Games: Splatoon 3 Side Order DLC adds extra portion of squid games to super-fun sequel

A scene from Splatoon 3: Side Order
Splatoon 3: Side Order Agent 8 is back in action in the new Splatoon 3 DLC offering

NINTENDO fans have been enjoying squid games long before the antics of down-and-out Koreans got us through lockdown.

For gamers tired of the frat mentality in online blasting, Splatoon was a candy-coloured saviour – compared to Call of Duty’s grey gloom, its kaleidoscopic landscape was the shooter’s version of Dorothy cracking the door in Wizard of Oz.

Not so much about racking up body bags as it was pop art paintball, success came from sloshing more of the map in your team’s colours – literally covering the levels in squidmarks.

Two sequels later, and Nintendo is finally jumping on the roguelike bandwagon with Splatoon 3′s Side Order DLC – which proves a surprisingly good fit for the base game’s fishy frolics.

As the same Agent 8 that fought through Splatoon 2′s Octo Expansion, gamers are once again off to Inkopolis Square, which is now covered in white sand and all-new ocean dwellers.

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Splatoon 3: Side Order
Splatoon 3: Side Order .

To restore order, players must fight through the Spire of Order in a hefty new adventure that’s a far cry from Splatoon’s usual ink-slinging.

Despite hating roguelikes – where you inch through random battles, die, then start again with slightly improved gear – trust Nintendo to fashion a take on the genre that I loved.

With all the Splatoon trimmings, including new story beats and lore, there’s plenty of fan-service to dine out on as you conquer a tower of assorted maps, with the difficulty increasing on each floor.

While early levels can be rinsed quickly, the challenge ramps up swiftly, chucking waves of impossible enemies at your underpowered Octoling.

Splatoon 3: Side Order
Splatoon 3: Side Order .

Dying means losing all your benefits and restarting at the bottom of the tower. However, those perks are converted into points which can be splurged on increasing Agent 8′s lives and the power of your weapons and armour, ensuring the next ride is that bit smoother.

Just as they did with Splatoon 2, Nintendo are using their latest DLC for experimental content, and Side Order is a game of fish and chips: modifiers which can be used to beef up your current weapon.

Splatoon 3: Side Order
Splatoon 3: Side Order .

You’ll also gain random upgrades with every completed floor, while trouncing its endlessly creative bosses lets players net new weapons to try.

With a strikingly stark, washed-out look, Side Order is a real head-turner for those who’ve gambolled through Splatoon’s usually retina-searing palettes, while your ears are treated to a soundtrack stuffed to the gills with electronic bangers.

Available for £22.49 on the eShop, gamers who’ve stuck with Splatoon 3 will be squiddy with excitement at a seafood splatter that sticks two fish fingers up to the roguelike genre.

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