Splatoon 3 direct presentation shows fresh gameplay and new details
The presentation showcased new details about Splatoon 3’s three main modes: Turf War*1, the iconic four-on-four team battle to ink the most ground; Salmon Run, a co-op mode in which a team of four fends off waves of dangerous Salmonid bosses together to collect Golden Eggs; and the fresh single-player Story Mode, featuring the “Return of the Mammalians”, which puts players in the shoes of Agent 3 in their fight against the evil Octarians.
Additionally, recurring multiplayer events called Splatfests*1 make their return to the series. The Splatfest World Premiere will take place on 27th August, and offers every Nintendo Switch owner the chance to take part in this global event before the full game launches on 9th September. Players who have downloaded the demo will receive a code for a free 7-day trial ahead of the Splatfest World Premiere*2. Both newcomers and veterans of the series can show their support for one of three themes and splat it out in the newly introduced Tricolor Battles.
Highlights of the presentation include:
- Improved Turf War gameplay: Naturally, in a place called Splatsville, Turf War is the locals’ favourite pastime. Two teams of four compete to ink the most turf on the map within three minutes. New techniques have been introduced, like the Squid Surge where players can swim up walls in a single burst, and the Squid Roll which makes it possible to jump out of ink while turning around. When a player’s character glows while executing the move, it also repels ink from opponents.
- New and returning battle stages: Turf War battles will play out across a variety of exotic locations. There are stages specific to the Splatlands like Eeltail Alley, Scorch Gorge, Mincemeat Metalworks and Undertow Spillway. There’s also the new Hagglefish Market, a pier filled to the brim with vibrant street vendors. Several stages from Greater Inkopolis also make a return, such as Museum d’Alfonsino, Hammerhead Bridge, and Mahi-Mahi Resort. A total of 12 stages await at launch, including the ones shown off in the video presentation. More stages will be added in free post-launch updates*3.
- The Deep Cut trio: Deep Cut is a popular trio that hosts the Splatsville news programme Anarchy Splatcast. They provide information on battle stages currently available, as well as other news bulletins. For the first time in the series, these updates can even be read on-the-go while exploring Splatsville.
- Splatfests return: In these events, players vote for their favourite choice out of three in an announced theme. The team they represent is based on that choice, and the winner is decided via battles over a set period of time. Splatfests will consist of two halves: in the first half, the three teams will compete in 4-v-4 Turf War battles. The second half includes the brand-new Tricolor Turf War battles, a new mode where three teams fight at the same time. Can the first-place team defend themselves in this unique 4-v-2-v-2 match type?
- Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere: Anyone who wants to dive into Splatoon 3 before it launches on 9th September can join the Splatfest World Premiere on 27th August. Starting 18th August, the free demo can be downloaded from Nintendo eShop. Players can choose Team Rock, Team Paper or Team Scissors until 27th August. Certain parts of the demo will already be playable on 25th August, before the Splatfest event itself kicks off on 27th August at 10:00 CEST.
- The Splatlands’ main weapons: All main weapon types from previous Splatoon games will be available in Splatoon 3 from the start. New, Splatlands-specific weapons have been added as well: the bow-like Tri-Stringer, which can fire in three directions simultaneously and unleash charged shots that briefly freeze before exploding. The Splatana Wiper sends blades of ink flying with the centrifugal force generated by swinging it. If swung after charging up, it’ll transform into a charged slash.
- Special Weapons: There are special kinds of weapons that can be unleashed after inking enough turf, and Splatoon 3 brings some new and unique special weapons. These include the Tacticooler – when it’s activated, a fridge appears with stat-boosting beverages for the team. There’s also the Wave Breaker that unleashes sonic waves around the area. And the Reefslider is a shark-shaped, ink-propelled float which charges forward creating an ink explosion on opponents. Some familiar special weapons from the Splatoon series, like the Tenta Missiles, Inkjet, Ink Storm, Ultra Stamp and Booyah Bomb, will make their return. Special weapons are paired with main weapons, so players can find the combo that suits their splatting style.
- Battle modes: Turf War battles aren’t the only types of skirmishes in the Splatlands. In Anarchy Battles, players compete for rankings. There are four separate modes, which are on rotation: Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker and Clam Blitz. Anarchy Battle (Series) is for players who want to take on a challenge solo. Alternatively, joining Anarchy Battle (Open) is the way to go when teaming up with friends. In Private Battles, players can set modes and other options to their liking. Any mode accessible in the lobby, except for Anarchy Battle (Series), can be played with friends, so it’s possible to continue playing in a set group after a match ends for the first time in the series. Players can also use local communication to play with nearby folks in different modes at the Shoal*4.
- The biggest Salmon Run yet: Salmon Run mode returns in Splatoon 3, which requires four players to work together and collect Power Eggs from the Salmonids advancing on them. In Splatoon 3, Salmon Run can be played at any time. Players will encounter ferocious creatures called Boss Salmonids, including the new Slammin’ Lid and the Big Shot. Sometimes, even Cohozuna – a giant King Salmonid – will appear. Plus, every few months, there’s Big Run, an event where Salmonids invade the city in which Inklings and Octolings live.
- Return of the Mammalians: The completely new Story Mode is ideal for getting the hang of battles and weapons, while setting out on an adventure to discover the secrets of Alterna, the Fuzzy Ooze, and how it connects to the titular theme. As Agent 3, the latest recruit of the New Squidbeak Splatoon, players will battle with the Octarian Army, whose members are covered in hair for some reason. Along with their Smallfry buddy, players can explore many stages, each one full of twists and turns.
- Lobby features: The Splatsville lobby is host to a number of features. Online friends appear as 3D holograms. In battle, it’s easy to join as an ally or drop in as an opponent. And by forming a team and playing, players can see what friends are up to at any given moment. The lobby also includes a Memory Player, which can re-play recent battles in their entirety, even from another player’s view.
- Customising with the catalog: When battles start, Splashtags appear. These can be customised with a title, background and badge. Additionally, the emote a character performs when winning a battle, can be customised. All of these and more can be obtained via the in-game catalog, which will be available at Hotlantis, a general store on the edge of Splatsville. Players can exchange points earned from battles for various items, like seasonal gear and ability chunks. After the catalog’s initial launch, updates will be released every three months for two years*3.
- Tableturf Battle: The Tableturf Battle Dojo in Splatsville’s vacant lot is the home of Tableturf Battle, the 1-v-1 competitive card battle spinoff of Turf War. Players can ink different shapes with different cards, charge up power, then unleash it all at once with a special comeback attack. There are over 150 cards to collect.
- SplatNet 3: SplatNet 3*5 is an online service for Splatoon 3 within the Nintendo Switch Online app that can be used with a smart device. It contains features like checking battle records, ordering special in-game gear from the SplatNet Gear Shop and much more. A new feature is Crusty Sean’s Wandercrust. It’s possible to support Crusty Sean’s journey using Inked Points earned during battles. SplatNet 3 will be available at launch.
- New amiibo: New Splatoon 3 amiibo figures (sold separately) are arriving this winter, including separate amiibo figures for Octoling Boy, Squid Girl and Smallfry. Scanning the amiibo in-game will allow players to save their favourite gear combinations as Fresh Fits to easily swap outfits. Additionally, the amiibo come with exclusive gear and it’s possible to snap in-game photos together with them.
- Post-launch updates: After the game launches, a free season catalogue will be distributed every three months for two years. New weapons will also be added around the same time as each in-game catalog. In addition, X Battle and League Battle are planned for a future update. X Battle is unlocked after attaining an extremely high rank in Anarchy Battle. In League Battle, players can compete every two hours in teams based on their Anarchy Battle results. Apart from that, large-scale paid DLC is also planned for the future. More details will be shared at a later date.