So, if it's not obvious (which it isn't so I'm going to say it): Splatoon is fucking amazing.
The Press seems to think it's good, I think it's fucking great.
Played it last year on Gamescom and instantly fell in love.
But enough singing it''s praises, the game speaks for itself.
What is far more important about Splatoon is that the game is "important".
Its important, because its a multiplayer shooter. Okay. That sounds strange, I know, but hear me out.
Nintendo... never really did Shooters... let alone online multiplayer games. Well, there were some games made by nintendo that did have online play, but never before did they focus so much on that. The core IS the Multiplayer. And Let me just tell you: Splatoon did what needed to happen for a long time.
There are so fucking many multiplayer-focused compatitive shooters out there, and I won't say that they are all the same... buuuut they are basicly the same thing... One reason for that is Call of Duty. A lot of games that came out after Modern Warfare tried to become that: the next Modern Warfare, and the Industry was stuck on simply that: making something like Call of Duty. So, in turn, there was a lot of stagnation in the genre, with some small diviations here and there, but you can see the trend that everybody tries to get in on some of that Call of Duty-Success showing up everywhere. Something needed to be done to shake it up, show that the Shooter-Genre is more than that... and there came Splatoon.
I got to admit, I always had a love-hate relationship with shooters. I loved to play them, but I was never good at them.... the biggest thing however was that I never really liked the compatitive aspect of most multiplayer-shooters. It just got really stale really fast. There was nothing to really mix it up, safe from the few variations here and there with games like Team Fortress 2 and S4 League... but even those became boring after a while. I mostly favorited co-op expieriences because they seemed to mix it up more.
The thing about most compatitive shooters, no matter how much they vary, they always follow the same kind of standards of gameplay. You run around, you see enemies, you shoot them or they shoot you. That is basicly it. True, most have more than that even that can be fun at times (I remember some fun Counter Strike and Halo-Matches I had with my friends), but well... it's still kinda... well.
So there is Splatoon. A game by a company that never really tapped into that kind of game genre before.
Nevertheless, they found a way to take Shooter-Mechanics and turn it to something different. Something very varied and fun.
If you didn't gave a shit about Splatoon or lived under a rock, in this game, you are a humanoid squid and you battle over squids to claim as much territory as you can... with ink-based-weapons.
So you spray ink everywhere you can to color the ground in your teams color to claim your turf. On to of that, you can shoot other players with ink to kill them (because enemy ink hurts). You can also use your teams ink to swim in squidform.
So basicly, you spray ink, you swim in ink, you win the game by spraying ink and you kill people with ink. Sound stupid? It's brilliant.
It allows for weapon designs that are more than you standard fare of guns you usually see. For Example, the Roller. The Roller is basicly, well, a Paint Roller. It covers whatever you roll on with your ink, giving you masive ink coverage. Now in combat, the roller is sub-optimal at best. You can splat a little ink in front of you as your secondary fire, yeah, but you won't shoot very far. You do massive damage by rolling somebody over but if your opponent is at least somewhat skilled, you are fucked. This weapon is basicly weak against practicly any other kind of weapon unless you get real close. It is still a great weapon that many people love to use. Why? Because you can't win the game by getting kills... it helps because it delays the other team but in essence, you won't help your team win the game by going on a head-hunt... at least not directly. You win by covering ground with ink, and thats where the roller shines at... given, if you play it smart, you can rack up some serious kills with the thing, but you are usually better of using something else if you are out for kills. An other example: the charger. It is basicly a sniperriflle (Hell, there is even a variation that features a scope), but aside from the obvious range advantage, a charger is really great to give your team a head start. The thing is, this thing doesn't function like a normal sniper-rifle. It doesn't fire a bullet that hits the target for high damage. What it does is spraying a long lane of ink to the target point. And there is the brillance. It may not be the best at covering ground, but you can still help your team a lot by keeping enemies in check and give fast ways to get places. All the weapons have their usefulness in one way or another. For example, the Splatershot Jr. It is the first weapon you get. It has piss poor aim and the damage is quite bad. It's still a weapon many hail as one of the greats. It sprays so much ink around, it's like a mobile sprinkler. You just claim turf left and right by just spraying around. Since it is a submachine gun in essence, you can still defend yourself, but it's not the main focus. You still get a lot of points with it because of the spray.
Not only does this allow for more creative weapons and gives weapons that would be worse in other shooters some advantages and incentives to use them, but it also gives the main mechanic of shooting uses beyond just killing people. You can use the ink to get access to vantage points. You can use the ink to get places faster (because you swim faster in ink, obviously). You use ink to slow down enemies. You can use the ink to hide from enemies and ambush them. You use ink to heal and reload. Yes. You reload in the ink.
This simple mechanic of spraying ink has so much depth, it's unreal.
Nintendo has made a shooter, that shows that you can do so much with the genre, you just need to put some thought into it.
They did what they do best, be creative, and created something special, something important.
Splatoon is different, and thats why I think it's so important.
It shows what you can do with a genre if you just put some creativity into it, and I love them for it.
Like I said, Splatoon is fucking amazing. As a gamer and as a game designer, I truely belive it is.
You should buy Splatoon. If you like shooters, buy this fucking game and do yourself and the world a favor. If you have to buy a Wii U for it, do it. It is really that much fun.