PC & console game reviews
THE TECHLIFE TEAM REVIEWS THE LATEST GAMES FOR PC AND CONSOLES, BEGINNING WITH A NINTENDO EXCLUSIVE WITH... REACH.
Splatoon 2 SHOWING US ITS TRUE COLOURS FOR A SECOND TIME. $79.95 | Switch | www.nintendo.com
MAKING A SPLASH (or splat) towards the end of the Wii U’s short lifespan, the first Splatoon became an instant favourite amongst those who owned the console, giving the team-based competitive shooter genre a much needed shake up in the process. Now, Nintendo is hoping to build an even bigger audience on the Switch for its neon paint-soaked sequel, and given the portable console’s already large install base, it’s bound to become its premier multiplayer title for the foreseeable future.
You play as an Inkling, a lifeform that shapeshifts between human and squid-like forms and uses a paint and ink-based arsenal of weapons. While the object of most shooters is to kill everything in your path, this kidfriendly game’s main multiplayer mode, Turf War, mixes things up by having players coat as much of the battle arena in your team’s paint colour as possible. You can also splatter members of the opposing team with paint, too, and while that approach nets you some extra points, it isn’t the overall goal — the team with the most ground covered at the end of the bout is the one that achieves victory. There are are a number gameplay benefits to painting maps in your team’s colour, too. For instance, your character runs faster over your own paint colour and slower over the opposition’s, while in squid form, you can swim through it, allowing you to get around the map at a decent clip. You also have a limited amount of ink in your tank, and swimming in your colour fills it back up again — we found that shooting at the ground and diving into the newly-formed ink puddle was a quick way to top back up in the heat of battle (yes, you can get high on your own supply in this game).
The game’s single-player campaign mode is slightly longer than the one in the original Splatoon (around 6 hours), with five sectors offering a total of 32 fun, challenging levels (you also have some truly wonderful boss battles to look forward to). Splatoon 2’ s new mode, Salmon Run, is a co-op horde mode that finds you and three other players fighting off increasingly aggressive waves of the zombie-like Salmonid, where the objective is to harvest their eggs and deposit them in the centre of the map. Frustratingly, Salmon Run’s online mode is only accessible at certain times — on odd limitation that slightly impairs this otherwise fantastic gameplay addition. With its satisfying balance of single- and multiplayer content, Splatoon 2 is perhaps the ultimate Switch title — play the campaign mode while you’re out and about and its online multiplayer while you’re at home, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better encapsulation of what makes the modular console so versatile.
Get a load of my purple rain!
You gotta be squidding me!