Splatoon is a great fresh take on the shooter genre, but its gyroscope controls are tough to master.
I actually turned the gyroscope controls off after the first hour — my brain, so used to the twin-stick method of aiming and shooting, struggled to adapt — but it seems that I’m in the minority. Splatoon co-director Tsubasa Sakaguchi told Eurogamer that between 70 percent and 80 percent of players stick with the gyroscope control method, which requires you to physically move the Wii U’s GamePad in order to aim vertically.
Nintendo rarely takes the traditional route when tackling an unfamiliar genre, and it’s not surprising that Splatoon features a default control method unfamiliar to shooter fans. What is surprising is how many players have learnt to use and love the divisive motion-sensitive controls (unless they just haven’t figured out how to turn them off).
Sakaguchi reckons getting to grips with the innovative control scheme is like learning to ride a bike, and he says that perseverance pays off.
“We were slightly concerned about whether users might feel the gyro controls were a little bit difficult,” said Sakaguchi. “But I like to use the analogy of riding a bicycle. You need a lot of practice, but once you’ve learnt [how to do it] the bicycle becomes one with your body and it opens the whole world to you. In that sense, we’re really happy that many users have learnt to ride the bicycle!
“About 70 to 80 percent of players are using the gyro controls. That’s not to say we’re forcing it on to them. From our point of view, we think that the gyro controls are the best way to play Splatoon [because] there are two main movements you need for a shooter. One is moving the body; the other is aiming where you’re shooting. In that sense, we think for Splatoon the gyro gives that subtle movement and more precise actions [you need] to be able to really experience the game in a much better way.”