Splatoon Review Roundup

Check out what critics are saying about Nintendo's new third-person shooter.

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Nintendo's new shooter (of sorts), Splatoon, is now available on Wii U, and we've gathered up some of the first reviews to give you an idea of what to expect.

Despite looking like a third-person shooter, Splatoon's focus is less about simply eliminating the enemy team, and more about covering the level in paint. The game features a single-player component alongside online multiplayer, the latter of which is much more of a focus here than in the average Nintendo game. Being a family-friendly game, however, it lacks voice chat.

A set of Splatoon-themed Amiibo go on sale today alongside the game itself; they're likely to sell out, but Amazon will be selling them at specific times throughout the day.

  • Game: Splatoon
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Platforms: Wii U
  • Release Date: May 29
  • Price: $60

GameSpot -- review in progress

"[W]hile the gameplay and progression systems in Splatoon are enjoyable and varied, the maps you play on are too similar, and I can't think of a single one that stands out. There are some elements that you'll pickup on, but these are isolated pieces that you recognize rather than recall fondly. For the most part, you swim over flat land, up a ramp, and maybe through a wire mesh, but I haven't noticed a case where a map emphasizes one particular element over another. Maybe this is a casualty of the game's painting mechanic, making every map feel like a big, neon puddle, but good level design should be able to overcome this" - Peter Brown [Full review]

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Polygon -- 8.5 (provisional)

"As of launch, though, Splatoon has enough going for it between the single-player and multiplayer to keep me happy. Nintendo has built two separate gameplay tracks that use the same mechanic yet feel discrete. They're both a ton of fun, and they both have some obvious areas ripe for improvement. I can't say whether Splatoon will become the next big franchise for Nintendo, with sequels every generation and spin-offs and endless fanboy buzz. But after this strong debut, it certainly deserves some attention." - Philip Kollar [Full review]

Destructoid -- 8.5

"In some ways, Splatoon's online component is disappointing, and the lack of so many features will likely push other shooter fans away. But most of those shortcomings can be forgiven in my mind because of how damn fun it is. As a shooter it's refreshing, and as a 3D platformer it's up there with some of Nintendo's greatest creations. You'll quickly forget about the fact that you're playing Turf War over and over as you squid down an alley, leap across a gap, and shoot enemies in the air as you fall. All Nintendo needs to do is keep supporting Splatoon, because the foundation is fantastic." - Chris Carter [Full review]

USgamer -- 4/5

"Nintendo takes a chance with this odd, risky rethink of the arena shooter. Splatoon moves away from guns and grit, offering a shooter anyone of any age can enjoy. The game's single-player is an absolutely amazing puzzle platformer that deserves some expansion. Multiplayer is a bit light on content at launch, but Nintendo is already promising more this summer." - Mike Williams [Full review]

IGN -- review in progress

"Nintendo's take on the third-person shooter is refreshingly original, with lots of impressive tools and skillful mobility. Matches are consistently fun and tense, and the mechanics feel simple enough that almost anyone can contribute positively. Splatoon really needs the extra modes and content Nintendo says is coming once a portion of the community levels up a bit, and not having voice chat is a bummer, but what is here feels polished and kept me claiming turf for hours." - Jose Otero [Full review]

GamesBeat -- 83/100

"Splatoon is clever, creative, and fun. The multiplayer is a fun twist on the team-based shooter. However, the single-player campaign is surprisingly the best thing in the game. It offers the kind of quality level design you’d expect from a Mario title, but with a healthy dose of shooter mechanics." - Mike Minotti [Full review]

GamesRadar -- 3.5/5

"It breaks my squid-loving heart to be so down on Splatoon, because the core gameplay offered is one of the freshest and most exciting things to come out of Nintendo in years. But I can't help but feel like this game should have come out three, maybe six months later, when all of the content is finished and included on the disc. As it stands, there's simply not enough game here on day one to make Splatoon anything more than a weekend curiosity, and there's no telling whether the content coming down the pipeline will be worth sticking around for." - David Roberts [Full review]

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