using the Rainmaker the player carrying it is slow and vulnerable, but can use it as a powerful weapon. Protecting the carrier and helping them move across the map is the main goal. This mode ends after five minutes, or as soon as one team reaches the opposite side - the team that moved the Rainmaker the farthest wins.
Players must be B- in Rank from Ranked Battle or higher. League Battle is the co-operative mode for ranked play. Players have a 2 hour window of time (before the stages rotate) to team up in a pair, or four, called a squad, and compete with other groups to earn as many points as possible. At the end of the 2 hour period, results will be shown in a ranking system called league power. Players get their initial league power based on their performance in the first 7 matches.
In this co-op mode you play in teams of 4 either local or online, and the objective is to take down Salmonids and collect their Power Eggs. There are 3 rounds each game - you lose if all 4 players die without being able to revive each other or don't get enough Power Eggs before time expires. The weapons are different each day and rotate between players after each round. Salmon Run is only available at certain times for 12 hours a few times a week.
This is something that is so much fun and really brings players back to play. Splatfests are done every so often and have you pick between two different teams to battle it out at a set time. These are usually very fun topics - for example, like seen below, this weekend is salsa vs guacamole. They have also had things like trick vs treat, cake vs ice cream, basketball vs soccer, action vs comedy and much more. Something also cool about these events is that they change the colors of the ink according to which team you are playing for when battling the opposite team. They also bring out a special stage only used for Splatfests. When playing in a Splatfest you are playing in Turf Wars trying to win a much as you can for your team. At the end of the event they score each team on 3 different areas; votes, solo matches (matches not teamed up with friends) and Team matches.
Splatoon 2 is a shooter like no other and something I am glad Nintendo took a risk on. This game has something for everyone with all the different games modes. With the almost unlimited content Nintendo is updating this game with, you are almost guaranteed something new every time you boot up this game. The only downside is that there is no split-screen co-op, so this is more of a single player online game. This is one of my top played games on my Switch, as the games are short and quick. Being a parent, its nice to have a game in which I can play a few quick games when I have a few moments in the day. This game is also easy to pick up and learn and have fun. I highly recommend this game for any Nintendo Switch owner.
Price: currently $44.99 https://amzn.to/2RRECfQ
Rating: 4/5 stars
+ Tons of free updates
+ Multiple great game modes
+ Fast game play
- No couch co-op mode
Great for kids ages 10 and up