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Nintendo reveals Splatoon, a team-based online shooter with ink instead of bullets

Nintendo's first online shooter is the family friendly Splatoon, which pits cartoony characters armed with ink shooters against each other

Nintendo’s official E3 livestream event revealed the usual selection of first party titles featuring the likes of Zelda, Kirby and Mario, but the surprise of the night came from Splatoon – a team-based multiplayer shooter which is hardly Nintendo’s usual fare.

Designed from the ground up to use the Wii U GamePad, Splatoon will pit teams of four against each other in a race for territory. Instead of using bullets, players will use ink-filled squirt guns to paint each map in their team colours – whoever covers the largest amount of the level in their own colour ink wins the game.


Walking through an enemy team’s ink will slow you down, but turning into a squid(!) will let you swim through the ink at full speed – even up walls and vertical surfaces. You move under the surface of the ink as a squid, but have no offensive power to stop an enemy advance, so have to choose when to switch between forms carefully, but can hide in the ink and jump out to surprise ambush your opponents.

The GamePad display will show a top-down view of the entire map, along with an indication of how much ink is covering the playing area. This gives you an idea how far in front or behind the enemy team you are, as well as showing you when an enemy team member is taking back some of your hard fought territory.


As you would expect from a Nintendo title Splatoon is suitably bright and colourful, with a cartoon style that manages to avoid looking too much like Valve’s Team Fortress 2. Watch the trailer to see the game in action:

As with many of the games Nintendo revealed during the live stream, Splatoon won’t be arriving until 2015.

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