Huge video game launches usually come in a few different flavors. First, there’s the first-person shooter franchises with tons of explosions and multiplayer experiences that’ll make you wish you had more time to play video game instead of study. Then there are the games that come out of nowhere and are so much fun you can’t help but tell your friends about them. Video game maker Nintendo’s true brilliance has always been that they manage to find a comfortable bridge between the two and Splatoon appears to be another in that line.
Launching May 29th, Splatoon could be this year’s must-have game for the Nintendo Wii U. The game even has typical first-person and third-person shooter lovers wishing they had Nintendo’s latest and greatest console.
Here what you need to know about Splatoon.
Splatoon is Online Only
Splatoon isn’t like most of the game’s Nintendo is known for. That is to say, there’s very little single-player driven story. Instead, it’s an arena shooter in the same way that Super Smash Bros is an arena fighting game.
The main highlights of Splatoon, that is the things you’ll likely want to do in the game over and over again, require an internet connection and a Nintendo account. Splatoon finds other users with the game and the particular mode you’re interested in a teams you up with them. Some of those random players will end up on your team and some end up on an opposing team. All of this is a long way of saying, you wont be able to get the best out of Splatoon if you don’t have a decent internet connection.
From time to time Nintendo is even planning special wars in the Splatoon online community all based on different topics like Dogs vs Cats.
You’re An Inkling
In Splatoon you’re a squid and human hybrid Nintendo calls an Inkling. You’re launched into an arena and tasked with covering as much of the surfaces around you in your team’s colored ink. The only way to use your chosen weapon is to remain in bi-pedal human mode, which allows you to target your blaster at every wall and opponent. The game balances this by forcing you to turn back into a squid if you need more paint for your weapon or need to move quickly to escape death.
The squids in this game are the first newly created characters to come out of Nintendo in years. They are fun looking, with just a bit of whimsy. In other words, they’re exactly the kinds of creations you’d expect from Nintendo.
Don’t Shoot to Kill
Being an arena shooter is usually a pretty good indicator of violence in a video game. The genre relies on weapons and war simulations, on you needing to kill to capture an area or stack up as many lethal hits as possible. Splatoon isnt like that at all.
You’re not really encouraged to kill your opponents. First, there’s no score bonus for it. Second, killing isn’t really something you can do. You can certainly splat someone with enough paint that they’re forced back to a launching pad, but that’s It. Splatoon is an arena battle game that focuses on control of territory.
When you’re in the heat of battle, you don’t want to be thinking about how to eliminate the guy next to you. Instead, you want to be focusing on how best to use your weapon and spray down every bare surface you possible can. Every surface counts, vertical or horizontal. You want the high-ground so that you can look down on the entire area and spray everything in relative comfort. You’re able to see how much your team of Inklings has covered with the Wii U’s Wii Pad controller at a glance thanks to a minimap that’s always available.
Customize Your Inkling
Each Inkling gets a main weapon, a sub weapon and a special weapon to use on an opposing team. These weapons range form paint bombs to what appears to be a water gun filled with paint. There’s event a giant roller that spreads paint in huge swaths and lets players run over their enemies. Range and refire rate are all something you have to take into consideration when choosing a weapon.
In addition to weapons, Splatoon has a clothing shop for players to customize their inkling. Clothes in accessories give you power ups for speed and even faster ink refills, which comes in handy if you’re in a close battle.
How and What to Buy
Splatoon arrives on the Wii U on May 29th for $60. To be clear, the Wii U isn’t an add on for Nintendo’s last console, but an entirely new console you’ll need to play the game if you don’t already have one. Nintendo selling a special Splatoon Wii U bundle at Best Buy stores in the United States for $299. The company will also have special Amiibo inkling action figures that add special extras to the game.
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