Hands on With Splatoon at MCM London Comic Con
Originally Published for MCM Buzz on the 23rd of May 2015
Nintendo’s first original characters since 2001 are debuting in Splatoon, the studios’ anarchic paint-shooting extravaganza, and MCM Buzz have popped to B&Q for some high quality emulsion and returned the the MCM London Comic Con show floor to get our multicoloured hands on the highly anticipated title.
Playing two rounds of the game’s unique ‘turf wars’ multiplayer mode, it was clear this game is something special. In this mode you are split into two teams of four and pitted against each other, with your only directive being to engulf the area in your teams’ colour of paint. What is surprising is that there is so much to this simple objective. You can transform yourself into a squid to travel quickly, refill your paint, climb walls that are painted in your colour or hide and escape your foes. When you’re on the offensive, you can blast your paint sprayer at an opponent or throwing a paint grenade to cover them from head to toe which causes them to ‘splatter’ and respawn at their starting point.
Whilst that last feature seems similar to regular deathmatch-type shooters, in Splatoon getting your opponent to explode in a blast of colour is more fun than it is essential. Sure you will lose a few seconds respawning, but what makes Splatoon stand out is the fact that if you beat your rival team over and over, but they have painted more ground, you’re going to have a hard time winning. As a squid you can only move in patches of ground that are painted your colour, so if there’s not much of it around you, you’re going to have a serious disadvantage.
In the first round I was focused on attacking my opponents more than covering ground, and I paid the price as three opponents leaped up from their paint splatters to completely obliterate me. After my second game, I couldn’t be pulled from the booth. Splatoon is more tactical than your regular shooter. The colours are so wonderfully vibrant you can’t help but smile and perhaps, most importantly, it’s as much fun as watching Saturday morning cartoons with your friends on your 7th birthday eating cake for breakfast. Once again Nintendo look like they are set to prove that games don’t have to be serious or dark to have real substance. In a word, it’s Inkredible!
Splatoon will be released exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U on the 29th of May, and is available to try out this weekend at the MCM London Comic Con over at the Nintendo stand.