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Splatoon, one of the surprise show-stoppers from E3 2014, is poised to bring its family-friendly brand of third-person shooting to the Wii U in May. And to prep everyone for the big launch, Nintendo has served up some new details concerning both multiplayer and single player game modes.

“Oh, dude, have you played Splatoon yet?”

That was the number one question I was asked during E3 2014. Nobody had really heard of the game until it magically popped up on the Nintendo showroom floor, instantly winning the hearts of pretty much anyone who played it.

It’s an intriguing premise: All of the depth and fast-paced action you’ve come to expect out of modern third-person shooters but built on a lighthearted and mostly violence-free framework, boasting lots and lots of bright colors.

In Splatoon, players take on the role of creatures called "Inklings" that can change between squid and human forms. As a human, you’ve got a super-soaker full of ink that sprays your team’s color. You can use it to hinder your opponents, accomplish objectives, or literally paint parts of the environment. As a squid, you can then leap into any of your team’s ink and swim around in order to reach other parts of the environment or sneak up on the enemy. It’s a wild and frantic time and while you’re still technically “shooting” stuff, it’s far more kid-appropriate than, say, Call of Duty, Battlefield, or even Halo.

With Splatoon scheduled to launch in just a couple of months on the Wii U, Nintendo has revealed new information about the game's 4v4 multiplayer modes, as well as the single player offerings.

For starters, Splatoon's main mode is called "Turf War," in which your main goal is to paint as much of the level as humanly (squidly?) possible in your team’s color. Your enemies will have the same goal, however, meaning you’ll need to tag loads of surfaces while simultaneously throwing a monkey wrench in their plans. You can paint over each other’s work, too, so don’t assume that you can just paint an area and move on.

Characters will have customizable loadouts that will give them various perks, like swimming more quickly or refilling your sprayer faster. You’ll be able to equip all of the basic weapon styles (rifles, machine guns, etc.) and an oddball assortment of new items like paint rollers, paint bombs and sprinklers.

Nintendo also announced a Ranked Battle mode, which will add the competitive aspect that core players typically crave. One of the ranked modes is called "Splat Zones," where teams will try to control specific areas of the maps. Again, it’s exactly like what you’d expect out of standard shooters, but with a slightly silly slant.

As stated above, Splatoon will also have a single-player campaign that pits you against your Octarian enemies, spread across specialized levels built to test various skills. Like many shooter campaigns these days, it’s more of a big tutorial for the competitive shooter modes.

Look for Splatoon to hit the Wii U this May.

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