Family,  FPS,  Nintendo Switch,  Reviews,  Shooter,  Third-person shooter

Splatoon 3 Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fast Facts

Splatoon 3

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre(s): Action, Shooter
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 09/09/2022
Price: £49.99

A code was provided for review purposes

Bullets are replaced with gallons of ink in Nintendo’s take on the FPS Genre. Is Splatoon 3 a game worth spending a few (s)quid on? Find out in this Rapid Review. 

A Surprise To Be Sure…

After greatly enjoying playing Splatoon 2, I was pleased – if a little shocked – when a third instalment of the series was announced last year in a Nintendo Direct. After all, Splatoon 2 had everything I needed in a portable shooter: short bursts of engaging gameplay, snappy gyro controls, and a splattering of charm. I was unsure what the next game in the Splatoon game could add to improve upon Splatoon 2. As it turns out, Splatoon 3 doesn’t reinvent the unique squid-paintballing wheel but the game still excels in all of its zany charm. 

Save the Zapfish!

The Great Zapfish has been stolen and Captain Cuttlefish has gone missing! Fittingly, you’re just the right person to bring them back. This is the setup for Splatoon 3’s impressive story mode. Serving up a combination of entry-level tutorial levels, in addition to optional challenges for veteran players, “The Return of the Mammalians” campaign is an engaging experience from beginning to end. With a similar approach to the open-world design of 2021’s Bowser’s Fury, Splatoon 3’s campaign offers more than seventy levels scattered across a non-linear map. There’s a nice variety to the missions which gave me a refresh on the game’s controls and gameplay. For example, one level required me to stay alert for hidden enemies as I traversed through swathes of fog; teaching me the importance of stealth. Other levels took a more puzzle-based approach, tasking to me gather keys as I discovered secret platforms and entryways.

A mech stands angrily in a desert environment. Text : "GYAH HA HA! I finally found you, Cuttlefish!"
Mech Mayhem!

After the completion of each level, I earnt ‘power eggs’ which were then used to unlock new levels. This level-unlock cycle worked well as I made my way through the map. What’s remarkable though is that only a handful of boss levels are needed to complete the campaign. I may well have missed a prompt in the early stages of the game but I spent the first few hours of the campaign unsure about what I needed to do next to progress. Once I discovered that the boss levels were key to success, I had a great time. I knew I was in for a treat when the game first introduced me to a paint-wielding mech. This creativity continued throughout the campaign, with each boss having a surprisingly high level of challenge.

With secret agents, squid sisters, and zapfish, I’ll admit that I didn’t understand all of the narrative but that didn’t matter; every level of Splatoon 3’s campaign served up something fresh, creative and exciting!

Masterful Multi-Player

Splatoon 3’s multiplayer remains immensely engaging with lightning-fast rounds that left me itching for ‘just one more’ round. Armed with a weapon of my choice (from an impressively high roster), I joined my team in a variety of modes. My favourite mode is still ‘Turf War’; where the sole objective is to make sure your team’s colour of ink covers more of the map than your enemy.

A victory screen showing a top-down view of a map, covered in purple and yellow ink
A narrow win!

From sniper guns to paint brushes, the variety of weapons is great and there’s something for every player type. My trusted weapon is the Aerospay MG; a rifle-type gun which produces a constant barrage of paint. I also found that the gyro controls worked great with both the pro controller and handheld joycons. Nintendo has ensured a surprisingly high level of control with the gyro controls; ensuring that every fatal splat of my team player (which is much less graphic than it sounds) remained satisfying thanks to some great haptic feedback.  That being said, the improvements to previous games in the series are iterative rather than revolutionary.

Splatoon Never Looked So Good!

The visuals of Splatoon 3 are some of the best I’ve seen for a Nintendo Switch game; with the game’s hub city ‘Splatsville’ serving as a great showcase for the game’s graphics. Neon-lit signs fill the area and a network of shops are scattered throughout the city. Accompanied with a flawlessly-high framerate during battles, the colourful swathes of paint truly popped on my Switch OLED model. It’s not just graphics where the visuals shine; the game features an astonishingly good UI. Menus and post-game leaderboards are often overlooked in reviews, but Splatoon 3’s fun and dynamic approach to design creates a fresh aesthetic that spans all elements of the game. It would be amiss of me to not mention music in a Splatoon game. Splatoon 3 retains the signature ‘Splatoon-Style’ genre of music with the incredible upbeat tracks propelling me to work harder in battles.

Final Thoughts

Splatoon 3 has bucket loads of charm, featuring everything fans have come to expect with the paintball and squid gameplay. Although short, the stand-out single-player mode makes Splatoon 3 worth a play but don’t expect a complete revolution to Splatoon’s colourful formula. 

Rapid Reviews Rating

3.5 out of 5


You can buy Splatoon 3 for £49.99 from the Nintendo eShop

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