Splat your opponent in the face in the colourful online multiplayer shooter Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch. Find out who inks the most turf and show your friends who can pull the trigger faster.
Splatoon 2 is nothing new for us because Deian has invested hundreds of hours into the first instalment on Wii U. Therefore, his expectations for the second title were quite high. Can it live up to it? Read on to find out.
Splatoon 2: What is new?
On its surface, Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch looks like its predecessor. Don’t let fool yourself thinking that this game has just been ported and upgraded a bit. According to a developer interview with Famitsu, Splatoon 2 has been specifically created for Nintendo Switch; the developers changed the shading mechanism and improved the texture quality. Not only that, but the game now runs at a resolution of up to 1080p docked and 720p undocked — of course at 60 frames per second. The frame rate is adaptive and it will reduce a bit once a lot of ink is displayed. This ensures a rock solid frame rate without a single drop.
The developers also did a lot of under the hood improvements to the balance of the game:
- there are no more items that grant invincibility
- you can now skip ranks in Ranked if you’re very good
- Ranked doesn’t have a points system anymore
- the Ranked meter fills up and you rank up once it’s full
- cracks in the meter signal that you might loose your rank
- S+ ranked get numbers added (S+1, S+2, etc.)
- a new addition is the Ranked Power, which calculates how strong each player is
- the stage rotates now every two instead of four hours
Nintendo promise content updates for at least a year. As in the original game, Splatoon 2 started out with a few maps and weapons. Periodically, new maps and weapons are introduced, like the Dual Squelchers.
The singleplayer campaign in Splatoon 2
Nintendo isn’t a company that would create a simple online game. They somehow feel the urge to also make a great singleplayer experience. Splatoon 2 is actually a special case because the singleplayer game is completely optional. New players should definitely play it, however. Not only is the story interesting, the entire singleplayer campaign feels like a tutorial. You’re made familiar with all the mechanics and the different weapons you can choose later. This is highly important to become a skilled player and be a good team mate in Ranked.
The story begins with Marie, who awaits you in the plaza. Once you follow her, she tells you in a mysterious way that Callie is not around anymore and that the Octolings are back. You’re recruited to inspect the levels and take out the Octarians.
The four online multiplayer modes
The heart of Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch is the online multiplayer. As in the prequel, you can play four different modes:
1. Turf War
The most basic mode is Turf War. You’re split into two teams of four Inklings each. Your goal is to ink as much turf as possible and have the most area covered when the timer runs out.
2. Tower Control
In the middle of the map, you’ll find a tower that moves once you step on it. Your goal is to get the tower as far as possible or to reach the goal at the enemies base.
The rainmaker sits in the middle of the map inside a bubble. Pop the bubble, grab the rainmaker and bring it to the podium at the enemies base. The rainmaker is a very powerful weapon that shoots exploding balls of ink.
4. Splat Zones
In Splat Zones, teams have to control one or two areas with ink. Once a zone is captured, a timer begins and, if it reaches zero, you win. The enemy team can capture the zone and stop your timer, however.
Salmon Run — become a freelancer
The newest and possibly most interesting mode in Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch is Salmon Run. It’s a coop mode that is only available for a certain period of time every few days. The goal is to collect as many eggs as possible and stay alive until the timer runs out.
Audiovisual presentation – simply splatastic
As we already mentioned, Splatoon 2 looks a lot like its predecessor. If you look closer, you’ll notice the visual improvements. The shadows and shading are much better, the ink looks and flows more natural, the textures are of higher quality. Not only that, but the game also runs better, especially in Ranked mode, which had some frame rate issues in Splatoon for Wii U.
The audio is quite a bit different from Wii U. With the two new presenters, the soundtrack has also changed. It seems a bit more hip, but seem to lack the catchy note the first instalment had. Maybe this will change once more maps will be released.
Speaking of maps, the ones the game launched with are interesting but didn’t wow us so far. Two of them (Moray Towers and Port Mackerel) are improved remakes from Splatoon for Wii U and the others seem a bit too narrow and small for our taste. Where are maps like Camp Triggerfish and Museum D’Alfonsino?
Gameplay – ink your way to victory
Gameplay hasn’t changed a bit. You still have to work together as a team, inking turf is as important for movement as it was. Jumping to your mate, however, is not as easy as before. You now have to open the map and pick a team member with the gyroscope or by pressing a button. Beginners still get themselves and their teammates killed by jumping at the wrong time, revealing their position and loosing time respawning.
Adjustments to the weapons make the game more balanced and there are a few new abilities you have to wrap your head around. Still, if you are a veteran, you’ll feel right at home. Deian likes Tower Control the most so far and made it to S Rank within a week.
Nintendo Online app and Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch
Nintendo launched its Online app for iOS and Android a few days before Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch. It’s the first game to support this app. Installation isn’t mandatory but highly recommended. Not only does it give you detailed stats about your past fights, you also can check what maps are in the rotation, when Salmon Run starts and secure exclusive gear not available otherwise.
Another feature we didn’t test is the online voice chat, which seems too complicated for our taste and requires a headset and audio splitter.
Final thoughts on Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch
The young team from Nintendo developing Splatoon 2 have outdone themselves with this sequel to a beloved and highly successful new ip. They managed to improve on pretty much every aspect and also bring a fantastic new mode to the table. The singleplayer campaign is fun and also a great way to show newbies how to play Splatoon. Online is very smooth and connection errors are an exception on our end — Splatoon 2 is much more enjoyable for us than Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in that department. With a year of updates to come, we can hardly wait to see what Nintendo has in store for us.
|Release||July 21st, 2017|
|Genre||Third-person Shooter, Online multiplayer, Action-Adventure|
|Mode||Single- & Multiplayer|
|Price||€59.99, $59.99, ¥5,980|
|Undocked online playtime||1h 15m1|
75 % sound, 65 % brightness