“Splatoon 3” is the definitive Splatoon game

Written By Dan Russo, Staff Writer

As a long time fan of the Splatoon franchise, it’s very nice to see how Splatoon has quickly shot up in Nintendo’s pantheon of rotating franchises. Its gameplay brings a lot to the table and does something very few shooter games have done: crack the Japanese market. “Splatoon 3” has sold 3.45 million copies in the first 3 days in Japan alone, making it the biggest game at launch in Japanese history. So why is this colorful shooter so successful? Let’s take a look.

“Splatoon 3” is a four versus four multiplayer shooter game where shooting people is the secondary objective. The main goal is to use your super soaker, bucket, or paintbrush to paint the map in your well-dressed inkling’s color. Whoever paints more of the map wins, and kills aren’t counted for points. This makes the game much more accessible for casual gamers. Players can transform into a squid to quickly swim in their own ink and restore it. There are a variety of different ranked modes but Turf War is the main one. As for the gameplay it more or less plays like the first few titles in the series, although that’s by no means a bad thing.

“Splatoon 3” sports a bevy of customization options to compliment the rock solid gameplay. There are customizable hairstyles and clothes with abilities attached like perks in other shooter games. The game’s single player offering is by far the most substantial upgrade this time around. There are a massive set of levels to play, each with rewards for playing each level more than once. 

The game also features a full tabletop card mini game called Tableturf War, complete with different card packs and a deck builder. This is a fun addition, but it needs online play to fully realize it. Also returning is the popular co-op mode Salmon run, chock full of its own rewards to earn.

Salmon run is a blast but it gets stale pretty fast. It only offers one map at a time and four different weapons. This brings me to my main criticism of this game and the other two Splatoon titles: map rotations. 

The Splatoon franchise has historically used a map rotation system, which means that only two levels per mode are available for play at any given moment. The main idea is that players continuously check in at different times during the day, but in my eyes, it becomes more of a hindrance. My play sessions are cut shorter than I’d prefer due to this poor design decision.

Nintendo at least made the move to have the maps rotate every two hours, a significant improvement from the first games’ exhausting four-hour rotation period. However, this is still annoying because they’re not even trying to obfuscate the amount of content that is available, twelve maps at launch is a respectable and industry standard amount. So why hide that?

Overall, if you’re new to the series and have been itching for a new game to play on your switch, you cannot go wrong with “Splatoon 3.” With refined gameplay, balance and an exceptional amount of single player content, this game should be picked up if you have even the slightest interest. Just be ready to play the same couple levels repeatedly.