My first hands on with Splatoon 2 didn’t start well

I’m a week late in finally writing this, however I was lucky enough to get a play of the global test event for Splatoon 2.

Within 15 minutes of playing I was swearing and cursing the game. I hated it. I was about to cancel my pre-order.

The tutorial introduced the motion controls, which I hated. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. In order to aim left / right you use the right stick, as with every other game for the last 20 years. Seems logical, or perhaps better phrased as a “given”. However to aim up / down you tilt the controller. Tilt to aim. This was just… wow. What the … ? I mean… WHY?

There were three flaws in this. First of all, it felt less accurate. Precision is essential when aiming so I’d expect the most precise controls. Secondly it feels very odd to have aiming through two mechanisms. If Splatoon 2 was the first to introduce these controls, I’d still question why my thumb is on the stick for aiming left & right yet I have to use another means to aim up and down? Particularly for diagonal movements, two controls seems clunky. Finally, these are well known and established controls. Why change them? Especially for something a bit clunky.

Perhaps some people like it. Fair does. However having this as default controls seems utterly bizarre. Whilst I eventually found an option buried away, which was a bit clunky to get to, I strongly believe that the game would be much better if the default controls were standard twin sticks or at least after the tutorial asking the player “are you happy with this, or would you prefer standard controls?”.

Of course this was just a global test event so I’m really hoping for better when the game is actually released but a week on I still can’t wrap my head around why you’d re-invent the wheel, especially when the end result isn’t any better.

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