It has been almost a year since, at E3 2014, Nintendo presented a new game exclusively for Wii U, a third-person shooter devoted primarily to multiplayer, featuring a unique graphic style and some interesting gameplay concepts. Waiting for the launch of the title, scheduled for the next one May 29, and our inevitable review, we are here today to offer you a preview of Splatoon, carried out after several hours of testing the game.
Have you seen Splatoon?
Splatoon features two main modes, profoundly different from each other: multiplayer and singleplayer. Despite the title, in fact, it was born with a strong multiplayer attitude, Nintendo programmers have worked hard in the last year to provide the title with a singleplayer campaign that was not just a filler or an adaptation of the multiplayer one (perhaps with bots). The result is a varied title, with distinct and well-defined characteristics in each of its two souls.
In the multiplayer portion of the title we will be faced with 4 vs 4 battles, in which the goal will not be to conquer the greatest number of kills, but rather to color as much of the territory as possible. This little idea is enough to make Splatoon a special game: the mobility of the characters (who can transform into squid and swim in ink), the extravagant weapons, but above all the clever map design create a gameplay that is both familiar and unknown. for shooter fans. The title has an unexpected strategic component, due to having to continually balance one's attentions between covering the ground with ink and keeping opponents at bay. The matches are frenetic and at a high adrenaline rate: in the 3 minutes available there will be several times sudden reversals of situation, and the quick reflexes as well as the knowledge of the maps and the ability to read the "flow" of the game will be important. The Wii U GamePad, as well as the primary control system, is used to show a map with the current situation in real time: it will be essential to keep an eye on every development, perhaps intervening at certain key moments in helping teammates or going to "reclaim" areas forgotten by the opponents.
Splattando in singleplayer
Diametrically opposite is the single player mode. We will find ourselves here engaged in a series of levels in which we will have to recover the so-called "fish fish", stolen by a band of evil octopuses. In this capacity the game is transformed completely and almost assumes platform connotations. In fact, we will have to exploit the skills at our disposal to overcome a series of obstacles and traps that are nothing short of creative and all based on our ink: sponge blocks that will enlarge if hit, ink geysers to ride, invisible paths to color, and so on. In single, traps and environmental puzzles are by far the master, while the enemies are little more than mere cannon fodder. This completely transforms the rhythm and style of the game, which loses part of the dynamism and the multiplayer frenzy to give rise to a more reasoned and brainy gameplay, even mindful of some solutions already seen in the two. Super Mario Galaxy. It is a real shame that such creativity is not accompanied by an adequate level of challenge: the non-existent artificial intelligence of the enemies makes them trivial and barely annoying for the player. The suspicion is that they were used only to "fill" the levels, and leave the player less to himself between an environmental puzzle and a platforming section. Another question mark of the single player mode is its duration: we completed the first two worlds in a rather short time and we assume that the whole mode does not count more than 4 - 5 hours of play. If this were confirmed in the review it could only be a negative point, given that the entire effort of Nintendo programmers to provide Splatoon with a singleplayer mode that was not a mere reflection of the multiplayer one could be frustrated by such a short duration. .
Style to sell
In addition to its particular gameplay, what strikes the player about Splatoon is undoubtedly the graphic aspect: colorful, lively, full of style, the Nintendo shooter is light years away from the canons of the typical FPS / TPS, often accused of excessively basing their color palettes on shades of gray and brown. It is not only the rain of colors that remains impressed, but also the characteristic style of the characters, inklings and octopuses, their clothing, the architecture. The game adopts a style halfway between the Japanese fashion one and the typical 90s skater look, creating a unique and fascinating combination. In the same way, Nintendo has created an entire universe behind the title, with history, background, culture, even a particular jargon, which helps to make the atmosphere of Splatoon unique. Although the title does not offer particular technical virtuosity, it is noted with pleasure how the game engine manages to hold everything perfectly, with zero hesitation, both in single and multiplayer. As for the multiplayer portion, although our test took place under controlled conditions and different from the real ones, the impression is that the netcode behaves optimally, with absolutely no lag or connection issues. The picture is completed by a sound sector full of cheerful and pleasant music, as well as a series of extras such as minigames, challenges, support for Amiibo and Miiverse, which we will discuss in more detail in the review.
Comment Splatoon looks good, damn good. If the multiplayer test confirmed the many good impressions we had already had in the past, even the single-player mode has been able to convince us, as long as we accept a different game philosophy than the multiplayer one. The picture is completed by an absolutely unique graphics and style, able to leave their mark. What is there still to evaluate? First of all, the netcode, which we await the test in "real" situations, in addition to the amount of content that for now does not seem very high. If it is true that new multiplayer maps will be released for free in the future, the first weeks of the game may be a bit "empty", as well as the singleplayer does not seem to be able to offer more than a few hours of entertainment. Pros and cons ✓ Fresh and innovative
✓ Fast-paced and fun multiplayer
✓ Winning graphic style x Little sense of challenge in singleplayer
x Few content at launch?