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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Rondina

Splatoon 3 Review: More Than Just a Fresh Coat of Ink

Splatoon 3 has arrived, marking the latest entry in Nintendo's beloved ink-based shooter series. Does the sequel make enough of a splash?

It's been five years since Splatoon 2 hit the Nintendo Switch, and fans of the series have eagerly awaiting the newest installment. Splatoon 3 has arrived with more than just a fresh coat of ink, but some key improvements. The newest game in the series retains many of the same features as its predecessor, but also adds new elements that help keep things fresh. Does Splatoon 3 bring enough new content to the table to justify the purchase? Let's dive in to nearest pool of ink and find out.

Splatoon 3 Details

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Developer(s): Nintendo EDP

Publisher(s): Nintendo

Genre: Action / Shooter

Multiplayer Modes: Single-player, multiplayer

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Splatoon 3's setting and story

The Splatoon series is set on Earth after humanity has gone extinct and marine life has evolved to live on land. Many of these creatures take up arms in a never-ending turf war. The Inklings are just one of these factions, and the stars of Splatoon 3. There is an ink-based story that unfolds as you complete missions in the single-player mode. While the story in Splatoon 3 may not be as fleshed out as some other games, it's still charming and provides a good reason to keep playing. Plus, it's always nice to see a bit of world-building in a franchise that is primarily focused on multiplayer combat.

Multiplayer Map Gallery

In terms of timelines, Splatoon 3 is set five years after the events of Splatoon 2. The settings themselves are where most of the ink showdowns are based is in the Splatlands. This area is a desert region inhabited by Inklings and Octolings who are hardened from constant battling. In contrast, the urban centre of Splatsville is a bustling metropolis where fashion and self-expression are the norm. From desert dunes to city streets, there is plenty of variety in the locales where you'll be ink-slinging.

What's new in Splatoon 3?

There are several new features and gameplay modes in Splatoon 3. The most significant addition is the new 3-way Splatfests. This mode is a lot of fun and it's a great way to earn rewards. There are also new weapons and gear, as well as some new maps. The new maps are well designed and offer a good variety of places to battle. There's enough new content to keep things fresh, without feeling overwhelming and everything feels very familiar.

One of the most significant changes in Splatoon 3 is the addition of special abilities. These abilities can be used once you've charged them up by inking enemies. There are three different abilities, each with their own benefits. These include the Tacticooler, Wave Beaker, and the Reef Slider. These abilities can be used in both single-player and multiplayer and they add an extra layer of strategy to the game.

Splatoon 3 gameplay mechanics

The gameplay in Splatoon 3 will be very familiar to fans of the series. The core mechanics revolve around shooting ink at your enemies and using your ink to cover as much territory as possible. The game is played from a third-person perspective, and you have an ink dispensing weapon. You can use your ink to swim through puddles of your own colour, climb up walls, and even fly for short periods of time. The controls are simple and straightforward, and they make it easy to pick up and play the game.

New splat arsenal

If you've played the game before all the basic weapons from previous games in the series make their return, plus many new additions to your arsenal. New weapons like Stringers (bow and arrow), Splatanas (ink sword) are just some of the new ways you can splatter your foes. All these weapons can be customized with different loadouts of sub and special weapons. You'll have to experiment with different combinations to find what works best for you and your playstyle.

Splatoon 3's Graphics and Performance

The first thing you'll notice about Splatoon 3 is that it looks very similar to its predecessor. That's not necessarily a bad thing - the colourful, cel-shaded graphics are still as eye-catching as ever - but don't expect any major visual overhauls. One small change that is worth mentioning is that the Inklings and Octolings now have access to a wider range of hairstyles and fashion options. This allows you to customise your character to better reflect your personal style.

In terms of performance, Splatoon 3 runs smoothly and is largely free of technical issues. The frame rate is solid, even when the action gets hectic, and I didn't experience any lag or connection problems when playing online.

Splatoon 3's Audio and Sound Design

The audio in Splatoon 3 is solid, but it's very similar to what you heard in the previous game. The soundtrack is catchy and upbeat, and it does a good job of getting you pumped up for battle. It helps to set the atmosphere in each environment and gives each map its own unique feeling. The sound effects are also well done and help to bring the game's colourful world to life. The sound effects are also well done, and they help to immerse you in the game's colourful world.

Is Splatoon 3 worth your time?

If you're a fan of the Splatoon series, then there's no reason why you wouldn't enjoy Splatoon 3. It's more of the same great ink-slinging action that you know and love, with some new weapons, maps, and gameplay modes thrown in for good measure. If you're new to the series, Splatoon 3 is a great place to start. It's a fun and accessible shooter that anyone can pick up and play. So, if you're looking for a fun and unique single + multiplayer experience, then Splatoon 3 is definitely worth your time.

Final thoughts on Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3 is a solid entry in the series that offers more of the same fun and frantic ink-based action. There are some new additions, like special abilities and new maps, but at its core it's still the same game you know and love. If you're a fan of the series, you'll definitely enjoy Splatoon 3. If you're new to the series, this is a great place to start. Either way, Splatoon 3 is a lot of fun and it's worth checking out.

Splatoon 3 PROS

+ New weapons and abilities

+ Fun story mode

+ New level of player customization

+ Fun and accessible for new players

Splatoon 3 CONS

- Light on multiplayer modes

- Graphically, it's very similar to the previous game

Gameplay: 9/10

Graphics: 8/10

Sound: 8.5/10

Replayability: 9/10

Overall Rating: 34.5/40 (86%)

A copy of the game was provided by Nintendo for the purpose of this review.


About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina

Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Along with being the Managing Editor of, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on twitter, Instagram and join in on the fun!


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