By combining engrossing gameplay with unique objectives and a fun aesthetic, Nintendo scored a hit with third-person shooter Splatoon in 2015. Much of what made the first game so good is wisely kept in Splatoon 2, while new ideas and modes make for a much stronger experience.

As an Inkling, you coat stages and enemies with your color ink, and your opponents do the same. You transform into squids to swim through ink, making matches a fun mix of mobility and on-foot gunplay. Gliding around as a squid is fluid and intuitive, and blasting opponents is satisfying; the popping sound followed by an explosion of your color of ink never gets old.

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Splatoon 2 features a single-player campaign and a new wave-based survival mode, but the competitive multiplayer suite remains the main draw. In Turf War mode, the chaotic struggle to cover the map with your ink while the opposing team does the same never ceases to entertain.

The biggest addition is Salmon Run, an intense wave-based survival mode in which you join three others to collect eggs. You encounter several outlandish bosses, from a floating monster that launches airstrikes, to a massive metal eel that drips ink as he serpentines after players. These monsters are the highlight of Salmon Run; with minions swarming you and bosses emerging at unexpected times, the frantic fight for survival collides with the need to scavenge eggs to deliver a heart-pounding experience.

Splatoon 2 is an outstanding follow-up to Nintendo’s popular shooter. With an excellent competitive multiplayer suite, a fun take on the wave-based survival formula, and an imaginative single-player mode, this is an excellent evolution.

— Game Informer Magazine (TNS)