Although the Wii U was far from Nintendo’s best console generation, it brought in quite a few titles that did phenomenally well despite smaller sales of the system itself. Splatoon received extremely positive reception from the moment it was revealed to its eventual release where it became one of the top selling titles for the system. With the announcement of the Switch, many players suspected we would get a port of Splatoon to the next generation but were instead surprised with a brand new sequel for players to dive into.
While it would have been easy for Nintendo to simply port an enhanced version of the original title to the Switch, Nintendo’s choice for a fully imagined sequel makes a lot more sense. The Switch doesn’t have the Wii U’s dual screens that was necessary to use many of the secondary weapons, which Splatoon 2 trades off by introducing a whole variety of brand new artillery. Returning weapons have received tweaks, and a brand new weapon known simply as Dualies has been introduced which makes great use of new unique abilities.
Like its predecessor, Splatoon 2 includes both a single and multiplayer mode with the additional benefit of being able to play locally with the Switch on the go. Single player puts Inklings through a brand new variety of levels, complete with more collectibles to gather and bosses to take down along the way. While the single player serves more or less as a tutorial to learn the controls, Splatoon 2 does a great job of introducing players to each weapon type by making one in each category available to play in levels while also adding to the challenge and another objective to fully complete single player mode.
Multiplayer will seem very familiar to returning players, with classic turf war and ranked battles making a come back. Turf war includes brand new maps for players to battle on and dominate with their color in traditional fights, but also includes returning maps from the first title as well. All three ranked battle modes have all received some tweaks and changes to make for a more competitive experience while still keeping it a team challenge to win. Splatfests also make a return to the battle scene, with players being able to try out an early demo of one this coming weekend.
The newest addition to multiplayer comes in the form of Salmon Run, which takes inspiration from various horde modes seen in other modern shooters. Four Inklings are tasked with taking out salmon enemies and collecting their eggs with a set time limit through three waves of enemies. This cooperative mode relies on allies taking care of one another, as if all four players are defeated or can’t complete the objective the match will end. Salmon Run also lets players choose their difficulty when starting a match so players can take it easy on a lower setting when starting out and slowly increase the challenge as they get the hang of combat and the unique salmon enemies.
To those who played the original Splatoon, the sequel offers similar experiences while still feeling fresh with new weapons, maps and modes to discover. Splatoon took off running on the Wii U and plans to continue its legacy in the Switch sequel with even more content for players to enjoy along the way. While the core concept hasn’t changed, Splatoon 2 keeps the colorful up-beat tone that made it such a joy the first time around to play. With so many new additions and an easy way to get into the action for new and returning players, Splatoon 2 is sure to make a splash when it releases on July 21.