And also to @TrickshotMcgee :
Splatoon is mainly a multiplayer PVP shooter and can be played casually or hard-core, as the mood suits you. There is also an ample campaign mode that is single-player only which will force you to use every main weapon in the game and presents a lot of challenging puzzles. You could consider it like a really extended tutorial on these weapons but it has a good story and is a game in and of itself, really. It will keep you quite busy a few days at least and there’s always stuff to earn. However, Splatoon at its core is all mainly multiplayer, and requires an internet connection except for solo play.
Splatoon 2 has features for friend-play and creating teams, and using outside the game aps to communicate…these don’t interest me at all and seem more for hard-core ranked players. The original Splatoon had some friend-play also but I never had any issues playing with random peeps all the time and not worrying about coms. The original Splatoon didn’t want to allow for coms. I have never played with friends and had a great time. Most people know what they are doing as you move up in player level so it won’t feel like you get stuck with somebody’s kid brother firing at the ground all match. The game is fairly good at putting like-leveled and like-ranked players together. There are also a couple buttons to use in-game to help the team focus or rally. I find this is all that’s really necessary to communicate. These battles are short, so even if you get stuck with nutter butter players there’s another match in 3 minutes so who cares…exit the lobby and come back in. If you like who you are with, stick around because a lot of the time players get re-matched up.
You can customize your character even more in Splatoon 2 than the original…as this one gives you squid hair styles. You play levels and purchase gear with your earned coinage. This is where a lot of the game strategy comes in and can get very complex. Each item of gear comes with certain bonuses which will apply during your rounds. You can have up to 3 slots of bonuses on each piece of gear, and you can choose 3 particular sections of gear…hats and headpieces, torso clothing, and shoes. Some items of gears (Example shoes) will have exclusive bonuses. As you play you “level up” your gear and a random new bonus gets applied until you have all 3 slots filled for that gear. Most people won’t want to settle for what is randomly given, so they can pay to “re-roll” the bonuses to get the bonuses they want, up to 3 of the same bonus per item of gear. High level players will often spend a lot of coinage to get 3 of the same bonus on each gear they select but this is very time consuming and luck-based, although Splatoon 2 has modified this a little to make it slightly easier to attain. 3 is the most you’d ideally want of any 1 bonus type because the percentages don’t stack much after that. On top of all this, some bonuses you choose will work better with some weapons than others, and some gameplay modes. You can choose to indulge as much as you want in this system or ignore it completely and settle for random bonuses. Bonuses matter, however, if you are aiming to become a high ranked player. Being able to, for example, swim just a little bit faster than your opponent during a crunch can mean the difference between getting splatted or not.
The main modes of play are Turf War (casual and all Splatfests), Ranked Play, and now Co-Op Salmon Run.
Turf War: Whichever team inks the most turf wins by the time the game timer runs out. Each match is around 3 minutes if I recall. You can play lots of matches in a short amount of time and this helps to level gear. Turf War isn’t so much about splatting your enemies as it is controlling the field with your color of ink. You can go the entire match without aiming to splat anyone else and focus mainly on just laying ink everywhere as much and as fast as possible. However, some players DO opt to splat the opponent as much as possible because once you get splatted, you respawn back at the home base, and it will take you a little bit of time to recover your position. If too many splats on your team occur at one time this could turn the entire game. Some games are nail-biters but basically this is more casual and fun. Splatfests are held once a month where the game scenery changes to night-time and the music is different. These run for 24 hours and pit two teams against each other. This month’s teams you can choose to be on (depending on your location, as Splatfests are normally based on your geographical location) is Vampire or Werewolf. You select your team of choice and are given a team jersey to wear for the duration of the day. The winner is determined after the 24 hours are up on who inked the most turf percentage-wise and which team was the most popular choice. I think the UK’s past Splatfest which just ended was Front or Back…toilette paper roll placement. Obviously the front won. You will earn stuff just for playing a Splatfest, and winners just get more of these goodies, normally in the form of Snails which will allow you to re-roll for gear bonuses without paying for it.
Sidenote: Every day you will have 2-3 different game levels to play in and game modes in ranked play presented. These rotate every 4 hours I believe it was. This keeps the game constantly fresh every 24 hours. During a Splatfest though, the levels stay the same all day and it is the only mode you can play…no ranked play, and probably not Salmon Run but I don’t know until I know…when I get the game. A Splatfest day is all-consuming Turf War.
1 Caveat: Splatfests are not nearly as fun when they open them up to world play. Once Japan players enter into the mix…it’s not about fun but survival. It always burned me up when they did this. Japan players play for keeps as if their very lives depend on it and you can seriously feel the difference in playing against Japan…and China too. If you’re likewise faced with levels you don’t enjoy playing on, this is just brutal. They are just on a whole other level I don’t quite understand. Rant over.
Ok, so then there’s Ranked Play.
Ranked Play offers several different game modes. This is partly why I loved to play in ranked, but this also means customizing your gear more to suit the game mode, as well as your weapon choices since some work better than others depending on the mode. In short, here are the 3 modes:
Tower Control: There is a tower in the center of the field. Once a squid lands on it his team “captures” it until they get splatted off of it. This is much like capture the flag. The tower will move towards the enemy base. Whoever gets the tower to their enemies’ base wins, or whoever gets the tower closest to their enemy’s base will win…whichever comes first in about 5 minutes of match time. Any time two opponents are on the tower at once the tower will be considered uncontested and stop moving, then gradually slide back to the center of the field if it remains uncontested too long. Everybody dies in this mode, especially the guy trying to hold the tower by staying on it.
Splat Zones: 1 or 2 areas on the field will be marked out for your team to ink. You need to have at least about 90% of it inked to hold your team’s ground. The enemy will try to also ink it which will cause it to be uncontested or to take over holding the ground for their team. Whichever team can hold the ground the longest wins. Splatting other players can secure your ground easier.
Rainmaker: My personal favorite. A golden fish device will be placed in the center field. The squid that grabs this has control of it and can use it as a weapon to shoot enemies or ink the ground. It is up to their teammates to ink the ground for them so they can move it easier to the base in their enemies’ field. Once you carry the rainmaker you move slower since it is heavy, and mostly are defenseless since charging up the rainmaker to use as a weapon or for inking your path takes time. I liked to be both the player capturing the rainmaker or running defense and inking ground from the player that grabbed it. Knowing the level map can be key to victory in this mode. Once you get splatted while holding the rainmaker, a bubble appears around it which must be shot at before it can be taken again by any player. It remains where it was dropped and does not go back to center field. Whoever gets it to their enemies’ base win, or whichever team gets it closest.
Lastly and Newly there is Salmon Run which is all Co-Op. Your team has to survive multiple waves of baddies and I’m not 100% sure if the waves have a set ending or if it’s as long as you survive to. I have to read my guidebook on that and just haven’t had a chance yet. Every wave you get a different type of boss which has to be defeated in a certain manner. Once they get splatted they drop special eggs which you must collect one at a time and drop in a basket. If you and your team don’t get them all fast enough the salmon will come back out and grab them, and the eggs placed in the basket have something to do with the wave ending or quota for the game. Fallen players can deploy a life saver and call for help so teammates can shoot at them to revive them with ink. Enemies leave their own ink trails so inking the board is just as important as splatting baddies. This mode sounds and looks like some real fun and is the only mode where you face AI opponents other than solo play.
There are tons of clothing and weapon options, and bonuses galore to help your particular playstyle. Even the weapons themselves often have multiple choices (because each main weapon includes its own stats, sub-weapons, and special powers. There may be 3-5 different paint roller weapon options alone, some moving faster or some having more power). The music in the game is fun and the game is always different. Anyone can play this, even people who are not used to or liking of shooters. Kids can play, and hard-core adults. You can kill or not kill as you want, and when you get splatted you respawn infinite times, as long as the match lasts. Playing the game earns you coinage to buy more weapons and gear, you level up to get placed correctly into your position, and you can completely opt out of ranked play if you want. Ranked play is also reserved until a player reaches a certain level anyway. And you can be a kid (only time you can use a weapon but you move slower) or a squid (moving about fast in the ink up walls and around the arena to get a better position).
That’s Splatoon in a nutshell!
There are also modes which deal with friend teams, and if you have friends you can try these out. I don’t use them so not sure how they work but I know you can go in teams of 2+ to face likewise teams. Unless they changed this, This is its own mode, so only people who are playing alongside friends get to play with others who also are playing alongside friends, to prevent imbalances in the gaming of their standard modes which are all random match-ups.