A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion is a paid digital expansion for Splatoon 2 available for download on the Nintendo Switch. Players must already own the original game to play the Octo Expansion, meaning they will likely have familiarity with the controls, including the quirky, yet still playable motion control scheme.The expansion adds a brand-new single-player adventure to Nintendo's popular multiplayer shooter. Players must navigate through 80-plus levels, requiring precise controls, critical thinking, puzzle solving, and buckets of colorful ink. While players will attack opponents and defend themselves with many paint-based weapons, there's no blood or gore to be seen in the game; characters blink out of existence when they're defeated.
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What's it about?
While life seems to be cruising along for the Squidlings of Splatoon 2's Inkopolis, deep beneath the streets of SPLATOON 2: OCTO EXPANSION, there's a new adventure brewing. This single-player campaign puts players in the tentacles of the mysterious "Agent 8." The story begins with the Octoling soldier waking up in a seemingly abandoned subway station with no memory of who they are or how they got there. Now Agent 8 must take on the obstacles of the Deepsea Metro and its more than 80 different challenges. But with a little luck, a lot of skill, and the help of friends both new and old, Agent 8 might just overcome the obstacles and work up to the "promised land" of Inkopolis ... and maybe unlock lost memories along the way.
Is it any good?
This single-player expansion of the popular multiplayer game provides a mode that was sorely lacking in the original 2017 release. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion manages to produce a challenging yet accessible adventure that will test a player's paint and platforming skills. When Nintendo first introduced gamers to the world of Squidlings and their ink battles in Splatoon, it was a surprise hit. For Splatoon 2, Nintendo put a heavy focus on the multiplayer, creating a perpetual online environment that was just itching to be shared with others. There was some single-player content tossed in, but it felt like more of an afterthought than anything else. But that all changes with Octo Expansion, the game's first paid expansion pack, which is the single-player, story-based campaign that the main game was sorely missing before.
Taking up the challenge of the Octo Expansion can be a real test of your paint gun and platforming skills, and sometimes your patience as well. The difficulty level can sometimes feel particularly steep, but still never quite reaches the level of impossible. Plus, if you're stuck and have to replay a single stage a couple of times, the Off the Hook hostesses Marina and Pearl (the in-game TV show of Splatoon 2) will come along and offer to hack the system, allowing players to skip that particular level to keep moving through the story. It's a good way to keep the game from getting too frustrating, while still encouraging players to do their best. Of course, completists will want to make a return run in order to unlock the exclusive gear for use in the main game. Overall, the single-player content of Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion throws a fresh coat of paint on an already excellent game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Splatoon 2 acceptable since you're covering your enemies in paint, without any blood or gore, or is it problematic because you're firing weapons at opponents?
What's so appealing about single-player and multiplayer games? How does the storytelling of single-player compare to the competition of multiplayer? What are ways that some games handle each?
How can things like paid expansions add to the experience of a game? What are some of the advantages of adding to a current game over releasing an entirely new title? Do paid additions feel more like an optional feature or a required purchase?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.