Unlike 99.99% of Splatoon players, the game has always been about the single player game to me. My understanding is that most players aren’t even aware there is a single player mode. I don’t dislike the online multiplayer, and sure, I supplemented my solo play through Splatoon 3 with a few online games, but it’s not where all the fun for me is.
At the end of Splatoon 2 (as in, the single player game there), it’s teased that some mammals – who predate the squid and octopuses who have evolved in the world and were long thought extinct – are still alive. And so this is revealed properly in Splatoon 3, with Grizz, the hidden CEO of the salmon roe factory (or whatever he does) happens to be a giant bear and the main boss of the game. DJ Octavio, the end of game boss of the previous two games, does return, but he’s not the baddie here. In fact, the two new TV hosts – Shiver and Frye – would appear to be until… well. Not too many spoilers.
The single player world is set in some underground ruined research centre, much of which is covered in some furry goo. Luckily, you have a pet fish who, once fed with enough eggs earned mainly from completing levels, can eat bits of it allowing access to more levels, areas, upgrades, and so on. The levels themselves are similar to those that came before, each with a specific gimmick (such as you have to use rollers, or there are platforms that fold out, or you can’t use any ink) that often turns the level into less of a fight and more of a puzzle. A few are against the clock, and some require accurate shooting, but all of them are different and most secretly teach you skills, moves or tricks you can use in the multiplayer mode.
It felt a bit shorter than the mode in Splatoon 2, and was certainly a lot easier, but it’s such a fun game it doesn’t matter.