This third outing in the cutesy little shoot-em-up series on the Nintendo Switch is more of the same.
But that’s not a bad thing when a game is so fun.
Splatoon 3 takes players to the Splatlands, where it’s all about doing battle with cartoon rivals by shooting coloured ink at each other.
There are three main modes: the returning Turf War, the iconic four-on-four online team battle to ink the most ground; Salmon Run, a co-op mode in which a team of four fends off waves of dangerous Salmonid bosses together to collect Golden Eggs; and a fresh single-player Story Mode.
The story is fun and ramps up in difficulty each level as the makers combine clever platforming moments with all-out paint splattery shooting fun.
You play as Agent 3 in a fight against the evil Octarians, baddies previous game players will recognise.
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Playing this mode serves as an ideal training ground for the challenges of multiplayer matches.
The gameplay is fun and uses a combination of JoyCon running and jumping with the need to physically move the screen around when playing in handheld mode to ‘look’ around the map and target foes.
It can be fiddly but generally works well.
You coat your opponents in ink in both biped and squid forms, with the latter letting you swim through ink splatters on the floor to effectively reload/refill your weapon.
All weapon types from previous games are back, along with some new ones. Players can flatten the competition with rollers, ink up close with the new Splatana weapon type, stay hydrated with the new Tacticooler or turn the tide with an array of special abilities.
Any mode accessible in the game’s lobby can be played with friends. And it’s possible to continue playing in a set group after a match ends – a first for the series.
Players can also use local communication to play with nearby folks in different modes.
Online, there are 12 stages to fight it out on in Turf War, three-minute Othello-like battles to try to cover more ground in ink compared to the other team.
And there will be regular Splatfest multiplayer events announced where winners will be crowned champs.
It’s all more of the same from Splatoon 2 really, with a few tweaks here and there.
And that’s fine because it’s kinda what Call of Duty and Fifa do each year too.
The game is great and well worth buying if you’re looking for some multiplayer online shooting fun without the overt violence.
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