Splatoon 2 has a lot of colourful weaponry that ties into its world of ink-based battles. You’ve got large water guns that splat the field with the range and speed of an assault rifle, a grenade launcher that lobs balloons of ink with massive areas of effect, and even a high-pressured rifle that can nail targets from a fair distance. The way Nintendo mixes standard weapon tropes with fun, around the house toys and tools is light-hearted but also clever. But nothing has quite made an impression stronger than this sequel’s best new weapon – an umbrella.
If you’re thinking “well what’s an umbrella going to bring to a gun fight”, might I point you towards one of the best scenes from Kingsman: The Secret Service. Even in a bar fight, the English make the high-tech umbrella seems like a more civilised weapon from a more elegant age.
Splatoon 2’s version of this is pretty much the same. The Splat Brella is good for two very distinct purposes – dealing massive amounts of damage up close while blocking incoming damage from the front. Folded away, the Brella acts as a high-powered, semi-automatic shotgun. Each hit of the trigger fires a spray of paint forward, which is enough to almost immediately down a foe if they’re too close. The range is pretty great too if you’re just trying to ink the place up, which is pretty important in every single one of Splatoon’s online modes.
Hold down fire however, and the Brella’s real draw comes into play. The weapon unfolds to create a shield in front of you, which blocks any incoming fire from in front or slightly above. It’s the first defensive weapon Splatoon 2 has, requiring just a slight amount of foresight as to when you might use it. Hold it down long enough, and the Brella fires its shield forward, leaving a trail of ink behind it that you can quickly swim through. It’s the perfect tool for closing down distances between you and an opponent with ease, letting you unload on them before they’re even aware you’ve followed your projectile.
The Splat Brella is situational in this sense, but far more adaptive than most of Splatoon’s other weaponry. Unlike the standard issue Splattershot Jr. or even the new Splat Dualies (another favourite of mine that includes a neat new dodge mechanic), the Splat Brella allows you to change up your strategy depending on where you find yourself. Launching into an ambush of a few players now becomes a more survivable encounter, and even one you can turn its head on with some neat manoeuvring and clever use of your moving defensive shield. But having the power of a shotgun to back that up is just the cherry on top, and I can’t wait to see how the Brella starts being used properly in ranked Play.
Splatoon 2 offers a hefty dose of new weapons and weapon types to get familiar with, which makes the original arsenal already feel stale by comparison. There are many strategies that are likely to find themselves being pushed forward when the game launches next week on Nintendo Switch.
Last Updated: July 13, 2017