Splatoon is the best Multiplayer game of 2015

19 08 2015

I figure if clickbaity titles work so well, why not? Anyway yes I’ve been playing a lot of Splatoon lately, and it’s probably the most fun I’ve had with a multiplayer shooter in a long time. And it’s made by Nintendo. How weird is that? I don’t know how it happened but in the last year or so Nintendo went from not having a clue how to do good online to figuring it out and putting out an amazing new IP that has taken off despite the lukewarm critic reviews.

I can’t really think of a shooter as colorful as this right now except maybe for Team Fortress 2 but TF2 still deals mostly in greys and browns for its environments, whereas Splatoon is colorful. Most of that of course is thanks to the large quantities of ink that both sides end up covering the playing fields in, but even the environments normally tend to feel lively (though Bluefin Depot suffers a bit from being a bit too rusty and brown in most spots). Even better, for Splatfests when the matches take place at night, everyone’s ink is bio luminescent which is super cool.

Aside from the graphics, the gameplay is also really good as well. Matches are fast because they’re all timed, so regardless of whether it’s  a entirely timed mode (Turf War) or a mode that involves points (Splat Zones, Tower Control, etc.), the match will still pretty much end when the clock goes to zero. This let’s people quickly jump in and play a game, or two, and not spend any more than 10 minutes doing it. Other benefits in gameplay include no voice chat so people who think they deserve to have their horrible words heard by everybody cannot do so. This has also had the effect of creating a community that seems very light on any sort of terrible stuff even though this is a game with Miiverse support. Speaking of, the Miiverse stuff is integrated in a pretty cool way. If people draw Miiverse posts, they’ll show up in-game as grafitti art, signboard art, and also as art in the background of the splatfest hub world during Splatfest. It adds some liveliness to an already lively world. Plus some of these Miiverse artists are great

I also feel that with Splatoon, Nintendo has finally realized a multiplayer shooter ideal that they kind of started to get towards with Steel Diver: Sub Wars for the 3DS. The matchmaking system feels similar, as does the lack of voice communication and the rigidly timed (and fast) matches. The difference of course was that Sub Wars was not really advertised at all, wheras Nintendo went all in with Splatoon and knocked it out of the park. Maybe Sub Wars was a prototype for this kind of online gameplay, we’ll probably never know. Either way I’m glad Nintendo has created a great multiplayer shooter that can’t be destroyed by an awful community, and with them continuing to add free weapons and maps and modes to it constantly, they’re clearly ready and willing to support it for as long as they can.

 

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