50 Best Games of 2017: #23 – Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2
Splatoon 2

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Switch

Our 50 best games of the year countdown isn’t in any order, we’re just going through fifty of the finest the year has given us. Find out more here.

The sequel to the well-received 2015 Wii U release, Splatoon 2 released in the UK back in July. The tried and tested formula from the first game provided a very stable foundation for its sequel, and the shiny Nintendo switch makeover that made the game fully portable was hugely popular with returning fans and new players alike. The game proved to be one of Nintendo’s big hits of the summer, garnering a loyal following of dedicated players.

Splatoon 2 boasts a decent variety of modes with both a single-player and multiplayer focus, with the main mode being Turf War. This is essentially a four-versus-four territory control mode in which the two teams compete to cover more of the arena in their colour. Each team is colour-coded with a specific colour of ink, which can be launched around the stage using a number of creative weapons and gadgets.

Depending on your personal experience in the online shooter world, Turf War can be quite a refreshing departure from the standard team deathmatch routine. While ink can indeed be lobbed at the opposing team to incapacitate them and send them back to their home base, the main goal is to cover the ground in your team’s colour. It’s just as competitive, but significantly less antagonistic than your typical deathmatch thunderdome. This serves to afford Splatoon 2 a lower barrier to entry than some other online multiplayer-focused games, which will help attract new players and keep existing ones without gulfs in experience being too much of an issue.

Splatoon 2
Source: Polygon

Splatoon 2 is well put together and features some lovely visual design. It’s a bold and colourful as you’d expect, and the wealth of cosmetic unlocks available for the player character allows each player to add a personal touch to their avatar, which is also very welcome. The music fits well, with the meme-tacular duo of Pearl and Marina providing some catchy tunes to accompany the ink-slinging chaos. The weapons are nicely varied, allowing for an impressive amount of flexibility in choosing tactics and player roles for online matches. Nintendo have also been reliably releasing new weapons and gear as free DLC since release, which is good of them.

The problem with Splatoon 2 is that it suffers from the same insubstantiality crisis as games like ARMS. Aside from a few other features, namely a single-player experience unimaginatively named Hero Mode and a hectic multiplayer-based horde mode thing called Salmon Run, all you’ll really play is seemingly endless rounds of Turf War. Customisation elements aside, it all just gets rather repetitive, and I’m afraid I found myself un-grabbed by the experience. Still, the game has a thriving community of devoted fans, and admittedly it is rather fun in short bursts, so it’s entirely possible that Splatoon 2 could be exactly your cup of ink.

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