Today marked the end of the Global Testfire for Splatoon 2. The Testfire was an open beta that went live at several times over the weekend, one hour per session. I managed to get in on three of the six sessions, and now I’m here to share my thoughts with you.
Just FYI, I have not played the original Splatoon, so I won’t be able to compare the sequel to it, although I have heard people say the two are almost identical visually.
For this open beta, Nintendo allowed players to choose from one of four weapons and be matched up with other random players for a 4v4 Turf Wars round. The stage was picked randomly from a selection of three total, and matches lasted three minutes each.
The goal of Turf Wars mode is to paint as much of the stage as possible with your teams color. Along the way, you can splat (shoot) enemy Inklings, causing them to restart at their teams spawn point.
The controls are my main worry for the game, based on this demo. Some were standard and intuitive, like the right trigger firing your weapon. B is jump in Splatoon 2, and I–along with most other Switch owners–have been recently playing a ton of Breath of the Wild, where X is jump. In Splatoon 2, X opens the map. So I kept accidentally opening the map when I wanted to jump. I guess I’ll get used to that.
Something else that confused me was a prompt from the game that said “Press A while holding [D-pad picture] to super jump,” and when I tried that, no super jump happened. I just signaled to my teammates to follow me. Don’t know what was up with that.
The gyro sensors seemed off several times. I had to keep pointing the controller down for the view to be level with my character, which was annoying.
Splatoon 2’s Global Testfire offered four weapons: the Splattershot, the Splat Roller, the Splat Dualies, and the Sniper Charger, all pictured below.
As the picture indicates, each weapon has its strengths and weaknesses. Also, pressing the right bumper and the right joystick do different things for each weapon. The joystick attack is a charged one.
The Splattershot is the standard, iconic Splatoon gun. As such, it feels pretty standard. It was the first weapon I tried, and it was great for getting my feet wet and getting used to the controls. But it wasn’t the most fun of weapons.
The Splat Roller rolls ink onto the ground and can also sling a wall of paint forward. It’s better suited for getting up close and personal and running enemies over. I found it very fun, but I was still a bit too much of a noob to use it properly I think.
I didn’t care for the Splat Charger. It’s a ranged weapon that you hold the trigger to charge up. It doesn’t really fit the fast-paced nature of the gameplay, but I also just don’t care for sniper-type weapons.
The Splat Dualies were the weapons I kept going back to. They fire more ink than the Splattershot, and you can roll while firing to cover more ground. The special Curling Bomb is also a really fun way to hit distant enemies and create an ink path for your Inkling form in front of you.
Overall, the gameplay was fast-paced and exciting. It works much better when your whole team thinks of it as a group effort where everyone plays their role. Splat Chargers should snipe from a distance, Splat Rollers should paint the way in the front, and Splattershots/ Splat Dualies should stick close to the Roller and cover as much ground as possible.
Of course, it’s also fun to run around on your own and mess with people sometimes. Shooting massive blobs of ink around a mini city is strangely fun, and the satisfaction of splatting an enemy Inkling is worth the frustrations of being splatted yourself.
Turning into a squid, by holding the left trigger, refills your weapon and allows you to travel quickly through your team’s ink. The squid form is a weird, creative, and useful addition to the gameplay. It’ll take some time to master for all of its benefits.
Turf Wars is an incredibly fun mode to play, and it gives me hope for the other modes coming to Splatoon 2. Also in the full game, players will level up to unlock new clothes and weapons for their character. The demo assigned characters randomly each round, so I’m looking forward to customizing my own.
While the controls gave me some grief, I’m sure I’ll acclimate after a couple of hours in the full game and focus purely on the fun of the various weapons, play modes, and colorful features.
Splatoon 2 is set for release on Nintendo Switch this summer. Did you take part in the Global Testfire? Do you have any thoughts? Let us know in the comments!