Is this new game mode actually fresh?
As a fan of Nintendo games I have to admit I was excited about Splatoon 2, but not nearly as much as the original. On the surface the sequel seemed like more of the same, which isn’t bad, just not very exciting. Even the new horde mode called Salmon Run didn’t really seem interesting to me. That is, until I actually sat down and tried it!
For those who don’t know, Salmon Run is a new mode in Splatoon 2 that requires a team of four players to work together to defeat an incoming horde of enemies. Unlike the other multiplayer modes in Splatoon 2, this isn’t a man versus man effort. Instead, it’s your human team versus the CPU’s onslaught of enemies.
Salmon Run places your team on an island raft in the middle of an ocean with an obvious goal, to survive. Each play through the team must complete three rounds. In order to complete a round the team must collect a specific quota of golden eggs that drop from enemies and return these eggs to a basket all within the time limit.
The enemies in Salmon Run seem varied in size and have different attacks. There are multiple big boss like creatures that have various weaknesses. Defeating these boss characters seem required as they would often drop multiple golden eggs upon defeat. But seriously, these guys weren’t that easy and successful completion of a round required a coordinated team in order to defeat these stronger creatures while also watching out for the incoming smaller weaker ones.
It is possible for individual players to die, but it’s not over from there. Defeated players will become a slow moving life preserver and can actually pick up dropped golden eggs in order to bring them closer to the basket where they must be collected. Additionally, a player can be revived if a teammate inks (shoots) at their preserver for a short period of time.
Salmon Run also has varying difficulty levels that are set at the start of the game. Player’s can choose a difficulty between 1% and 100%. We didn’t go any higher than 40% and even at that difficulty we quickly learned that working as a team is the only way be successful. It isn’t a cakewalk.
While I didn’t experience it in the Salmon Run demo, we were told that this mode would have exclusive rewards (gear) that can’t be earned in other modes of the game. So there is definitely a reason to come back to Salmon Run in order to earn special items that can be used elsewhere in Splatoon 2.
As I stated earlier, Salmon Run sounded like a cool addition to Splatoon 2 but I wasn’t really hyped for it. However, now that I have played the mode a few times I’m really hooked. I am a bit concerned because it sounds like Salmon Run won't always be available for online play, and to me that would be a travesty because it’s a totally fresh take on the Splatoon mechanics that ultimately adds more depth to the nautical package.