Splatoon 3 Review – Mechanically Refined

Splatoon 3 innovates in a way that's not drastic yet feels like a completely refined title.

Splatoon 3 Review
Overall
4.5
  • Story
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals

Verdict

Splatoon 3 is the most refined game in the franchise and it improves upon almost all of the shortcomings that its predecessors had.

Pros

  • Engaging Story And Fun Campaign Mode.
  • Balanced Weapons and Enemies.
  • More Accessible Salmon Run.
  • A Better Lobby In Online Mode.
  • The gameplay is Fine Tuned to Perfection.

Cons

  • Enemy Variety Is Lacking.
  • Builds Upon Splatoon 2 But Doesn’t Add Anything Unique.

My Splatoon 3 review is finally here, and boy is it a glowing one. When Nintendo launched the first Splatoon game, it ended up becoming a successful exclusive release for the Wii U console. Later, the company followed up with Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch, and that title was a massive improvement over its predecessor. And now you have a full trilogy with the release of Splatoon 3, which is a more fine-tuned version of its predecessors.

Quick Information
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release Date: September 8, 2022
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Tested On: Nintendo Switch
  • Game Length: 8.5 Hours
  • Time Played: 13 Hours
  • Editors Note: We thoroughly tested Splatoon 3 on the Nintendo Switch, putting in roughly 13 hours into the completion of the main story.

The second title in the trilogy arguably had the biggest overall upgrades, whereas the third game is simply a more refined version. That is not a bad thing at all though, as the franchise already reached its peak with the second entry. But some issues that persisted with the series have now been taken care of in Splatoon 3, and the developers have made some much-requested quality-of-life changes as well. 

Story And Setting

the story of splatoon 3
The Story (Screenshot by eXputer)

The story mode and campaign received a complete overhaul in terms of design this time around. The campaign consists of multiple different missions, and you are free to choose whichever you’d like to play at any point. There are no restrictions here as you can even replay these levels as much as you want.

Most of these missions average around 3 to 5 minutes to complete, which just adds to the replayability of their replayability. The single-player story mode never received much attention in the previous titles as the major focus went on multiplayer, so it’s nice to see the plot get some more attention

The story is really interesting this time around, and it’s worth following in Splatoon 3 where it takes place in multiple large, yet content-rich locations.

The story is really interesting this time around, and it’s worth following in Splatoon 3 where it takes place in multiple large, yet content-rich locations. You will find a lot more cutscenes than you did in the previous games and the plot keeps your attention for the entire time. However, the basis for the story is quite simple. It is an all-out war against the Octarians, which are the main antagonists in the game.

the setting of splatoon 3
The Setting (Screenshot by eXputer)

Splatoon 3 is set across a massive map where some of the notable locations are Splatlands and Splatsville. Splatlands is a hot and unforgiving desert whereas Splatsville is the main hub area of the game.

Inkopolis Plaza and Inkopolis Square are also some cities that you can explore. These are some of the many notable landmarks that you can see on the map and there is a lot to explore aside from that. There are a lot of NPCs to meet, and a lot of secrets to discover on top of that.

Gameplay

the gameplay of splatoon 3
The Gameplay (Screenshot by eXputer)

I will divide this section into two different aspects of the game which include the single-player and the Multiplayer modes. As I mentioned before, the campaign mode has received as much attention as the multiplayer mode, whereas previously it was mostly half-baked in the previous titles. 

You can play through so many different missions and each of these missions can be completed in a few minutes in the campaign mode. And the missions themselves are not simply based around shooting inks and swimming in your paint either, which by the way is the crux of the entire third-person gameplay. 

Players will face some puzzling challenges as well, which adds to the variety of these missions. Additionally, you will get to face off against a great many boss battles that are well-designed and test the limits of your skills. The weapons and gear at your disposal can also be customized from the various shops that you can come across while exploring the world, allowing you to attune each to your particular playstyle.

You never feel too overpowered in the campaign mode and the game always succeeds in presenting new challenges at regular intervals.

Like the last game, you can also completely customize your avatar here. At the start of the adventure, you are allowed to make your little Inkling, and then further deck them out with fashionable clothes and accessories. Again, you can choose your own styles and customize your character however you like.

Splatoon 3 is also a much more balanced title than its predecessors. You never feel too overpowered in the campaign mode and the game always succeeds in presenting new challenges at regular intervals. In this way, you never get bored of replaying the missions in the game either. 

The online mode has been refined so much that almost all of the problems, that the previous games had, have been taken care of. The online lobby is one of the best new additions to the game, where you wait while queuing up for a multiplayer match. Waiting around to get a match has never been more fun. You can change your gear and practice your shots in the lobby as well.

The online mode has been refined so much that almost all of the problems, that the previous games had, have been taken care of.

The Salmon Run, which was the best part of the CO-OP in previous, is now even better because the time restrictions have been removed. You can enjoy fighting against waves of enemies and bosses with your friends whenever you like. This is probably the best part about the multiplayer in this game, and everything else from the previous titles also obviously makes a comeback.

Visuals And Performance

the graphics
The Visuals (Screenshot by eXputer)

Splatoon 3 is a very well-optimized game that manages to pull off a native 1080p resolution in the docked mode of the Nintendo Switch. This is something quite rare for the console, as it averages around 900p for most games in the docked mode. As for the handheld mode, the game runs at a native 720p resolution which is again quite impressive.

Splatoon 3 is a very well-optimized game that manages to pull off a native 1080p resolution in the docked mode of the Nintendo Switch.

Performance-wise the game maintains a smooth 60 FPS which remains constant for both the singleplayer and the multiplayer modes of the game The only exception to this is the HUB area, where it drops to 30 FPS. Drops in performance are extremely rare as well, and most players will not face dips in that department unless hectic things start happening on-screen. The game also loads much faster than its predecessor which is due to better optimization. 

Splatoon 3 Verdict

the rating
The Verdict (Screenshot by eXputer)

Splatoon 3 is the most refined game in the franchise and it improves upon almost all of the shortcomings that its predecessors had. The title solves almost all of the problems of the previous games, and it even has a great single-player mode alongside its critically acclaimed online mode. However, the game lacks enemy variety.

Weapons have a lot of variety and new modes have also been added to CO-OP. The game is also really well-optimized performance-wise. However, it has been in development for five years, but the game does not bring something new or revolutionary to the franchise as Splatoon 2 did. It is just a more fine-tuned version with some quality-of-life changes, which is not a bad thing. 

This has been my Splatoon 3 Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.

More Reviews:

This is box title
Get This Game
If you enjoy cartoonish art with strong gameplay and narrative.
Dont Get This Game
If you’re not onboard with the Splatoon style and formula.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, Splatoon 3 is a love letter to players familiar with the franchise and a welcoming gift to newcomers.
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Huzaifa is eXputer's Review Editor, who’s all about RPG games. He’s got several years of experience critically judging games and writing his unbiased thoughts on them. You can also find his content published on sites like Twinfinite & GearNuke. Huzaifa has been gaming for 23+ years, during which he managed to amass 400+ hours on Elden Ring! You can follow his gaming activity on his Xbox and Steam Profiles.

Experience: 5+ years || Previously Worked At GearNuke & Twinfinite || Mainly Covers RPG Guides & Latest Games Reviews

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