LifeisXbox’s Splatoon 3 review | I cannot begin to tell you how many hours I have already logged for this game. At the time of writing this, I have owned Splatoon 3 for roughly 10 days and have logged nearly 60 hours blasting paint throughout multiplayer and single-player campaigns. I’ve been a loyal follower of the Splatoon series since its debut on the Wii U back in 2015, in fact, I still have my copy. Not only myself, but my kids are absolutely engulfed in the bright colours, vibrant cityscapes, and frantic matches you find online. It also encourages critical thinking which is what I really liked about this game. There are so many ways to travel and hide in Splatoon that it does require a lot of skill to get good at some of the online matches. Created and Published by Nintendo, Splatoon 3 manages to capture the fun and thrill of online shooters and package it all in a family-friendly setting with interesting locations and people.
Most Memorable Moment
Defeating the second Island boss in single-player. The boss in question is insanely hard and it does take quite a few attempts to get it done. Defeating this boss was an absolutely joyous moment for me. This opened up the next island and allowed me to explore more of the single-player campaign and experience the new abilities and weapons that the game had to offer, as prior to this, it was very limited.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Nintendo Switch | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The Graphics | Graphically this is the most impressive Splatoon game to date. Using AMD’s new Super-resolution tech, Splatoon 3 looks better than ever. Whilst the actual engine hasn’t changed and still uses Nintendo’s primary engine that creates most of its first-party games, Splatoon 3 will have you impressed at just how well it plays and looks in both docked and handheld mode.
- The Music | Splatoon 3 has a great soundtrack. The soundtrack is a mix between classic Japanese pop and electric pop. The music is composed by Toru Minegishi, Shiho Fujii, and Ryo Nagamatsu, three long-standing Nintendo composers. Between them, they’ve worked on 53 different Nintendo titles, from Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker to Wii Fit and Mario Kart 8. These composers are legends in the field and bringing the music to Splatoon 3 feels right at home for them. Fans of the aforementioned games will instantly recognise their unique style and enjoy each song that comes their way.
- Online Multiplayer | It wouldn’t be a Splatoon game without its crazy online multiplayer. While the face of multiplayer hasn’t changed and you will spend most of your time fighting over territory by seeing which team can cover the most paint over the map, there are some nuanced changes here that help balance the experience and add new content. Salmon run makes a return from Splatoon 2 and takes place as a form of employment for our Ink and Octolings. They’re tasked by Grizzco to go and fight off terrifying Salmonids and collect the precious Golden Eggs. You’ll work in a team of four, together, to collect as many eggs as you can, and push back the gross Salmonids at the same time. Anarchy Battles is the rebranded name of previous games’ Ranked Battles. There are four different games included here, and players will compete to improve their rank and earn cool rewards for the better they perform.
- Single Player | Splatoon had a very thin single-player experience when it launched back in 2015. However, since its progression throughout the series, it is clear the team has been working hard on providing a decent single-player component this time around for Splatoon 3. The single-player component features a series of islands that must be cleansed of the Ooze. A fuzzy substance that can make you explode and turn you into an Ooze monster before killing you. Thankfully you have your new sidekick “Smallfry” which is a sort of squid chicken. This delightfully energetic character can be given power eggs that allow him to eat the Ooze surrounding the island. Apart from this, Smallfry can also be used as a weapon to attack or distract enemies.
- Character Customisation | The character customisation is back and full of new items to decorate your character with. We have a range of T-shirts, Shoes, and accessories to help you stand out from the crowd.
- Its Welcoming Nature | The wonderful thing about Splatoon is its welcoming nature. Most players you encounter in multiplayer go swimming off immediately in search of opponents to splat, but if you don’t have much appetite for competition, you can still contribute valuably to your team by busting out a giant paint-roller and diligently decorating your home base. Like Fortnite, it is a fun, competitive shooter without any of the performative violence or militarisation that used to dominate the genre. And it is popular – especially in its native Japan, where it has sold 3 million copies in three days.
- New Weapons | With a new Splatoon game it is important that the weapons get refreshed and also introduce new weapons to the loadout for online and single-player modes. First up we have the scatter bow. A paint-based bow and arrow system called the “Stringer”. This fishing rod-shaped weapon fires three lines of ink and has levels of charge to do more damage. The Splatana class of weapons resembles a long sponge on a stick and can fire ink forwards. Your Inkling can charge swipes too, to properly splat the competition. By far my favorite new weapon has to be the Ink Vac. It does as the name suggests: sucks up ink for players to shoot back with a vengeance.
- Challenging Single-player | For newcomers to the series, the single-player content in Splatoon 3 can be quite challenging. The learning curve this time around is a lot steeper thanks to the new abilities of your inklings and also the added sidekick ability. Couple this with updated AI for enemies and the later stages of the campaign will really test your skill.
- Limited offline features | A small gripe here, but unless you are playing online, a lot of the other features are removed from the game until you re-connect. A prime example of this is character customisation. Walking into a shop or a street vendor will trigger some dialogue about being offline and trying again when you are online. For a handheld console that is aimed at people being able to take it anywhere, I feel like these features should be available offline for other people to play around with.
What we Disliked
- Still no co-op | Apart from having your friend(s) come over with their own console and play that way, it’s still a shame to see no local split-screen co-op in Splatoon 3. With SPlatoon 3, it would be a great way to have a free for all or team deathmatch with your friends from the comfort of your own home. I really feel the series would benefit a lot from this.
How long to beat the story | 7 hours
How long to unlock all achievements | In-game achievements will take approximately 7-10 hours to complete
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.