Splatoon was my biggest surprise from the Nintendo Post E3 Event, it managed to amaze me like no other game did. The shooter looks like a kiddy paintball game designed with little depth and complexity. But looks can be deceiving.
The demo allowed us to play two games on one map against team of five other players. The matches were two minute rounds with the aim of covering the entire map with our teams ink. Painting the map was as simple as firing ink onto the floor and throwing grenades to cover large areas, but painting quickly became less about just covering the map, and it become more strategic.
Painting walls became a viable option for players to quickly get around the map and avoid touching the other players ink, as well as allowing players to gain air to fly over others. The paint assisted players in allowing them to travel faster and helped keep the games pace fast and frantic.
The ink also allows you to kill enemy players. While killing players isn’t the aim of the game, their deaths spray your teams ink in a large radius and covers large portions of the map. Killing slowly becomes more important as matches go on and become key during the late game. It’s also nice that spreading enough ink rewards players with bazookas that kill enemies in one hit, helping keep the carnage flowing throughout the match.
I found Splatoon surprisingly addictive. People kept saying “oh let’s just do one more game” and I must have said “alright last one” over 20 times. I didn’t want to stop. However, while the game has a great concept, it needs to do more with it. The final product can’t have 15 different maps with all the same objective, nor can the game only be online. With today’s market swamped with games that allow a wide range of game types along with character and gun customization, Splatoon needs to add more to become a mainstay in Nintendo’s library of hit games.
Splatoon was a lot of fun. Simple, addictive fun. The demo was an enjoyable time that I never wanted to end. The game needs more to hold lasting appeal, but what I saw from the demo gives me hope that it could become special.