Splatoon 3 Review thumbnail

Splatoon 3 Review

Let's get messy

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on 🦑

Splatoon 3 is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

Nintendo's flagship competitive online extravaganza is back for more sloppy fun so let's see if Splatoon 3 is worth its weight in ink.

│ Our reviewers are discouraged from reading other reviews before writing theirs in order to avoid contributing to an echo chamber. 🦚

Splatoon 3 screenshot 1
It's time to paint the town blue

Thirsty for more ink?

Splatoon 3 is very much a sequel in that it follows in its predecessors' footsteps as you would expect and doesn't really have many surprises. On the plus side, this means that those who simply want more Splatoon will get exactly that but on the downside, it doesn't really do anything remarkably unique with its gameplay or content that make it stand out as a distinct experience. However, there are new weapons and arenas that definitely mix things up such as the Splatana Wiper which is a fast melee weapon and the Tri-Stringer which shoots charged ink in a spread of 3 blasts. The overall desert aesthetic is also rather appealing complete with the fitting arena Scorch Gorge to complement it. Overall, there's enough to warrant this being a sequel and it all comes together nicely. v1d30chumz 3-235-173-74

Splatoon 3 screenshot 2
I'm the best player out of all these game reviewers but is that actually saying much?

Splat-tacular modes

As always, Splatoon 3 has a decent selection of modes with the most exciting being Splatfests and this time, they may involve a 2-on-2-on-4 Tricolor Turf War which is impressively well-balanced. Anarchy Battles are the new Ranked Battles and consist of familiar modes such as my favourite; Tower Control where you try to seize a tower only for it to gradually move to your goal. Of course, there's also the co-op Salmon Run which can now be played whenever you wish and it always makes for a nice change of pace from the competitive action. Besides other returning modes, you also get a cute card game in the lobby called Tableturf Battle and I imagine that some folks will love trying to collect all of the cards. Even though there is plenty of familiar content, there's enough new to warrant excitement. 😄

A tale of fuzzy squids

Multiplayer chaos aside, Splatoon 3 has a brand new story mode where you face off against some sort of fuzzy ooze that's been spreading across the land. I definitely don't want to ruin the story for anyone and I'm looking forward to everyone experiencing the wacky boss fights and clever characters for themselves but I'll just say that I'm impressed by the amount of enjoyable stage designs and the solo campaign held my interest much more than previous games in the series did. With its mix of familiar faces and brand new characters, there's a lot of personality on display as well. The question is; do you have what it takes to stop this fuzzy ooze from taking over? 😊

Even more splats

Before wrapping this up, I figured I'd share some odds and ends. First, I appreciate the character customization options where things are less gendered now which makes sense and it's great to be able to wear whatever you want even if there are fewer titles available.

With that in mind, I noticed some less cool aspects such as how some weapons are rather imbalanced. For example, if you're a melee character going against a sniper, good luck trying to get close enough before they one-shot you! You'll learn tricks over time but casuals will definitely experience many moments that feel unfair. Speaking of which, I noticed some rubber-banding where my team dominated the opposition only for them to claim victory within the final seconds. In this sense, it kind of feels like Mario Kart where the last player gets better power-ups although I can't quite put my finger on what exactly Splatoon 3 does but there is something, that's for sure. 🤔

Splatoon 3 screenshot 3
I'll probably turn fuzzy but let's not find out!

Splatoon 3 is a fitting sequel to an awesome series that'll have you happily spray your ink all over the place. It may not do anything particularly revolutionary but does it really have to? No... but it would be cool if it did, right?

  • + Same fantastic multiplayer gameplay with nifty new stages and weapons
  • + Excellent variety of modes
  • + Likeable familiar and new characters
  • - Could use even more content and gameplay mechanics to help set it apart
  • - Currently has some minor balance and rubber-banding issues
8.9 out of 10
Gameplay video for Splatoon 3 thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Splatoon 3
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