The Freshest Esport

Splatoon 3 | Review


Image from Polygon

This game is one of the newest to hit the Esports arena in KHSAA

Darren Davis, Staff Writer

Since it’s original release in 2015, Splatoon has been a unique landmark in the world of gaming. The premise is a family-friendly shooter that focuses on painting the ground instead of killing enemies. Now with its third iteration, the ideas in Splatoon aren’t anywhere near as novel as they once were, so it’s up to the game’s quality to retain interest. While it does deliver a supremely enjoyable experience, it’s still haunted by many issues.


The best part of Splatoon is undoubtedly the multiplayer experience. With the new release, weapons, subs, and specials have all been reworked and new additions have been added, though the core still remains unchanged for better and for worse.

The two big areas of focus for the sequel are balance and movement. Weapons have been heavy in many ways, however they all still feel the same and just as fun to play. The biggest change to the combat in this game comes from the new special weapons. Many feel more challenging to use in comparison to the last game. Others feel completely overpowered like the ink vac which could content with the balance breaking specials from the first game as well. With some exceptions, the new specials only take away functionality and enjoyment given from the far better selection from the second game. On the flip side, the sub weapons do the complete opposite and improve nearly every one available. The new addition, a dagger that reveals enemies locations, competes for the most enjoyable sub weapon along with the ever-reliable burst bomb.


Though the balance doesn’t visually show much change from the previous game, movement definitely does. With the new dashing options, Splatoon 3 has become a much faster and proactive game allowing for a higher caliber of play. Some other things like the dodge upgrade allow for more movement options than ever, and all of which feel great to execute.

Squid enacting a Squid Surge (image from Nintendo of America Twitter)

A big problem for Splatoon is the new game feeling more like an update instead of a new $60 experience and sadly that is still present here. No new modes have been added, and though clam blitz has been changed for the better, every game mode still feels nearly identical. The biggest addition in this game is definitely the new story mode.


This time around, the story mode focuses on the darker implications of Splatoon. For a series taking place in a post-apocalyptic world after humanity’s downfall, the tone has always been rather jovial. Of course the tone never dips below a certain point but it still aims to explore the remains of humanity and how they were brought to that point, mainly through optional reading terminals. 

Story Mode Promotional (image from Pro Game Guides)

The new characters that appear in the story mode, and also as TV stars who explain current update information, are the best in the series by far. This trio has much more personality than the other idols we’ve encountered before and play an integral role in the story which is far fresher than the previous two idol groups. This group of bandits aims to stop you instead of help, and our previous nemesis, DJ Octavio, is enlisted to help fight against the enemies you face. Mammalians comprise the true antagonists we face this time and they tell a far better tale than the previous Octarian threat.

The New Idol Group (image from TechRadar)

All in all, Splatoon 3 is a far better game than its predecessor, but lacks much originality which makes it feel too similar to its prequel. Many connection issues also happen to affect the game, however that’s due to Nintendo’s poor internet service and not necessarily a problem with the game. Even with some obvious problems that affect it, this is still the freshest Esport available right now.