There were a whole lot of multiplayer games released this year. If you love competing against an opponent online or locally, you were spoilt for choice. However, when it comes down to the wire, there was really only one game that set itself apart. For us here at Shacknews, Splatoon 3 stood head and shoulders above the competition.
For anyone that has never dabbled in a Splatoon game before, you’d be forgiven for being slightly confused. With an almost adorable aesthetic, paint-based fighting, and no first-person shooting, it might not appear to be your typical hardcore, competitive multiplayer game. But let me reassure you, dear reader, Splatoon 3 offers the most intense, demanding, and strategy-dependent multiplayer matches on there.
The primary goal of each match is to paint the most area of the map. However, while you’re using your weapon to spread your team’s colors, you’ll also be using it to splat your opponents. Start to run low on ammo and you’ll need to dive into your own painted parts of the map to refill your tank. At this point, the complexity of Splatoon 3 starts to show its head. Each match is a delicate balance of splatting your opponents and covering the world in paint. Focus too heavily on kills and you’ll fail to paint the map. Only paint the map and you’ll ultimately fail to control the flow of the match.
What’s more, painting the arena will charge up your special and super. These abilities can be defensive, offensive, or utilitarian in nature. The powers at your disposal will depend entirely on the weapon you choose. This also plays into your stratagems, as you’ll want to ensure a diverse mix among your team to cover as many situations as possible.
Dive a little deeper into the game and you’ll discover that the very clothing your character wears is of significance. Each item has some passive buff that directly impacts your efficiency. Some items grant lower paint consumption or faster refill rates while others might allow you to roll after launching into the map or move faster in your own paint. Finding and creating the perfect build takes work but it pays off in spades.
Outside of the competitive multiplayer, Splatoon 3 also features a wave defense mode. Called Salmon Run, this mode demands each player become comfortable with every weapon on offer. You can’t just fall back on your familiar tools.
Much like the competitive games we all love, this year featured some stiff competition. But it was Splatoon 3, with its unique gameplay and intense matches, which ultimately won us over to win the Shacknews Best Multiplayer Game of 2022 award.
Check out our Year of the Games: 2022 article to see all of the other Shacknews Awards that have been announced so far.