Nintendo Dates Splatoon Release for May

Paint-splattered Wii U shooter to arrive at the end of Spring.

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Nintendo has revealed that Splatoon, its vibrant arena shooter that replaces bullets with jets of paint, will ship on Wii U in May.

Exact release dates across the US and UK were not announced, though previously Nintendo only committed to a broad "2015" launch. The game tasks teams of up to four players to douse arenas with a single colour of paint while preventing the opposing team from doing the same. A video demonstration can be found above.

The game's release date was announced during the Nintendo Direct broadcast, which aired on Wednesday, among a spate of game and hardware announcements (the full list of news can be found below).

Splatoon, which is a rarity in that it's a new IP from Nintendo, was considered at one point to be another Mario game, according to recent comments by Shigeru Miyamoto.

“There were heated debates over who the main character should be [in Splatoon], whether it should be Mario, or the squid," he said.

"When we talked about the possibility of it being Mario, of course we could think of the advantages: anybody would be willing to touch it as soon as we announced that we had a new Mario game. But at the same time, we had some worries. If it were Mario, we wouldn’t be able to create a new IP.”

Early impressions from GameSpot's editorial team appeared to be positive.

"Splatoon is exactly how you'd imagine a Nintendo-made competitive shooter would be: colorful, charming, and without any of the over-the-top violence and gore so common in other modern shooters," wrote critic Randolph Ramsay.

"Splatoon is a blast (pun intended) of good natured cheer in a genre that can sometimes take itself a little too seriously, and it certainly made a positive impression on me during my brief hands-on time at this year's E3."

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