In an already stacked year of great Nintendo titles, Splatoon 3 – now available for $59.99 – might be the best Switch game of 2022 yet. The third installation of Nintendo’s beloved online shooter series continues to offer a fresh look at a genre dominated by real-life violence, as grim gunfights are traded for colorful competitions over which team can wreak havoc throughout the arena. From the shiny and exciting aesthetic to the unique smooth combat that has you shooting and swimming your way through each battle, there is simply no such thing as Splatoon.
But Splatoon 3 is nothing more than the same – with a fun new single-player campaign and some very clever tweaks to gameplay and online experience, Nintendo’s latest family-friendly shooter is a notable step forward and a great leap forward. Point for beginners. To get a deeper look into all the ink-blasting action, we spoke to Bill Trinen, Vice President of Player & Product Experience at Nintendo, about the new story mode, the fundamental changes for hardcore gamers and why even 6-year-olds can have fun with Splatoon.
Splatoon’s frantic and fun multiplayer matches have always been the main attraction of the series. There’s fun to be had in the first and second-player single-player modes, but it’s largely a collection of simple challenges meant to prepare you for the endless Turf War battles that await. A lot of gamers – myself included – have skipped this content in favor of jumping live online, but Nintendo hopes that will change with Splatoon 3.
“I feel that the single player in Splatoon is probably one of the most often overlooked parts of the game,” Trinen says. “A lot of people will describe it as, ‘Oh, it’s a glorious tutorial,’ which…I understand that perspective. But as you play through the story mode and start to see all the different levels and everything that went into what is, I think, a classic Nintendo single-player platform-style game design… I feel like it’s a rich part of the game.”
Featuring the most ambitious and expansive singleplayer the series has seen yet, Splatoon 3 puts you as an agent tasked with eliminating the Octarians, a group of nefarious octopus villains who can’t seem to stop spreading a dangerous ooze everywhere. There are some really innovative designs here that wouldn’t be out of place in a Mario or Sonic game, with clever levels full of puzzles that will delight to swim, slide and shoot your way.
With a dystopian and cool sci-fi aesthetic and plenty of lore to discover as you explore the hidden world of Alterna and encounter familiar faces from previous games, Splatoon 3’s story mode feels more distinctly like a single-player game rather than just a multiplayer action tutorial. However, it’s still a great way to learn how to play, offering courses that do a good job of introducing you to the game’s different weapons – with plenty of secrets and optional objectives for those who want a real challenge.
Playing the first island campaign in story mode, [I] She was like, ‘Oh, it’s the first island. “That would be easy,” Trinen says. “And the [I] I quickly found two levels that really hit me because I failed to complete them. I was like, oh, wait a minute. I actually need to think about this.”
As much of a single player experience as Splatoon 3 is, nothing beats the fun of a chaotic primal race to cover the arena in colored ink – all while engaging in heated firefights with enemy players – in the online four-player game Turf War. Battles and while the basic Splatoon multiplayer experience hasn’t changed the tone of the newer game, there are plenty of small game improvements and quality of life upgrades that add unique layers of strategy while making it easy to jump right in. match.
I love that I can now practice different weapons and moves in the game lobby area while I wait for a new round to start, especially since there are so many additional tools to master. New weapons like the Tri-Stringer bow and arrow and the sword-like Splatana are fun to use, and the game’s increased movement capabilities – which give you more ways to roam the arena – will likely have rival players come up with increasing strategies for months. But most importantly, Splatoon 3 solves my biggest frustration from previous versions: it’s finally easy to play in the same team as your friends in quick online matches.
“Previously in Turf War, you could enter rooms with your friends, but they would be chosen at random as to whether or not you could play in the same team,” Trinen says. “Now you’ll actually be able to form teams with friends and dive into Turf War and compete, whether it’s other teams or random groups of players. It just ensures that everyone who is able to play is able to do it the way they want to.”
This online simplification also extends to the (and super fun) co-op Salmon Run mode, which has four players team up to take on increasingly difficult waves of Octarian enemies while securing precious golden eggs. Previously the mode was only available at specific times of the day, but in Splatoon 3, you can jump into the action whenever you want.
This doesn’t mean Splatoon 3 won’t have any limited-time special events. You can look forward to the occasional Big Run (the biggest, wildest salmon race) and the lovable Splatfests: long weekend global Splatoon competitions that have players settle classic arguments (like cake versus ice cream) by choosing a side and accumulating points on behalf of their team during matches.
Splatfests are Splatoon at their silliest and most fun, with players splashing graffiti on the arena to support their team before blasting special ink on each other (just imagine what a ketchup vs. mayo battle looks like – it happened). They’re also getting better in Splatoon 3, with new three-team Splatfests festivities culminating in a “free-for-all madness,” as Trinen describes them. I got a taste of the new Splatfest fest during Nintendo’s recent “Rock, Paper, Scissors” global online event (the Scissors got robbed), and I can’t wait for more unique mayhem.
Another great thing about Splatoon 3 is that it honors the time you spent in the previous game – which, for some, equates to thousands of hours of tough competition. You can transfer your Splatoon 2 saves to the new game, which will bring you some in-game goodies. But most importantly, you will keep your player level from the previous game, which means you will meet opponents close to your skill level instead of forcing you to destroy poor souls who jump into the chain for the first time. It’s a win for both parties.
“From the beginning, you will be playing against people ostensibly your level, while for those people coming from Splatoon 2, they will immediately be able to access more challenging and more even matches right from the start,” Trinen says.
Just like Splatoon 2 before it, Nintendo plans to support Splatoon 3 with new content for at least two years, including new sets of unlockable clothing items for a limited time each season. Best of all, the vast majority of them will be free. Factor in the regular rhythm of Splatfests fests (the next one kicks off September 23rd; you’ll choose between Team Gear, Grub, or Fun), big competitions, new maps and weapons, and you’ll have plenty to keep you busy for a while.
“I think it’s a combination of changes in the mechanisms, those new procedures, the new weapons, how those changes the strategy. Honestly, I think part of it also, especially the launch, of this festival atmosphere, is going to be a huge new influx of players wanting to be there to see that happen,” says Trinen about why hardcore Splatoon 2 fans want to move on to the new game. “The fact that there is a lot of new content in Splatoon 3 is, I think, what will really entice all Splatoon 2 players.”
And don’t worry — Trinen says Nintendo has no plans to shut down Splatoon 2 anytime soon, so you can still hone your skills in online battles to your heart’s content until you decide you’re ready to move on.
While the series has a die-hard fan base dating back to its 2015 debut, Splatoon 3 will likely be the first Splatoon game for many people. As such, I couldn’t leave Trinen – who spent hundreds of hours on Splatoon 2, his most played Nintendo Switch game – without asking for some advice for people entering the chaotic, colorful game arenas for the first time.
“I mean, the first thing I can say is put the story clearly, [which is] A great place to go and learn about weapons, but Turf War is where you need to play to really get a feel for the multiplayer,” Trinen says. “The nice thing about Turf War is that even if you’ve never played Splatoon before, even if you’re the type who doesn’t usually play a traditional shooter, you can dive into Turf War and you can spend all your time avoiding other players and writing as much ink as possible. .
Turf War isn’t a great experience for those who don’t just play online shooters – as Nintendo witnessed at a recent gaming conference, it could be the perfect starting point for the young gamer in your life.
“There was a guy who brought, I think, his 6-year-old daughter to Pax West,” Trinen says. “She was playing Splatoon and she was running with the wheel, just inking the grass. When her team won, it was an incredible moment of joy from this little girl. It was very warm.”
Based on the time I’ve spent in the game so far, I’m really impressed with how much Splatoon 3 is available to all kinds of players, whether you’re looking for a fun Mario-style single-player adventure, a super competitive multiplayer experience or just a way to relax with friends while blasting colorful ink Everywhere. Just be warned that matches of a small size can be addictive – something I’ve learned from many hours of experience.
“The thing I love about Splatoon is that it’s just as frenetic as the gameplay,” Trinen says. “The matches are too short. It is really intense and very fun. They’re done and you’re instantly like, ‘Oh, my God. I just want another round.”
Splatoon 3 is the most extensive entry in the series to date, with an innovative single player mode and several fun online modes.
The Nintendo Switch Pro console is a must if you plan to play Splatoon 3 competitively, and this new Limited Edition features a beautiful neon ink aesthetic.
If you’re looking for your first converter (or want to upgrade to a gorgeous OLED display), this limited-edition model is perfect for Splatoon fans. Just keep in mind that it is in high demand and not always in stock.
#Dive #Splatoon #Nintendo #Bell #Trainin