Get your ink on
Nintendo has a reputation for making vibrant, family-friendly games--but the publisher has been known to supported violent, M-rated shooters in the past as well. Splatoon is where those game designs intersect. It's a 4v4 third-person shooter with arena combat similar to Gears of War. But its also a game where the main goal is to paint that same arena in neon colors, where you transform into a cartoony squid, and a portly cat judges your performance. So, you know, dont expect any lengthy decapitation scenes.
Splatoons inky, aquatic style isnt for show--its key to making this game stand out from the online shooter pack. Your main goal is to use your ink shooting guns to paint every part of the level with your teams color, with the previously mentioned judgmental cat comparing the teams performances at the end. Blasting your enemies is only important because it prevents them from laying down any more paint until they respawn. And while you can move the camera with the traditional right stick controls, you can also change your view with the GamePad. Its another move that makes Splatoon feel very Nintendo, and the developers say the Wii U-specific motion controls will give you much more accurate aiming.
Theres a lot of ground to cover in the demo, but the squid transformations keep the pace fast and furious. A quick button press changes your character into a googly-eyed squid that quickly swims through your teams ink, getting you back onto the frontlines of the paint war. The fights have the intensity I expect from shooters, but laying down paint instead of suppressive fire made me more focused on teamwork than I usually am in online battles (I was always picked last in Quake). Leave it to Nintendo to find a colorful approach that pulls me in more than any gory headshot could.
Check out the following screenshots for additional info!
It's hard to notice all the cool little details when the paint's flying every which way.
There are many opposing color combinations, and they're all delightful.
Wouldn't you know it--paint sniping is actually a thing.
With enough backup, this giant roller can do some serious work for your team.
$10 says some kids will try to put paint in their Super Soakers when Splatoon is out.
Whether in girl or squid form, these combatants are always adorable.
This cat's fur pattern is seriously amazing.
Don't worry--that's just green paint, not giant globules of snot.
The GamePad will tell you where your teammates are at any given time, as well as your team's paint coverage.