Splatoon 2 Review Roundup

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Now Playing: Splatoon 2 Video Review

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This week sees the release of the next major Switch game, Splatoon 2. Nintendo's colorful shooter launches today, and like its Wii U predecessor, it puts a unique twist on team-based shooters. In the series' signature mode, Turf Wars, two teams of four compete not to amass the most kills, but to cover the most terrain with their shade of ink.

While Splatoon 2 shares many similarities with the original, Nintendo had added new content as well to round out this sequel. Along with new weapons, gear, and special abilities, Splatoon 2 features an expanded single-player campaign that has players blasting through levels on a quest to find the missing Squid Sister, Callie. There's also a new Horde mode called Salmon Run, in which a team of players take on waves of Salmonid enemies and collect their eggs.

Reviews for Splatoon 2 have begun surfacing online, and as always, we've compiled an overview of the game's critical reception. Below you'll find excerpts of reviews from various publications, along with the score each awarded the game. For a wider look at what critics think of Splatoon 2, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Splatoon 2
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release: July 21
  • Price: $60 / £50

GameSpot -- 8/10

"At first glance, Splatoon 2 seems very similar to the first game. But all the small changes, and even the bigger ones in single player and League Battles, make for a fresh take on the already unique shooter. If you played a lot of the original, the sequel has enough to keep you coming back, and if you're new to the game, it's a fantastic place to jump in." -- Kallie Plagge [Full review]

Polygon -- 8/10

"What the first Splatoon did well is still built into the sequel’s barnacle-encrusted DNA, and now it's on a system that you can stuff in your bag or play on the couch. It’s baffling that Splatoon 2's best feature is held back by a frustrating lack of proper online support, and in many ways, it's the same game with some new tricks. But there are still enough imaginative additions for anyone who played the first game to death, especially via its strange, captivating supporting cast. It may be much more of the same, but the same is still pretty fresh." -- Chelsea Stark [Full review]

IGN -- Review In Progress

"It feels as if the paint had just begun to dry on Splatoon after its release on the Wii U in 2015 when Nintendo applied a fresh coat and relaunched it with Splatoon 2 on the Switch. That may be why this sequel feels less like a whole new game than a new version of the first one that rolls up the best post-launch updates to the colorful and adorably non-violent team-based shooter and adds some new toys. Of course, considering the first game is a lot of fun, that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you missed it for lack of a Wii U. And despite some questionable choices that can leave you trapped in matchmaking purgatory, the addition of a standout and clever take on a co-op horde mode provides some seriously addicting fun that has me coming back for more." -- Brendan Graeber [Full review in progress]

Eurogamer -- Recommended

"So yes, Splatoon 2 is more of the same. It's a lot more of the same, seeing how it folds in all the improvements and additions that were introduced to the original over time and gives returning maps a significant makeover. It's going to be a lot more of the same--with the potential for some new surprises--given how Splatoon 2 is going to benefit from the same steady roll-out of new weapons, maps and modes. By any reasonable measure, this is a better game than its predecessor, and not just on quantity alone. It no longer benefits from the shock of the new--for that, you have to look towards the outstanding Arms--but it's most definitely an improvement on what remains one of Nintendo's finest games in many a year. It was only inevitable, though, that this one was never going to feel quite as fresh." -- Martin Robinson [Full review]

US Gamer -- 4/5

"As for me, like a good pop song being woefully addictive, I'll likely be singing Splatoon 2's tune well past its launch. While I was initially disappointed by how familiar the game felt, I still got a big goofy grin as I splatted my way to victory time and time again. It amounted to some of the most fun I've had in any multiplayer game in years. Probably, to be honest, since the last time squid kids splashed paint onto my screen. In the meantime, when Splatoon 3 inevitably hits in a few years I hope something spices up the tried and true splatting formula now that more than the twenty people who owned a Wii U can finally give the charming, innovative shooter a spin. Until then, as Pearl and Marina would say, Splatoon 2's off the hook. (That's slang for cool, I think. Don't ask me.)" -- Caty McCarthy [Full review]

GamesRadar+ -- 4/5

"If these gripes appear minor, that’s because they are. They came nowhere near ruining my time with Splatoon 2. It's the most multiplayer fun I've had in a while: the bright colours and squelchy sounds draw you into a mechanically complex shooter that you could spend weeks trying to master--and still learn new tricks. Splatoon 2 doesn't improve much on the excellent original, but it's a timely reminder of just how fun it is to throw a bucket of paint at a man with a pointy head until he explodes." -- Samuel Horti [Full review]

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Avatar image for syntaxkt

This game is so much fun! The 3 minute matches work perfectly because it's short enough for most people to not get discouraged and will keep the matchmaking times down :) I never played the Wii U version but I hope people continue playing this for years to come!

Avatar image for inkman66

Awesome.....look forward to playing this next year when A) Switches can be found on store shelves for retail price and B) There are more NEW games to play. I played BoTW on the Wii U (it was freakin awesome), I have Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. Doesn't seem to be enough different about those games to make me want to spend time hunting down a Switch.

Avatar image for RSM-HQ

Will pick it up when I grab a Switch :)

Avatar image for miffytherabbit

From my limited understanding, reviewers haven't had very long to get the full sense of Splatoon 2. I say this because quite a few of the reviews I've watched and read reported that certain modes could not be properly appreciated or assessed due to low population levels (essentially, there were mainly journalists and writers playing.)

I appreciate the fact that journalists have been transparent by pointing out modes/gameplay that could not be properly judged, but still, it makes the review scores slightly unreliable, surely? There's been quite a bit of talk lately about the ethics/effects on standards by releasing reviews before all aspects of a game can be assessed for one reason or another, and I wondered whether it would have been better all round if the reviewers had waited beyond embargo once the servers were correctly populated and all modes were working as intended?

I understand that this drive towards releasing reviews as quickly as possible once the game is available is (supposedly) to do with higher hit and visit counts to the respective video gaming websites - at least some seem to be saying this. I must admit that these very early scores and reviews leave me feeling a bit wary. Firstly, how can a game be scored when the review is based on material which can not be experienced correctly? And secondly, how can a review make total sense if chunks of a game can not be appraised? It's a bit like a movie critic basing a review on a film which has only been viewed and experienced for three-quarters of its length?

Perhaps it's a lesson that we need to listen to our peers a bit more, and not necessarily review-gurus who are sold to an agenda of getting reviews in fast, simply for extra site-hits.

It's all very confusing.

Avatar image for DK-BT

Why doesn't Gamespot just link to Metacritic whenever they do these articles?

Avatar image for gamer162594

@DK-BT: Why doesn't CNN just link to Fox News? Or vice versa.

Avatar image for Cashmoney007

This should end up being another win for Nintendo.

Avatar image for louixiii

Solid across the board

Avatar image for DUBTuner

Another hit added to the already amazing library of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo is delivering game after game and great ones at that.

Avatar image for BeefoTheBold


It feels more than a little premature to describe the Switch library as "amazing" at this point unless you're extremely partisan. By Metacritic scores, sorting by "green" rated games. (Metacritic score of 75 or above)

PS4: http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/score/metascore/all/ps4/filtered?page=3




Switch: http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/score/metascore/all/switch/filtered?sort=desc


That 29 is obviously going to grow over time but it does illustrate just how much catching up to do it has against the other current generation consoles. (And how big of a hole the WiiU put them in in terms of starting from behind.)

It'll be particularly challenging given Nintendo's usual lack of 3rd party support on major AAA titles.

Avatar image for huibert

@BeefoTheBold: I gave away my PS4 and Xbox One to go Switch only, zero regrets

Avatar image for indojimbo

@BeefoTheBold: He didnt say anything about the other consoles. Hes just stating that the switch is on a roll turning out great game after great game.

Avatar image for Jaxith

@BeefoTheBold: Another way to look at that is that there are 29 solid games on the Switch, a console that came out a few months ago, and comprising of... most of it's current library. The other consoles have had alot more time to build their libraries, with both the good and the bad. To me, 29 solid games on the Switch means that most of what's been released on it so far has been a hit. So, I guess I'm just sort of wondering what the point of the comparison is? I mean, the ratio of good to bad, or quantity of good games on a console is in my opinion less important that *what* good games are on it.

Right now, the Switch has the benefit of having a few great games that can't be played anywhere else, some of which utilize it's unique hardware to the point that you flat out couldn't experience the game the same way on a different console, as with Arms or Splatoon 2. For me personally, that justifies the purchase, and I would indeed refer to the Switch's library of games as 'amazing' if only for it's exclusives. Perhaps someone else will feel differently, and that's fine, but I'm enjoying the games on it, so I feel like mine is at least an equally respectable opinion.

Avatar image for unreal_master

@Jaxith: For real lets have 29 solid games over 400 that may or may not be good.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Sounds like 8s all around....

Avatar image for doctor_mg


Your comment makes that seem like its a bad thing. It isn't.

Avatar image for doctor_mg


It's not bias. You have a history of posting negative comments; especially regarding Nintendo articles. It's verifiable. I'm just using inductive reasoning.

Avatar image for doctor_mg


It's not bias. It's noticing a pattern and making a predictive (and logical) assumption based on that pattern. If you didn't mean it in a negative way then you should try maybe not adding the ellipsis at the end of the statement, as that is how it was misconstrued.

Or you can continue to try and be a dick about it. Your choice.

Avatar image for doctor_mg


It's funny because, out of the two of us, I'm the only one who portrays any logic at all.

But, hey, you keep trying to make yourself feel better. :)

Avatar image for doctor_mg


Which sucks lol. I think the score system should be overhauled. People take the score like it's a letter grade and not by its actual scale.

Avatar image for Doomerang

@Thanatos2k: That's extremely solid, especially when the reviews are saying that it's a game that pretty much acts like a giant expansion pack to the first game. Normally when a sequel is designed like that, the reviews are terrible from what I've seen, so that means that Splatoon 2 is doing something right.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@Doomerang: Eh? It's basically the same game, so it got the same scores.

Avatar image for ArabrockermanX

@Thanatos2k: Pretty much, 2 years is just not enough time to make a new game these days.

Avatar image for Doomerang

@Thanatos2k: That's what I mean. "Expansion Pack" sequels tend to have a high risk of getting bad review scores since they often don't push the envelope enough to warrant a full purchase, but it's nice to see that Splatoon 2 doesn't fall into that category. I wasn't trying to argue with you, just more reacting to your point about it being all 8's across the board.