Video Game Review: Splatoon 3

What’s so splat-tacular about this game?

This is what the beginning of a multiplayer match looks like.

This is what the beginning of a multiplayer match looks like.

Splatoon 3 is a video game developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the latest installment in the Splatoon franchise, which is Nintendo’s take on the third person shooter genre. In Splatoon, you play as an Inkling, which is a squid that has evolved to take on human features and walk on land, as well as being made of ink. Players can also play as Octolings, which are just the same thing except they are octopuses rather than squids.  

When you hold the ZL button, you transform into squid form. When in squid form, you can swim through the ink that your weapons fire, move twice as fast as walking, swim up ink-covered walls, be less visible, and (the most important part) your ink tank refills so you can keep using your weapons. This creates a fun gameplay loop of shooting ink to move around the map, and swimming around the map to be able to shoot again. 

Unlike other shooter games where you win matches by killing the most opponents, in Splatoon’s signature “Turf War” mode, at the end of the match whichever team has the most ground covered in their color of ink wins the match. So, in the end it doesn’t matter who has the most kills (or as they are referred to in Splatoon, “Splats”), it’s all about area control.  

Players can choose from a variety of weapons, from standard automatic ink spraying weapons to giant paint rollers that crush opponents. Each weapon has a “Sub Weapon” which ranges from simple bombs to explosive curling rocks, to walls of ink that block enemy fire. There is also a “Special Weapon” which charges through inking turf and has powerful abilities that turn the tide of battle.  

Additionally, players have a variety of customization options such as different hairstyles, pants, skin tones, eye colors, body types, and species (Inkling or Octoling). Plus, there are several collectable pieces of “gear” which are divided into 3 categories, Headgear (hats, glasses, masks, etc. ), Clothing (shirts, coats, and anything else below the head but above the waist), and Shoes, all of which can be purchased from stores, ordered from the mobile app, or earned as rewards for other game modes. 

In terms of other game modes, there are several. There are anarchy battles, which is a competitive game mode featuring several different game types, from Rainmaker, where you bring a very heavy weapon to the goal as the enemies try to stop you and steal it, to Splat Zones, where one team has to control an area for a certain amount of time while the enemy team tries to steal the zone. To add, there is Salmon Run, which Is basically a zombies mode, where you fight off hordes of “Salmonids” (Salmon that evolved to walk on land) while trying to collect golden eggs from the various “Boss Salmonids.” There is also the single player Story Mode where you try to complete several obstacle course stages, and ultimately save the world from something that I can’t tell you about because that would spoil it. 

In short, Splatoon 3 is Nintendo’s latest and most refined entry in the Splatoon series, Nintendo’s take on the third person shooter. It has a variety of unique and fun modes to play, with several weapons and customization options to express yourself. It has fun, engaging gameplay, great art style, music, and (the best part) it has absolutely zero microtransactions, gambling (with real world money at least), expensive battle passes, or other terrible business tactics. I rate it a solid 7/10.