New game modes, QoL updates, a better Battle Pass, and more make the latest season an absolute blast.
As far as arena shooters go, Splitgate isn’t exactly what you’d call “well-trodden.” And I mean that in a couple of different ways. The game itself literally just turned two years old eight days ago as of the posting of this piece (Happy Belated Birthday, by the way), meaning that it still hasn’t been around very long. On top of that, Splitgate‘s main gimmick isn’t exactly something that you see in arena shooters… well, ever, really. Over the past few years, 1047 games really seem to have done well with making a name for themselves and their sci-fi, portal-based shooter. But one look at Season 1 at the game definitely told you that it still had some growing to do. Fortunately, this was something that the developers were not only aware of, but took seriously—and the end product is a Season 2 that already looks leagues better than Season 1
Thinking With Portals
If you’re reading this, the chances of you know what Splitgate‘s all about are pretty decent. However, if you don’t, there is no need to fret. Basically, all you need to know is that it’s a standard arena shooter game in many ways but carries with it a single mechanic that’s so game-changing that it affects just about everything imaginable—the fact that you can create portals. Like, you literally have an equivalent to the Portal Gun from the Portal series. Although, to be fair, portal creation does have its limits—namely, the fact that you can only create them on specific surfaces, but it still adds a whole new element to the game that will absolutely end up changing the way you approach things if you stick around long enough… unless you’re not okay with improving, that is!
Now that’s out of the way, on to the main event—what exactly does Season 2 of this game do that’s so spectacular? Quite a few things, actually. But I’d argue that one of the most visible things is the addition of three new game modes—Juggernaut, Hotzone, and Lockdown. Acting as a halfway point between a team mode and a free-for-all mode, Juggernaut is basically a game of reverse tag. At the beginning of the game, one person is deemed the Juggernaut. As the Juggernaut, you no longer have the ability to create portals, but everything else gets jacked way up in exchange. Pretty cool, huh? Well, there’s a catch—everyone else is out to kill you. And the person that lands the killing blow then becomes the juggernaut themselves! The longer you’re able to run around as the juggernaut without dying, the more points you’ll rack up—and the person with the most points at the end of the round (or the first to reach a specified amount) wins!
Lockdown is one of two new team modes, and boy is this one a doozy. This mode works similar to Domination—a mode that already exists—but with the caveat that your team will only score a point by controlling all three hills at the same time. Out of all of the new game modes, Lockdown is probably my favorite—but it’s also probably the most intense. If you end up playing this mode, don’t be surprised if you go into overtime tied at 0-0. It happened to me on several occasions, and I’m sure it’ll happen to you at least once, too. That overtime victory sure does feel sweet, though!
Hotzone is yet another iterative team-based mode—this one being a take on King of the Hill. There’s a catch with this mode, though. Rather than scoring 1 point per second, you’ll have to defend the neutral zone for an entire 30 seconds to obtain a single point. While it doesn’t get quite as intense as Lockdown, in my opinion, Hotzone still gets contentious pretty easily (in a good way, of course), and it’s easy to find yourself getting caught up. Just keep in mind that rushing headfirst into the neutral zone isn’t always the best idea, though.
But Wait, There’s More!
Season 2 of Splitgate also had plenty of other neat things to mess around with and look forward to. The Map Creator, which had already been released last season, got a new map called the “Wet Ocean,” which, despite it being pretty, uh, pretty on-the-nose (it’s technically correct, though, I suppose) with the name is honestly a really cool addition to the player’s toolkit. More maps are always nice, and Wet Ocean’s topography certainly gives players a bit more to play with than Flat Earth’s… flat-ness.
I should also probably mention the Battle Pass. Not the fact that there is one—there was one last season. I mean, the fact that the stuff on this one is quite a bit cooler. Season 1 was fun, but its Battle Pass, to put things nicely, exactly the most exciting thing that I (nor a lot of other people) had seen. Fortunately, the devs also seemed to be aware of this and made things much more enticing this time around. I don’t want to give everything away, because that totally spoils the fun, so I’ll just end things by saying that completing it gets you some pretty snazzy characters, weapons skins, drops, and enough Splitcoins to let you buy the Season 3 Battle Pass and have some to spare. I know not everyone’s sold on the idea of things like Battle Passes—and I’m not necessarily gung-ho on them either—but I’ve got to admit that, as far as they go, this is definitely the way to do it. Kudos to you on that one.
A Season to Look Forward to
I’ll be honest with you—as cool as Splitgate Season 1 was, it was far from perfect. And 1047 Games knew that. Fortunately, rather than getting upset, they really seemed gung-ho, making sure that any wrongs were righted—and I’ve got to say that I’m really impressed. I’m no arena shooting prodigy, so I can’t necessarily say what this all means from an eSports vantage point—but, as someone who enjoys a good Portal-based shooter, I’ve got to say that I’m both impressed by what I’ve seen so far and am also looking forward to seeing what future seasons look like.