Reviews of Wii U-exclusive Splatoon – which we incorrectly referred to as being viewed in first-person yesterday because we’re massive ruddy idiots – have started to spill out onto the internet.
A few outlets – such as Eurogamer – are waiting for fully populated servers before giving their final opinion, but literally just a few – the majority of gaming sites have already chalked up their scores.
As of now it stands proud with a Metacritic of 81%, formed from 34 reviews. Complaints pretty fall into line with what we expected – the lack of voice chat, too few maps and not enough modes. Nintendo does promise that all post-launch content will be free, however. From the sounds of things the first lot of DLC is due out soon, too.
Set your sights on these scores:
90 – Gaming Trend: “It may lack some of the refinements of modern shooters and offer only limited offline value, but Splatoon’s online multiplayer is top notch. Nintendo’s strongest online effort to date is awesome, and while it could use a few additions, Splatoon’s gameplay is a highly entertaining affair that stands as one of Wii U’s absolute best multiplayer experiences”
4.5/5 – The Escapist: “Adding another casually enjoyable multiplayer game to your Wii U’s lineup will serve you well, but try before you buy if you’re only interested in singleplayer”
4.5/5 – Attack of the Fanboy: “Splatoon is yet another great new IP from Nintendo. It’s fresh take on the shooter genre should please longtime fans, while feeling accessible to new players. One of the best games on the Wii U, which is already stacked with excellent titles”
8.5 – Arcade Sushi: “Those looking for a more advanced shooter experience on Wii U have it now, but it’s not so advanced that younger players won’t be able to jump in, too. Splatoon is the shooter for everyone, and everyone will have a blast in Inkopolis”
8.5 – Destructoid: “In some ways, Splatoon’s online component is disappointing, and the lack of so many features will likely push other shooter fans away. But most of those shortcomings can be forgiven in my mind because of how damn fun it is. As a shooter it’s refreshing, and as a 3D platformer it’s up there with some of Nintendo’s greatest creations”
83/100 – GamesBeat: “Splatoon is clever, creative, and fun. The multiplayer is a fun twist on the team-based shooter. However, the single-player campaign is surprisingly the best thing in the game. It offers the kind of quality level design you’d expect from a Mario title, but with a healthy dose of shooter mechanics”
4/5 – Digital Spy: “While Splatoon isn’t quite the revelation some were hoping for, it’s stupidly fun. The only concern is longevity, with the brief single-player and only two main modes to play online. Whether it retains an audience will depend on the success of post-release support from Nintendo. For now it’s a colourful distraction from the grey and brown battlefields of more traditional shooters”
4/5 – Telegraph: “Splatoon looks and feels wonderful; it’s a satisfying, immediate, hugely entertaining and almost entirely original brand of shooter. Some players might hanker after more substantial nourishment, but the snack-sized morsels of action that Splatoon offers are absolutely bursting with flavour”
4/5 – US Gamer: “Nintendo takes a chance with this odd, risky rethink of the arena shooter. Splatoon moves away from guns and grit, offering a shooter anyone of any age can enjoy. The game’s single-player is an absolutely amazing puzzle platformer that deserves some expansion. Multiplayer is a bit light on content at launch, but Nintendo is already promising more this summer”
8.0 – EGM: “Nintendo’s newest cast of characters leaves their mark on the third-person shooter genre in Splatoon, one of the freshest and most exciting competitive multiplayer experiences so far this year. It’s just a shame that we’ll need to wait a few more months for some of the game’s basic functions to be fully implemented”
8/10 – The Jimquisition: “Splatoon may not offer much “content” out of the box, but it does offer enough reason to keep coming back to it, hungry for more. Despite a simple idea and a handful of maps, this eccentric shooter does – as the game’s irritating in-universe TV hosts declare – “stay fresh.”
7/10 – The Metro: “The most original and enjoyable online shooter of the generation, but the lack of content at launch means it may be months before it reaches its true potential”
3.5/5 – GamesRadar: “It breaks my squid-loving heart to be so down on Splatoon, because the core gameplay offered is one of the freshest and most exciting things to come out of Nintendo in years. But I can’t help but feel like this game should have come out three, maybe six months later, when all of the content is finished and included on the disc”
3/5 – Toronto Sun: “Splatoon is a lively, vibrant, clever game that turns the shooter genre on its ear, and in the early going it’s a blast to play. But unless Nintendo can quickly adapt to the fluid nature of these sorts of games and ensure it remains fun for all types of players, it might not find the long-term audience it deserves”
On a related note, a lorry containing GAME’s entire shipment of Splatoon and various amiibo figures was stolen en route from Nintendo’s European HQ. There’s more on that story here (via Eurogamer).