Seven years ago, Nintendo did something it rarely does: Its developers released a new IP with an original cast of characters. splatoon Focuses on stylish teenagers who have the power to transform into squid and melt away in gooey, paint-filled terrain. The series, which began as a niche shooter, has since become a staple of Nintendo’s catalogue, growing a dedicated fan base along the way. But one big question remains: Where does Splatoon go from here?
enter splatoon 3, the latest installment in the series, which will be released for Nintendo Switch on September 9th. As I enter the game, I am greeted by the sound of a buzzing, dripping liquid. From there, I look up at the sunny sky as I head out into the sprawling city of Plattsville. Neon signs go unheard of, unnecessarily embellishing its shops. As I walk around, I’m treated to the soundscape of subway trains and competing music from various vendors. It serves as a city splatoon 3K Hub, which combines activities such as competitive online play, solo campaigns, and gear shops.
From the outset, the game leans into the self-awareness that there is pressure to try something new. “Oh, uh, hi… did we do that once before?” Cap’n Cuttlefish, an old, bushy bearded man tells me. humor is one bit On the nose, but before I can roll my eyes, the land gives way under my feet and I fall into Alterna, an arctic archipelago. Turns out, my octoling ended up in some sort of underground facility, á la journey to the center of the earthAnd it’s up to us to find our lost friend Cuttlefish, who has been kidnapped and trapped somewhere in this mysterious place.
To do this, I need to collect Caviar-like Power Eggs in single-player missions. These eggs allow me to clear a deadly fuzz from the surface of the world, revealing even more places: sometimes it’s a giant, one-sided moai statue resting from stacked metal shipping containers. Other times it’s an Inkrail that allows me to pass through a stream of ink to the top of a metal factory tower.
At times, the “mixed junk” motif seems like an aesthetic choice after all, but clearing the world of its obscurity to reveal intermittent mysteries is nonetheless Zen-like. It didn’t feel like a gloomy, barren postapocalyptic world—just a strange place whose secrets I couldn’t help but dive into. I might even collect pages for a digital lore book that taught me about the history of Alterna. I’ll let you uncover the details, but as is often the case in post-apocalyptic fiction, the reckless advancement of human technology didn’t do the world much good.
general conspiracy behind splatoon 3The Big World of is a particularly welcome addition, especially because, in every way, the game isn’t bringing much new to the Splatoon formula. Most of the levels not only have the same layout as the previous entries, but also have similar design conceits – filling sponges with paint, traveling up slides filled with slick paint, and explosives for use as grenades, to name a few. Filling paint balloons.
what splatoon 3 What it lacks in major changes, it makes up for little with quality-of-life changes. There’s a multiplayer lobby in which I can participate in target practice between rounds and lockers that I can decorate with items like oil barrels or stuffed animals. While this seems like a small change, it is a marked improvement over the great loading screen of previous entries.
My time with the multiplayer aspects was part of a limited time trial for review purposes, but even so, jumping into Turf War reminded me of the sheer chaos of the earlier games. Playing competitive mode seems to be largely in line with my previous experiences with the game. Although some new weapons and specials joined the fray, getting back into the thick of it felt like second nature. The mechanics and gameplay feel exactly the same as the previous games and my old strategies. Within half a minute, I found myself coping with the shattering ink and joining in frantic motion.
Coming back to Splatoon, it feels like stepping back into a big dirty house. On the one hand, the developers have sanded down some of the rough edges that have graced the series since its inception. New weapons, courses, and more evolved online functionality have all gone a long way in improving the overall experience.
On the other hand, the game still feels like it’s treading water. And at this point, it may be too little, too late. The series has had two chances to grow and continue to be a standout series for a generation of Nintendo fans. But it’s only baby steps when it needs to take the leap. splatoon 3The script and characters reveal that it has been moving with the times since it came on the scene seven years ago. But its stable design pillars suggest otherwise. The result is a game that reaches the excitement of the original, but doesn’t fully grasp it.
splatoon 3 Will be released on Nintendo Switch on September 9th. The game was reviewed using pre-release download codes provided by Nintendo. Vox Media has an affiliated partnership. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commission for products purchased through affiliate links. you can find Additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here,