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One of the big surprises at this year's E3 was Splatoon, a cartoony third-person shooter for the Wii U. I suppose it's not much of a surprise that a cartoony shooter about plastering environments with paint while dispatching of your opponents with paint guns is for the Wii U. Nevertheless, one of the big questions about Splatoon at E3 was whether or not the multiplayer-focused title would allow for local, offline multiplayer play on the Wii U? Well, it has... but not quite in the way you might have imagined.
While a game like Splatoon would seem ripe for a good four-player, split-screen local multiplayer fest, ala Halo: Combat Evolved for the OG Xbox, the reality is that Nintendo is going about things in a completely different manner.
According to Game Rant, they managed to get in some game time with Splatoon as well some talking time with the game's project leader, Tsubasa Sakaguchi, and game producer, Hisashi Nogami.
Instead of beating around the bush, they outright asked if local multiplayer would be an option for Splatoon, in addition to the game's online multiplayer component, and here's what Hisashi Nogami had to say about that...
First of all, our plan is to release this as a full retail packaged software in 2015… the first half of 2015. And because we’re releasing this as a full software title, we of course plan to include a single-player mode but then also a one-on-one multiplayer mode that can be played without connecting to the Internet.”
The single-player mode seems terribly intriguing because for the life of me, I can't figure how exactly that would work. I mean, we can expect to shoot things and slide around through paint to get from one destination to the next. But what exactly would the single-player entail? I mean, will there be bosses? Will the game have single-player style objectives splattered throughout the multiplayer arenas? Or will there be a dedicated single-player component completely separate from the multiplayer offerings? Questions, questions, questions.
Even still, Game Rant was pursuant in their objective to find out more about this local multiplayer feature for Splatoon. They were curious if four-player split-screen was still on the table and whether or not you could do things like Mario Kart 8 and do split-screen and online at the same time. Nogami explained that...
“What we can tell you about the one-on-one, at least, is that one player will be using the GamePad, one player will be using the Pro Controller. And we’re actually thinking of having that one-on-one mode be something kinda completely different from the four-on-four one where it’ll be, you know, kind of a lot more stalking and hiding in the ink. It’ll be much more like a quiet mode in a sense.”
This gives the game a lot of potential here and I'm glad that they didn't outright say that split-screen or co-op online play was off the table. Features like that could make or break the experience for a lot of Wii U owners, especially those looking for a good family-friendly shooter everyone can enjoy.
Even still, at least Nintendo is experimenting enough that the multiplayer won't just be another run-of-the-mill 1-on-1 deathmatch affair.