Splatoon is an upcoming third person shooter game published and developed by Nintendo for the Wii U. It features up to eight online players competing in frantic 4vs4 battles. In typical Nintendo fashion however, there’s a twist: player will control Inklings, or humans who have the ability to transform into squid like creatures.
It’s an interesting concept for two main reasons. For starters, it gives the game a very different look from most other shooters. Inklings, with their child like appearance, are well animated and full of the type of charm only Nintendo can manage. Their primary weapon – picture a handheld version of Mario’s water pump from Sunshine and you’ve mostly got it – is similarly well imagined as it not only serves to keep the game child friendly but also visually unique as well. The game is bright, colourful, and as an added bonus, runs at a very stable 60fps.
Secondly, having a weapon that shoots coloured ink instead of bullets changes the way you play a shooter. In the mode I played both teams were tasked with painting as much of the map environment with their respective colours as possible given a three minute time limit. This gives matches a sort of frantic energy as both sides rush to meet each other whilst painting everything they can along the way. The Inkling’s ability to transform into a squid also changes things up a bit; paint a surface your colour and you can glide through it when in that form. Gliding through ink not only reloads your weapon but it also makes it easier for you to get around an environment as movement speed is increased – you can even glide up walls to get a vertical advantage on your enemies – and no damage can be taken whilst submerged.