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Splatoon Gameplay from Nintendo Treehouse
I made mention of the fact that a new IP from Nintendo is somewhat rare. The moment I saw that title pop up my attention was fully grabbed. Then they go ahead and produce something that not only looks like solid arena shooter, but may just be a deconstruction of the whole genre!
Splatoon‘s premise is simple, two teams of four compete to cover as much of the map as possible with their own colored ink. So already it stands out from the norm as the main mechanic is not combat, it is a passive aggressive form of battle. Direct combat does happen, but from the looks of it, several forms of engagement are possible and encouraged. Map control has always been integral to shooters, but to see it put forth in such a literal way is nothing short of refreshing. The thing that excites me most about this map covering mechanic is the way in which it enables improved mobility. Each player can transform into an ink squid and travel swiftly and stealthily though their own color. This will open up a very strategic element to the painting, as you will be forced to make constant decisions between covering up the enemies progress and carving your own path.
Splatoon has a lot of visual flair to it as well, which should be evident through these images. The theme of color vs color has always been persistent in shooters and once again it is taken to the next level here. The neon pallet present in this game looks stunning, especially when it is opposed to how gray and flat the maps look before a match begins. It could almost be taken as a shot fired against other shooters and their limited range of color, as Nintendo literally paints over the bland.
There are some feature that have my raising my eyebrow though. Voice chat has yet to be demonstrated or confirmed and it isn’t certain how extensive the arsenal will be. I for one can certainly see the constant popping sound of the default ink gun becoming monotonous.
Splatoon has left a strong impression on me, and personally I can’t wait to see more information. The game has only been given a non committal 2015 release window thus far, so keep your eye peeled.