Nintendo’s huge stable of iconic characters, such as Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong are world-renowned, and the Japanese company is becoming increasingly reliant on games featuring those lovable rapscallions to both launch and support its consoles. The corporation hasn’t taken a chance with a new intellectual property in a while, which is one of the reasons why Nintendo’s new third-person shooter, Splatoon, is such a pleasant surprise.
Maybe Nintendo should try branching out more often, because so far, Splatoon is paying off big-time. Splatoon topped the sales charts in Japan at launch, and fans are buzzing about the game’s innovative, off-kilter gameplay. In turn, Nintendo will reward fans for their enthusiasm with a new Inkbrush weapon, which will be available tonight at 7 p.m. PT as free downloadable content.
The Inkbrush is reminiscent of Splatoon‘s paint roller, although it’s much faster on the draw and isn’t quite as powerful. To compensate for the Inkbrush’s lack of strength, Nintendo gave the weapon Sprinklers and Inkstrikes as secondary attacks, giving players’ characters – called Inklings – a bigger attack range.
The Inkbrush is the latest addition to Nintendo’s ongoing DLC plans; the developer gave Splatoon a new mode, map, and retro weapon just a few days after launch. With Ranked Battles, the shipping container-laden Port Mackerel battleground, and the nostalgia-inducing N-Zap ’85 ink gun already available (not to mention the core Turf Wars mode and the single player campaign), the Inkbrush makes the game even deeper, and helps give further credence to all of Splatoon‘s positive reviews.
However, it hasn’t all been pink posies and yellowy sunshine for Splatoon, as the game’s lack of voice chat led to some criticism. Nintendo explained the omission by arguing that chat can create a toxic experience for some players. Splatoon also made headlines in the UK when a truck heist left one retailer light on copies.
Since Nintendo‘s usual modus operandi has been to create games that have as broad a generational appeal as possible, Splatoon‘s use of paint instead of bullets is a welcome reprieve from the often grim realm of violent, team-based shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield. By appealing to gamers of all ages, Splatoon will likely to be successful for quite some time.
Splatoon is available now for Wii U.