Water Warfare Hands-On Impressions

Playground squirt-gun fights are the focus of this upcoming WiiWare game.


There are a dizzying number of subgenres that exist underneath the umbrella of first-person shooters: tactical, sci-fi, World War II with regular Nazis, World War II with magical Nazis, and so on. The list could go on for days, but you'd be hard-pressed to find many games that portray the gritty, no-holds-barred combat of playground water-gun fights. For Wii owners, that will soon change with the release of Water Warfare on WiiWare. This first-person shooter from Hudson trades in AK-47s and blood for super soakers and characters with bulbous anime eyes in a family-friendly action experience.

The visuals in Water Warfare are pretty basic.
The visuals in Water Warfare are pretty basic.

Right from the outset, you're given a chance to put your own creative stamp on the game by designing a customized character. Basic options include size and gender, and from there, you can choose from a number of cartoonlike faces. Then, you can choose clothing (do you fight in military camouflage or a basketball uniform? The choice is yours), hairstyle and color, and skin type. In our time playing Water Warfare, we made characters ranging in appearance from cutesy green-haired schoolgirls to grizzled Vietnam veterans who could likely assemble a water gun in 10 seconds flat.

For a downloadable game, there are a solid number of gameplay modes in Water Warfare. Single-player comes in both Mission mode and Match mode flavors. The former is a collection of small missions that begins with series of tutorials, which get you used to the controls and various items in the game. Later, these become a series of one-off missions that require you to shoot so many targets within a time limit or KO so many opponents before you run out of respawns. Match mode allows you to create traditional multiplayer matches against AI opponents, choosing from a number of game modes that include takes on Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Territories.

There are also a number of multiplayer options. You can share in the same single-player experience with another person by going split-screen, but you can also take your water-gun skills online via Nintendo Wi-Fi. These matches are more or less the same as what you'll find in the single-player Match mode selection screen--traditional game modes set on playground-themed maps--but against up to seven other human opponents.

All of these different modes share one common trait: nonviolent water-based warfare. Guns you use include peashooters, machine guns, bazookas, and sniper rifles--all firing streams of water that can be refilled by hanging out at a water fountain or simply picking up a new gun scattered around the map. Adding some chaos are power-ups lying around the world like banana peels you can throw to make people slide out of control and rain jackets you can wear to deflect some of that water damage.

However, what those graphics lack in detail they make up for in bright colors.
However, what those graphics lack in detail they make up for in bright colors.

Water Warfare strikes us as a light and simple, but ultimately serviceable first-person shooter. It offers an extremely bare-bones presentation balanced out by a number of game modes with surprisingly broad multiplayer support for a WiiWare game. No price point has been announced, but you can expect to see it arrive this summer.

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Avatar image for red-drybones

Its better to acctually play with a water gun... HOWEVER, This game has something new that would please many little ones. and I'm sure its way cheaper than buying one of those fancy waterguns(and safer... in a way.)

Avatar image for -Kode-

erm...no. This just doesn't appeal to me. Good spin on the FPS tho, and definatly one for younger kids.

Avatar image for Toke4us

To be fair, the screenshots do not do the game justice - stop trying to compare the game to other titles, it's certainly not like anything else I know of, so stop trying to judge it against anything else. Approach the game with an open mind and you will enjoy it.. There are even a number of people who have played online who claim it to be quite addicting... not bad for 800 points, lets see you do better for eight bucks.

Avatar image for klugenbeel

@Silverback67, Omg say what you want....but A, you never know what someone else wants. B, look at this game...i've seen better graphics on Mario 64 than this game. Maybe your 4 year old will like this, realistically...GO BUY your 4 year old a Super Soaker and send him off in the neighborhood with the other children! The guns are boxes practically, god forbid these people actually gave a damn about their product and tried to make it look better...i thought we were done with Box shaped graphics when the PS1 died off?

Avatar image for Silverback67

For those of you who say "who in their right mind will waste there Wii points on this?", consider this: I'm a gamer, have been forever. This game doesn't really interest me, but I'll get it. Why? Because my 4 year old will love this game, and there aren't many FPS games suitable for children. He loves the thrillville fps minigames, and now he can play with or against others in a non-violent way. Don't be too quick to dismiss this games marketability. Of course, you are probably the same people that quickly dubbed the Wii Fit balance board a flop before you waited to see what happened....

Avatar image for Jshaw71

sounds like a kinda fun game, though i would rater play laser tag over water gun fights any day, but a nice try i guess...

Avatar image for campbell153

So... who in there right mind will waste there Wii points on this? And why would a games developer want to create something so insulting to us gamers? Surely Nintendo can do better than this tripe? NINTENDO YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THE COMPETITION THAT IS OUT THERE AND START DOING SOMETHING GOOD!!!!!

Avatar image for dragonfly110

wat a suprise...more shovelware.

Avatar image for eastley000

There doesnt seem to be much on the game yet. It sounds like it could be filled with some fun, even though the graphics are not great. For a WiiWare game it could be decent. I will just have to wait till launch though to put my final decision of weather its something i would want...

Avatar image for notquitesure

tis like a time warp... back in the days of the PSone... why dont they just release classics like they do on the 360 and PS3... goldeneye anyone?

Avatar image for Reaper941

Nice work, Nintendo. Not as if you're trying to keep up with any competition are you? Oh wait, what's that I hear?.. Project Natal. What is this? Water guns!?!

Avatar image for Yoshilila

Haha this sounds like one of those Anime style online FPS you can download from the net and play... I LOVE THOSE GAMES^^ they have high rating on the freak-o-meter and I am definitly gonna be getting this^^

Avatar image for SupahShnipa

I'm not really liking this game, I'm gonna download Military Madness.

Avatar image for mAD_ADaption

"all firing streams of water that can be refilled by hanging out at a water fountain" This looks like a great concept. I'm sure it's been done before (Super Mario Sunshine) but it looks like it could really work here. I can see constant battles over who gets control of the water supply, just like in real water gun fights. I'll have to keep my eye on this title :D

Avatar image for qwettydude

it's uglyXD

Avatar image for ropumar

"sounds fun?" I am really out of touch with the Wii community.

Avatar image for Nuoi

I've always wanted a fun FPS! Can't wait. XD

Avatar image for magnusm1

I think it looks fun! :)

Avatar image for starfoxfreak14

This is kind of a weird game, but it's a pretty funny idea.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

"The visuals in Water Warfare are pretty basic." That's just a polite way of saying: "The graphics f*cking sucks harder than your mom."

Avatar image for nakedfunk

Sounds like Wii is jumping the shark here :D

Avatar image for eldin4444

OH god , wont be on my to do list

Avatar image for Karrotjuce

it'll either be really good or really bad.

Avatar image for grorusso

i'm getting this only because i'm tired of the only wii online FPS i have(call of duty world at war)i just want a fun game with online and this might be it plus we get to chose costumes and hair styles :D can't wait!

Avatar image for balrogthane

I've got nothing against adding more family-friendly stuff. I won't get it but I won't hate on it either. The graphics look kinda reminiscent of Giants: Citizen Kabuto...

Avatar image for nintendo-naut

I'm actually looking forward to this one. I love online FPS. Even if it is squirt guns.

Avatar image for Tikicobra

Sounds like... well... a Wii game.