Coming as something of a surprise at 2014's E3, Splatoon is a game not a lot of people were expecting from Nintendo - a multiplayer shooter with a heavy online component. Of course, with Nintendo being Nintendo this isn't exactly Call of Duty. Players control an inkling, a character who can turn into a squid-like creature and back again. Their primary goal, at least as far as we players are concerned, is to get as much of their own ink around the environment as possible using tools such as guns and rollers. If you get hit by other inklings' ink it will hurt you or slow you down or, at worst, make you splat into an explosion of ink. So, in a nutshell it's a shoot-'em-up without the bullets. The need to cover territory in as much ink as possible creates a strong territorial aspect to the game. Striking the right balance between aggressively seeking out enemies' territory and protecting your own is crucial. Don't be shy, though - covering more territory gives players the chance to unlock inky super-weapons! Multiple control options are available, including using the Gamepad's gyroscopic features to look around, making for better aiming and control. The multiplayer is the core of the experience, and players can go online for one-off 'Turf War' battles, or opt for the more intensive 'Ranked Battle' mode, which ranks and matches players based on their wins four-on-four battles. There's also local one-on-one 'Battle Dojo' play, in which friends compete to see who can pop the most balloons. If you're looking for a very Nintendo shooter to play on your Wii U, Splatoon is it.
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