Forget CoD or Valorant – The best shooter 2022 is coming to the switch

Splatoon 3 win screen

When you think of fast, intense shooters, you might think of games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, or Valorant. But very few people think of Nintendo games. Shooter expert and MeinMMO author Marko Jevtic wants to change that. Because he says: The best shooter of the year will be the brightly colored switch game Splatoon 3.

Fast movement, an incredible number of weapons, fast-paced action with a lot of strategic depth – these are exactly the things I love in multiplayer shooters. If there is a short time-to-kill with special abilities that enable special strategies, I’m completely in love.

There may be many shooters out there that have all of that, but they all lack something.

  • Call of Duty has fast-paced action and lots of guns, but zero teamplay or strategy.
  • Valorant is very strategic, but you should never shoot and run at the same time.
  • Overwatch offers a lot of team play with dozens of skills, but individual strengths are sometimes completely lost.
  • Halo Infinite has unique and great gunplay, but hardly any content.
  • Battlefield 2042 is… Battlefield 2042.

All of these games are great fun in their own way. But nothing can captivate me for years. After a maximum of 100 – 200 hours of play I’ve had enough and look for the next shooter that offers me a month of fun.

It’s like this for me almost every year. But there were two big exceptions. 2015 appeared on the Wii U Splatoon, 2017 on the Switch the successor. Splatoon 3 will finally be released on September 9th, 2022, and for me it’s already clear:

Splatoon 3, the brightly colored children’s game for the Nintendo Switch, will be the best shooter of the year. Especially for fans of competitive shooting games.

About the author: Marko has been with MeinMMO as a shooter expert since October 2021, but has been a huge fan of all kinds of shooting games for over 25 years. Whether CoD, Quake, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Battlefield or Halo – Marko plays shooters intensively and at the highest level. He’s also deeply involved in the shooter community and regularly talks to FPS pros like KovaaK.

However, the Splatoon games are his favorite shooters of all time. He hasn’t played a single game more than Splatoon 2 and has played it at the highest rank for years – and thus regularly with and against the best pros in the game.

With Splatoon 3, a hardcore shooter hides under bright colors

The Splatoon games have sold over 17 million copies. They are secretly a really big franchise, which hardly gets any attention among so-called hardcore gamers.

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The reason for this is obvious. The Splatoon games may be shooters, but they’re from family-friendly developer Nintendo – they’re even specifically the people behind Animal Crossing. According to the USK, children from the age of 6 can play these shooting games, and instead of large-caliber lead bullets from military weapons, colorful blobs of paint are fired from water guns or oversized painting brushes.

And yet Splatoon is a real shooting game for the die-hard shooter fans like me:

  • It has small characters that move insanely fast, making precise aiming difficult.
  • The time-to-kill is rapid, which rewards both good movement and good aim.
  • Weapon balancing is insanely good, although Splatoon 2 has a whopping 108 weapons across 9 weapon categories (via Inkipedia).
  • Many different special abilities and ults such as rocket launchers, grappling hooks or controllable robot spiders open up strategic options and promote team play.
  • There are complex loadouts thanks to gear buffs that allow you faster movements, higher resistances or better sneaking
  • The color mechanic makes map control and good positioning incredibly important (more on that in a moment).

In addition, thanks to movement control through gyro targets, Splatoon has no aim assist at all. For this reason alone, this “child’s game” from Nintendo requires more shooter skills than the console shooters for “real men” like CoD or Battlefield.

Check out the Splatoon 3 gameplay video to see what this looks like in motion:

In addition to these solid shooter basics that put Splatoon in a class of its own, it also has a few unique gameplay tricks up its sleeve. They all revolve around the color mechanics. Because the color in Splatoon is not only a unique graphical feature, the entire gameplay is geared towards it.

In Splatoon you play so-called Inklings – creatures that can transform from a human form into that of a squid at the push of a button.

As a human, you can shoot, throw grenades, and jump, but not much else. As a squid you can swim almost completely shallow, which has several advantages:

  • You reload your ammo.
  • You are difficult to hit and virtually invisible when moving slowly.
  • You can quickly swim through the map or up walls

But all this only applies if you are in the color of your own team.

Every shot from your weapons fires paint that sticks to the map – whether it’s along floors or up walls. Your team color allows you to navigate easily as a human or squid – opposing color, on the other hand, sticks to your feet like superglue and damages you.

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So the aim is to let more of the map shine in your color than that of the opponents. Colors overlap each other easily. You don’t win the main game mode with kills either, but if there is more of your color on the map than the other team.

Because more of the map shines in a yellow color, the yellow team wins here in the “Turf Wars” game mode.

Thus, there is always a tug of war for map control, which opens up numerous strategic possibilities in the game.

All in all, Splatoon 3 is one of the fastest, most strategic and most special shooters on the market. With a colorful design, it appeals to a younger audience, but shooter veterans with calluses on their index fingers will also get their money’s worth.

How good and deep the gameplay systems in Splatoon 3 are is particularly evident in the excellent ranked mode. It’s one of the best out there, despite and thanks to Nintendo’s infamous online multiplayer limitations.

Splatoon is the best competitive shooter for people without a team

The big shooter franchises often put a lot of emphasis on ranked game modes. In special modes you should play against other gamers who should be at about the same level.

The more games you win, the faster you move up the leaderboard, and the better rank you have. Gold, platinum, master – the hunt for the better title is very tempting, at least in theory.

Unfortunately, that’s almost never something for me in practice. The games I love so much are only played by a few of my friends. In addition, most of my friends play much worse than me. It’s never really a problem – except in ranked mode, where sometimes they’re not even allowed to play with me.

In addition, almost all major shooter games have an unbearably toxic community. It’s so obnoxious at times that I’ve completely lost the desire to play this shooter competitively in any way. And without that constant incentive to climb the ranks, I quickly lose interest in the game as well.

Splatoon 3 characters
The “fresh” look of your game characters not only looks cool, but also enables complex and diverse gear builds.

Nintendo’s flawed online system is actually a blessing here. Matches in Splatoon are divided into 2 types:

  • Together with one or 3 other friends in a squad.
  • In 2 teams of 4 mixed individual players.

The first match type allows communication via the Nintendo Online App or classics like Discord because you play with friends. This is perfect for those who want coordinated team play with their peers.

In the second match type, however, each player ends up alone in a team of other loners who have no opportunity to talk to each other.

This is – probably involuntarily – awesome, especially for single players. Because every ranked match is guaranteed to have no communication between players, every match is completely fair. Because you never fight against a full team, only against other loners. And teabagging is then the only possible form of toxic communication.

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So for good teamplay you have to work intuitively and spontaneously with complete strangers – if you can do that, you deserve to win. If the team play is not going so well, you can decide the match for the team as a single player.

So Splatoon rewards individual skills as a shooter player way more than any other shooter on the market. If you’re instinctively good at gaming and working with others, you’ll win more games in Splatoon. That’s how it should always be. Because nothing feels worse than playing well alone but losing to a fully coordinated team of worse players

And if you’re a loner and want to play with friends in the ranking list from time to time, don’t worry – the team ranking list is separate and reset several times a day so that you can always find fair matches in new constellations. For people like me, this is an all-round perfect system.

Splatoon 3 spider robot
With special abilities like this controllable spider robot, you can tilt the match in your favor – or dominate the opponents even more.

There is no other shooter like Splatoon 3, and none better

At first glance, Splatoon 3 doesn’t look much different than its predecessors, but it doesn’t have to be. The last part came out in 2017, 5 years later the gameplay could be exactly the same and I would still be happy – because there is no other game on the market that packs such a special gameplay so well.

That’s not to say that Splatoon 3 is a pure copy of Splatoon 2: Despite some similarities, experts are discovering many exciting new features (via YouTube):

  • Completely new special abilities with a lot of strategic potential.
  • Even faster gameplay thanks to new spawn mechanics and more aggressive weapon loadouts.
  • Special evasive maneuvers that make you (almost) invulnerable for a short time.
  • A completely new weapon type and new maps.

So, Splatoon 3 is well on its way to being the best multiplayer shooter of 2022. Personally, I can’t imagine any other game topping that this year.

  • Overwatch 2 looks great in beta, but it’s far less beginner-friendly than Splatoon and has a very toxic community in ranked mode. This may not happen until 2023.
  • The Cycle: Frontier is an exciting “casual alternative” to Escape from Tarkov, but it’s not a true deathmatch shooter. In some matches, you may not even see a human opponent.
  • CoD Modern Warfare 2 may now officially have a name, but it certainly won’t reinvent the shooter wheel. In addition, the franchise has never had a particularly good ranked mode.

Of course, these are just the most notable releases that you can expect this year. If you want to remind yourself which other shooters are actually coming this year, I recommend this article:

New multiplayer shooters 2022: The most important releases for PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch

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