This week sees the release of the next major Switch game, Splatoon 2. Nintendo’s colorful shooter launches today, and like its Wii Upredecessor, it puts a unique twist on team-based shooters. In the series’ signature mode, Turf Wars, two teams of four compete not to amass the most kills, but to cover the most terrain with their shade of ink.
While Splatoon 2 shares many similarities with the original, Nintendo had added new content as well to round out this sequel. Along with new weapons, gear, and special abilities, Splatoon 2 features an expanded single-player campaign that has players blasting through levels on a quest to find the missing Squid Sister, Callie. There’s also a new Horde mode called Salmon Run, in which a team of players take on waves of Salmonid enemies and collect their eggs.
Reviews for Splatoon 2 have begun surfacing online, and as always, we’ve compiled an overview of the game’s critical reception. Below you’ll find excerpts of reviews from various publications, along with the score each awarded the game. For a wider look at what critics think of Splatoon 2, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Splatoon 2
- Developer: Nintendo
- Platform:Nintendo Switch
- Release: July 21
- Price: $ 60 / £50
GameSpot — 8/10
“At first glance, Splatoon 2 seems very similar to the first game. But all the small changes, and even the bigger ones in single player and League Battles, make for a fresh take on the already unique shooter. If you played a lot of the original, the sequel has enough to keep you coming back, and if you’re new to the game, it’s a fantastic place to jump in.” — Kallie Plagge [Full review]
Polygon — 8/10
“What the first Splatoon did well is still built into the sequel’s barnacle-encrusted DNA, and now it’s on a system that you can stuff in your bag or play on the couch. It’s baffling that Splatoon 2’s best feature is held back by a frustrating lack of proper online support, and in many ways, it’s the same game with some new tricks. But there are still enough imaginative additions for anyone who played the first game to death, especially via its strange, captivating supporting cast. It may be much more of the same, but the same is still pretty fresh.” — Chelsea Stark [Full review]
IGN — Review In Progress
“It feels as if the paint had just begun to dry on Splatoon after its release on the Wii U in 2015 when Nintendo applied a fresh coat and relaunched it with Splatoon 2 on the Switch. That may be why this sequel feels less like a whole new game than a new version of the first one that rolls up the best post-launch updates to the colorful and adorably non-violent team-based shooter and adds some new toys. Of course, considering the first game is a lot of fun, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you missed it for lack of a Wii U. And despite some questionable choices that can leave you trapped in matchmaking purgatory, the addition of a standout and clever take on a co-op horde mode provides some seriously addicting fun that has me coming back for more.” — Brendan Graeber [Full review in progress]
Eurogamer — Recommended
“So yes, Splatoon 2 is more of the same. It’s a lot more of the same, seeing how it folds in all the improvements and additions that were introduced to the original over time and gives returning maps a significant makeover. It’s going to be a lot more of the same–with the potential for some new surprises–given how Splatoon 2 is going to benefit from the same steady roll-out of new weapons, maps and modes. By any reasonable measure, this is a better game than its predecessor, and not just on quantity alone. It no longer benefits from the shock of the new–for that, you have to look towards the outstanding Arms–but it’s most definitely an improvement on what remains one of Nintendo’s finest games in many a year. It was only inevitable, though, that this one was never going to feel quite as fresh.” — Martin Robinson [Full review]
US Gamer — 4/5
“As for me, like a good pop song being woefully addictive, I’ll likely be singing Splatoon 2’s tune well past its launch. While I was initially disappointed by how familiar the game felt, I still got a big goofy grin as I splatted my way to victory time and time again. It amounted to some of the most fun I’ve had in any multiplayer game in years. Probably, to be honest, since the last time squid kids splashed paint onto my screen. In the meantime, when Splatoon 3 inevitably hits in a few years I hope something spices up the tried and true splatting formula now that more than the twenty people who owned a Wii U can finally give the charming, innovative shooter a spin. Until then, as Pearl and Marina would say, Splatoon 2’s off the hook. (That’s slang for cool, I think. Don’t ask me.)” — Caty McCarthy [Full review]
GamesRadar+ — 4/5
“If these gripes appear minor, that’s because they are. They came nowhere near ruining my time with Splatoon 2. It’s the most multiplayer fun I’ve had in a while: the bright colours and squelchy sounds draw you into a mechanically complex shooter that you could spend weeks trying to master–and still learn new tricks. Splatoon 2 doesn’t improve much on the excellent original, but it’s a timely reminder of just how fun it is to throw a bucket of paint at a man with a pointy head until he explodes.” — Samuel Horti [Full review]
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