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What if Splatoon launched on PS5? Foamstars is the clone I didn’t realize I wanted

What if Splatoon launched on PS5? Foamstars is the clone I didn’t realize I wanted

6K View2024-02-08

SHOULD I PLAY FOAMSTARS?

Play it, especially if you like the Splatoon franchise. Foamstars offers all the fun and chaotic gameplay of Splatoon but it’s on PlayStation hardware instead of Nintendo. It’s basically a Splatoon clone for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, and that’s the whole appeal of the game. While a few visual design and matchmaking issues need to be addressed, what’s here in this launch is actually really fun and entertaining. Splatoon fans will not be disappointed!

TIME PLAYED

I played Foamstars for four hours and competed in over three dozen matches, with each one lasting between three to ten minutes. I’m currently player level 9, and I’ve tried seven out of the eight available characters. My personal favorite so far is The Baristador, who’s a very stylish barista that excels at long-range attacks with lasers.

WHAT’S AWESOME ABOUT FOAMSTARS?

• Sliding into battle. Surfing over foam and blasting enemies with bubble barrages was really fun. I enjoyed experimenting with most of the playable characters and loved how each one had its own unique personality, fashion style, and abilities to set them apart. Strategizing tactics and pulling off crazy combos was my favorite thing to do, though. I enjoyed decimating enemy teams by perfectly timing my ultimate ability with my teammate’s skills and reveled in the chaotic, bubbly aftermath that ensued after launching massive foam lasers from the sky or gigantic bubble beasts into battle.
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• It’s a Splatoon clone for PlayStation. Instead of squid ink, it’s foam. That’s the only major difference here. That’s not a knock on the game either; Foamstars may be a clone, but it’s one that understands what made Splatoon great and delivers on it really well. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel with its gameplay design, but it provides a few tweaks to the core concept and adds some very impressive next-gen graphical flourishes.
• Customizable options. After reaching certain milestones, I unlocked new items and could customize them to make my character or account more appealing. I loved the variety of cosmetics, player icons, banners, titles, and emotes I could combine to bring my own personality into the game.
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WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT IN FOAMSTARS?

• Foam colors are too light. In a game as chaotic and fast as Foamstars, clear and vibrant visuals are paramount in navigating areas, fighting enemies, and strategizing attacks.  Unfortunately, the foam colors here tend towards lighter, airier shades rather than bright, bold hues. This made it harder for me to keep track of a lot of things happening in a match.
For example, I struggled to discern how dense or wide an area of foam was, how far away enemies and allies were, and where foam or bubble projectiles were coming from in the heat of battle. Learning how each of the playable characters worked helped me understand how matches unfolded on a deeper level. But the early going of the game was more frustrating than it needed to be due to the difficulty of seeing exactly what was happening in the middle of all that foam.
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• Long queue times. Foamstars just launched, but there haven’t been a lot of people playing the game—well, at least in Australia or Oceania or wherever the heck the servers are. At the absolute minimum, I spent at least a couple minutes waiting for players in a matchmaking queue before I could start a match; at times that wait stretched as long as eight minutes. I often fought against the same players over and over again too. I hope more people give Foamstars a shot soon, because if not, I’d be worried about how long this soapy shooter will stick around.

PLATFORM TESTED

PlayStation 5.
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