Splatoon was certainly an unexpected treat at E3 this year. In an attempt to move into a new territory, Nintendo has created a new shooter IP that is as refreshing as it was surprising.
The concept behind Splatoon is simple, but not exactly easy to explain. Splatoon features teams made up of kids who can transform into squids... or is it squids that can transform into kids? Not too sure on that fact as of now. But we do know that each team consists of four players and their objective is to coat the world in their respective team's colored ink.
So the goal is not the kill one another - in fact shooting your enemy does not send them to their graves, just back to their base. Winning a round is accomplished simply by getting your ink on as much of the level as possible.
Splatoon is easy enough to control, but there were a few nuances with the E3 showfloor demo that may not have come across in the announcement trailer. Certain movements, for example, are controlled solely through use of the GamePad's gyroscopic controls, although the demonstrators were quick to note that the final version would feature many different control options.
The GamePad also acts as a pretty useful map, indicating how much of the world is covered in which colored paint. You can also click on a teammate to spawn at their location, allowing you to get back into the fray fairly quickly.
Shooting your opponent with ink is not the only way to hinder their progress. Covering the ground in ink is an effective tool, as movement in opposing team's ink is cumbersome. However, transforming into a squid is a good way to speed around the map, as squids are able to move through ink at a faster pace.
Being a squid is also a way to refill your ink ammo, which will run out if you fire your gun constantly. While the demo was a bit limited in terms of weaponry, it does seem that there will be many different forms of items that can be used in the final build, including but not limited to grenades, a sniper rifle, and a paint roller.
Overall, Splatoon is a fresh new take on a genre that has largely been taken over by yearly releases of dark and gritty shooters likes Call of Duty and Battlefield-like games. Splatoon is set to be a very colorful and entrancing game to play when it releases on the Wii U in early 2015.