Review: Splatoon 3: Side Order DLC

In the newest Splatoon 3 single player campaign, players will embark on a much-needed vacation to Inkopolis Square, only to be met with an ominous sight. The once vibrant Inkopolis has been drained of color and replaced by odd sea creatures. More bad news, Marina is missing and it’s your job to rescue her and her friends. Unlike the typical online matches in Splatoon 3, the new Side Order DLC ventures into a whole new realm of rogue-like gameplay. You start off this story as Agent 8, an Octoling trying to survive in a world of chaos. The player will make their way through a mysterious building called Deca Tower and try to survive for 30 levels. If you don’t make it, that’s ok. You can try again!

At every floor/level, you are presented with a selection of challenges based on difficulty. You can play it safe and reap less rewards, or go for the harder challenges and get some much needed Membux. You can use Membux for upgrades, as well as the color chips you will collect along the way. Color chips are the coolest thing about this DLC in my opinion. The way you can customize your Octolings abilities and weapons is pretty awesome. For example you can use a variety of combinations and come out with a Roller that has a sniper scope. You can add new abilities, increase shooting range and damage. There are a lot of color chips to collect and a lot of combinations to try. After each run your upgrades will convert to Prlz that you can spend on permanent upgrades.

As you can probably tell from my previous paragraph you will need to play through Deca Tower more than once. This will allow you to create strategies and plans to progress further next time. Some of the challenges you might have to complete are guarding splat zones from enemies, guiding a tower to a goal,  mass enemy pursuits (similar to Salmon run), and obstacle courses. Boss encounters are every nine floors. Some of them can be pretty challenging but once you figure out their weakness you’ll start to get through them quickly. Defeating the boss will give the player keys that unlock valuables, including additional weapon palettes. There is a store you can visit that provides helpful hacks that will aid you with challenges, if you are having trouble with one.

While not as difficult as the Octo Expansion DLC, Side Order presents a nice variety of challenges. However, as a seasoned Splatoon player (lol) I found most of these levels/challenges moderately easy. There were a few that I found particularly frustrating, but that was usually due to the weapon I was assigned. Speaking of which, depending on what weapon you are used to, and what weapon you get when you start Deca Tower will help your chances of winning. I did much better when I was given the weapons that I was familiar with.

Overall Side Order has a lot of replay value and different ways to approach the gameplay. If you’re looking for something “Fresh” I definitely recommend checking out this new mode. However If roguelikes aren’t your thing, then you may want to stick to online matches. But for those seeking a departure from multiplayer chaos, it provides a nice alternative with a good amount of replay value.

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