Splatoon 3 Review


Courtesy of Koko Grundler

The most developed and sophisticated “Splatoon” to date, “Splatoon 3” features exciting and fast-paced multiplayer action. However, many are let down by the lack of fresh concepts and material. When Nintendo unveiled the original “Splatoon,” a competitive multiplayer shooter game geared for children seemed bizarre. Combat is significant, but the game’s main objective is covering everything in Ink for distinctive zone-control. Without the need for an intrusive scoreboard, painting the battlefield provided a visual sense of who has the lead. The joyful surprise that Nintendo has come to be recognized for became iconic for its lively in-game design and bright colors. “Splatoon 3” serves as an upgrade and combination of all that came before it – two games and a significant expansion. This time around, it is less innovative, but still delightful. Everything comes together to create the most complete “Splatoon” game yet.

It is essential for multiplayer shooters to function smoothly. “Splatoon 3” clearly performs fantastically in this regard, keeping a stable 60 frames per second even throughout the game’s more stressful situations. Furthermore, either 720p (on the built-in display) or 1080p is used for everything (on a compatible external display in docked mode). Since AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution technology is being used, there are no obvious traces of resolution scaling in the game. For the average player, you might not notice a huge difference at first, but after returning to other games, the difference is most noticeable.

One major characteristic in “Splatoon 3” that differentiates the game from the previous “Splatoon” entries is the story mode, which is far more developed than I originally anticipated. It is the series’ most ambitious endeavor to date in both single-player enjoyment and narrative development. Not only introducing you to the basics, it hones your old skills and serves for a great refresher for those who have taken a long break. The lore is thrilling, tying together the fantastic stories from its predecessors. This all combines for a fantastic campaign, which is an essential part of what makes the game stand out.

Additionally, the co-op Salmon Run returns from “Splatoon 2”; this time around having no restrictions on when you can play. This is a feature exciting for many, as some people prefer the cooperative aspect of “Splatoon” instead of the competitive-focused gameplay. In Salmon Run, you battle against waves of hostile fish-like creatures as they close-in on you, while also gathering golden eggs from bosses to advance to the next wave. As the difficulty ramps up, it can get hectic, but the game has not been out long enough to say whether or not the mode grows monotonous when there are no restrictions on gameplay.

Once you have gained enough Turf War experience, you will gain access to Anarchy Battles, objective-focused rounds with a more nuanced rule set. Additionally, being locked to more advanced players, Anarchy Battles are more competitive than the mainstream modes. It is important to mention they are not entirely new games since they are heavily inspired by the previous entries’ Ranked battles. The games range from zone-control to capturing clam shells and depositing them on enemy goals, offering diversity from regular Turf wars. One less preferable feature is the inability to change your gear between battles, meaning you have to return to the lobby to do so. This can be frustrating at times, due to the lackluster online scene right now. Personally, Anarchy Battles are almost unplayable with the insane waiting times, despite the obvious amount of players and the constant disconnects. When there is a disconnect at any point in the game, it is restarted and no rewards, wins or losses are attributed to players. When you finally get to play a game, it can be over in a matter of 30 seconds in certain modes. This becomes aggravating when you are playing for longer periods of time — being stuck in waiting far longer than actual gameplay. However, this is not something unique to the “Splatoon” series: past games had connectivity issues on launch that were patched soon after. Despite this, it is still the third game in the series, and should thus have more reliability in online services by now, especially with online being a paid service. Despite this glaring issue that will hopefully be patched in the near future, Anarchy Battles are an enjoyable mix of games that break away from the typical mold of “Splatoon” gameplay.

Overall, “Splatoon 3” is just a phenomenal game and provides for a fantastic edition to the now trilogy of “Splatoon.” “Splatoon 3” does not introduce any major new modes, but there is still tons of content and countless hours of gameplay for new and old players alike. Although there are still some issues with the game, “Splatoon” often rolls out patches and updates over time that will undeniably improve the quality of the game and fix bugs. Playing “Splatoon 3” has been a very pleasant experience, and will only bring more enjoyment and fun as time goes on.