The squid shooter returns and this time it’s bigger, better and comes with more ink. Taking all of what made the original game so loved by many, expanding on the idea and packing in more content. The Switch library is growing consistently and features many good and great titles spanning a variety of genre’s, Splatoon 2 is and for a long time will probably be the Switch’s main competitive shooting game.
This second instalment in the franchise features a more prominent single player experience than its predecessor, playing out as both a platformer and shooter. Spanning five sectors / worlds with varying amounts of levels in each. The story albeit very generic, go save the damsel in distress and collect a special artefact at least offers you something to do with enough direction to guide you along the way but not to the point your hand is being held.
Playing the story mode allows you to unlock more weapons to use in multiplayer with different levels forcing you to use certain weapons to complete, helping you learn how to use them when fighting the good fight against other inkling’s. Boss fights take place throughout with each bringing a new method on how to kill them, this prevents the action from getting stale.
The gameplay mixes two genre’s that work together in harmony, the shooting side of course works on its own as a way to destroy your enemies but also opens the door for platforming opportunities. Cover terrain with your ink which then acts as a transport medium when you go into squid form, swim through the ink to traverse obstacles in your way. Although it’s not a brand-new mechanic it still feels fresh and unique that makes it satisfying to play.
You have the option to play with either motion controls or regular controls, the latter of the two I highly recommend in comparison to the other. The motion controls are a nice feature to have but after an hour I switched it off in order to play better, especially playing online against others. The controls are typical of a shooting game with right trigger to shoot, the left and right sticks to move and aim respectively making the title very easy to pick up and play.
In-game currency allows you to purchase clothing items, weapon and even boosts. This provides incentive to play and something to always work towards. Upgrades can also be purchased with a different currency however I feel the upgrade system is slightly out of balance, meaning these upgrades cost too much of the currency to purchase.
Boasting a clean aesthetic that looks great on both the big screen and the small. The wide and bright colour palette is put to good use in creating a world that just looks fun. Team colours when playing online are contrasted in a way that makes it easy to identify which team’s ink coverage is greater and it just looks awesome. My favourite visual feature is the trail left in the ink behind you when swimming through it, why is this awesome you may ask? You get to write your name in the ink, or draw anything too.
Sound effects have been designed for each weapon that makes them unique and easily identifiable, sounding almost authentic in most cases, or as close to what you would expect them to be like if the weapons were real. The soundtrack is well designed and helps immerse you into the overall joyous experience, up-beat, fast paced tunes that instil this emotion that is apparently called happiness. You just can’t help but smile when playing.
GAME DESIGN & INNOVATION: 8.5/10
Honestly, if you have a Nintendo Switch this is one of the key titles you want to at least think about picking up. It just screams fun in all aspects from its colourful art style and funky soundtrack all the way to the core gameplay features and story. I’m proud to say I’ve spent several hours battling others in the online section in which this title thrives the most.
OVERALL: 8.0/10 – GREAT
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.