With Splatoon 3′s September 9 release date fast approaching, Nintendo has just completed its biggest drop of footage and information on the game with a stacked 30-minute Nintendo Direct. The presentation includes an absolute ton of new details, and you can watch it in full below or check out our recap of everything you need to know:
Turf War battles are the staple of Splatoon’s gameplay so it’s no surprise to see them return, but some new techniques like the Squid Surge and Squid Roll were shown off in new gameplay footage. These new moves are used for traversal but can also help to repel ink at the right times.
A total of 12 new and returning stages will be available at launch including the following:
Inkblot Art Academy
All of the basic weapons from previous games are returning, alongside some new additions like Stringers, and the Splatana Wiper which has a wide, long-range slash and a charged slash that’s devastating at close range.
New Special Weapon types include the Tacticooler which summons a fridge that dishes out ability-boosting in-game beverages, the Wave Breaker that sends out waves that cause damage and mark opponent’s locations and the Reefslider which is a rideable creature that explodes at the end of its run. Tentamissiles, Ink Jet, Ink Storm, Ultra Stamp and Booyah Bomb are all returning as well.
Sheldon’s weapon store Ammo Knights is back, and you’ll need to earn special Sheldon Licenses gained by levelling up yourself and your specific gear to exchange with him for new weapons.
As usual, new fashion gear is obtainable from in-game stores with Splatoon 3 bringing another selection of shops like Naut Couture, Man-o’-Wardrobe and Crush Station featuring their own array of unique and entertaining shopkeepers. Gear has form but also function, coming with their own special abilities (although you can talk to Murch in Splatsville to exhange unwanted abilities with new ones).
Turf War battles, Anarchy Battles that include a rotation of four unique game modes, and an option for private battles if you just want to set up some fun with your friends.
Inside the lobby you’ll also find a test range for practicing weapon use or killing time, friend ghosts that you can use to jump into friends’ games or just see what they’re up to, check out recent replays of battles that you can watch from other players’ views or hit up the Locker Room where you can customise and display your own lock and view others. There’s a store called Hotlantis in Splatsville where you can buy more items to customise your locker, too!
Not just your locker, but your “splashtags” that appear before battle, your character’s emotes and more can be customised with new items obtained through catalogues that cycle in and out over time to provide new items to unlock using earned points.
A new catalogue will be released every three months for two years post-launch.
A new 1v1 card battling board game also exists within the game that gives you a new spin on the concept of Turf War with collectible cards. The Direct didn’t explain too much about how Tableturf Battle plays or fits into the rest of Splatoon 3 but it looks like exactly the kind of in-game board game that’ll have me totally hooked.
Salmon Run: Next Wave
Salmon Run is back, bringing wave-based cooperative action with friends. There’ll be new types of Boss Salmonids here including the UFO-like Slammin’ Lid, the heavy projectile-firing Big Shot and potentially more to be confirmed. Then there’s the new King Salmonid, Cohozuna. Once every few months there’ll also reportedly be a “Big Run”, where Salmonids invade the city itself.
Return of the Mammalians
The newest take on Splatoon’s single player campaign. As Agent 3, you’ll need to do battle with the oddly-hairy Octarian army through a series of stages full of platforming and combat to get you accustomed to Splatoon 3’s gameplay as you play towards what’s reportedly the conclusion to the Splatoon saga.
Other things to do while you’re in the city include creating and displaying your own drawings with the Mailbox, buy helpful food and drinks at the concession stand, take snaps in Photo Mode, and check out Recon Mode where you can explore stages without battling to get your bearings.
There’s also SplatNet 3 for mobile devices, where you can see your stats and order exclusive gear and play side activities using points earned in-game. SplatNet 3 will be available at launch through the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app.
As usual, Amiibo will allow you to save style layouts, unlock special gear and even take photos with your Amiibo in Photo Mode. Three new Splatoon Amiibos are on the way with Octoling (Blue), Octoling (Yellow) and Smallfry.
Following launch, new item catalogues will come out every few months, alongside new weapons and stages. X Battle and League Battle modes will eventually become available for players with high Anarchy Battle ranks. Large-scale paid DLC is also planned to arrive sometime in the future.
Frye, Shiver and a stingray named Big Man make up a new group called Deep Cut who’ll act as your broadcast talent for all things in-game news and events, and the return of Splatfest! Only this time, Splatfest is bringing tri-colour turf wars where three teams face off that’ll see the leading team work alongside Deep Cut themselves to defend the from the stage centre. It looks like a wild time!
Splatfest is also coming to players in an early playable mode on August 27th to determine what’s better out of Rock, Paper or Scissors. A special Splatlands Invitational 2022 tournament will also be happening at PAX West in early September.
Splatoon 3 is coming September 9th exclusively on Nintendo Switch.