Nintendo's take on the third-person shooter is refreshingly original, with lots of impressive tools, skillful mobility, and creative maps to play with. Matches are consistently fun and tense, and the mechanics feel simple and fair enough that almost anyone can contribute positively. Not having voice chat is a bummer, but the great modes and maps feel polished and kept me claiming turf for hours.
It's those three minutes that really count, though, and it's there you'll find the genius and the joy of Splatoon. It's where you'll find a genre distilled, broken down and reassembled, with each piece snapping perfectly in place. It's where you'll find Nintendo charting new territory, and sharing with you the thrills of their own discovery. And it's where you'll find what happens when Mario's maker steps away from the comfort of the Mushroom Kingdom and tries something new: a true modern classic, and one of Nintendo's finest games in a generation.
The most original and enjoyable online shooter of the generation, and now with enough content to make the most of its superlative action.
Splatoon is a brilliant and unique shooter sorely lacking in maps and modes, and it desperately needs a refill.
An enjoyable experience, but it needs more content and some streamlined design
Splatoon is surprising because it bucks trends that have held back shooters for years, opening the genre up to all comers, casual and hardcore alike.
Nevertheless, a month past its release, it's safe to say that Splatoon functions well enough, has an active community and continues to grow in the right directions, even if some obvious areas of improvement remain.
It's squid kids and ink blasting abound in Nintendo's exceptionally fun new online shooter.
Playing as squid kids that use water guns to make a giant mess is lots of fun.
Nintendo takes a chance with this odd, risky rethink of the arena shooter. Splatoon moves away from guns and grit, offering a shooter anyone of any age can enjoy. The game's single-player is an absolutely amazing puzzle platformer that deserves some expansion. Multiplayer is a bit light on content at launch, but Nintendo is already promising more this summer.
Overall, Splatoon isn't a perfect game, but it's fun. Really, really fun. It's the start of a promising IP for Nintendo, and it's something unique for Wii U as an action-packed shooter that's also still capable of retaining its family-friendly image. It's the '90s paintball craze meets Call of Duty and it's totally da bomb and funky fresh.
In some ways, Splatoon's online component is disappointing, and the lack of so many features will likely push other shooter fans away. But most of those shortcomings can be forgiven in my mind because of how damn fun it is. As a shooter it's refreshing, and as a 3D platformer it's up there with some of Nintendo's greatest creations. You'll quickly forget about the fact that you're playing Turf War over and over as you squid down an alley, leap across a gap, and shoot enemies in the air as you fall. All Nintendo needs to do is keep supporting Splatoon, because the foundation is fantastic.
Splatoon is a great game that may be outstanding in a few months' time. If Nintendo delivers in a big way with the planned free updates, it could absolutely be a must-have for the system. As it stands, Splatoon is a mechanically solid shooter set in a delightful world, but just doesn't have enough to it to truly make it exceptional.
In almost all respects, Splatoon is a satisfying game. It's an online game which is incredibly fun to play, and one which runs really smoothly despite tracking a lot of endlessly changing information. It's backed up by a really enjoyable single player portion, and from here you can see how people can pour countless hours into this game. It's all about covering the environment in coloured ink, and yet it's also so much more than that. It shows, if anything, that even a departure from their main cast can't stop the streak Nintendo are on right now when it comes to high-quality games.
Splatoon is yet another great new IP from Nintendo. It's fresh take on the shooter genre should please longtime fans, while feeling accessible to new players. One of the best games on the Wii U, which is already stacked with excellent titles.
By turns brilliant and frustrating, a Nintendo classic and a missed opportunity.
Splatoon is clever, creative, and fun. The multiplayer is a fun twist on the team-based shooter. However, the single-player campaign is surprisingly the best thing in the game. It offers the kind of quality level design you'd expect from a Mario title, but with a healthy dose of shooter mechanics.
Splatoon may not offer much "content" out of the box, but it does offer enough reason to keep coming back to it, hungry for more. Despite a simple idea and a handful of maps, this eccentric shooter does – as the game's irritating in-universe TV hosts declare – "stay fresh."
Splatoon is different, inventive, and the most fun I've had with a Nintendo-developed game since the Wii U launched
There are a few drawbacks and limitations, but Splatoon's frantic and addicting gameplay is a blast. This is Nintendo's best new IP in years.