Splatoon is Nintendo's most popular new franchise of the past decade. While Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch still has an active community despite coming out close to the system's launch, another sequel for the Nintendo Switch is in the works. Aptly titled Splatoon 3, the sequel will expand the world of the first two games, highlighting the post-apocalyptic angle that has always been teased but never fully shown. Splatoon 3 also contains a new companion called a Little Buddy, new weapons, a revamped lobby system, and a brand new city. Here’s everything we know so far about Splatoon 3.
When is the Splatoon 3 release date?
Splatoon 3 is coming to Nintendo Switch on September 9, 2022. This release date was announced alongside a trailer in April 2022, and thankfully, Nintendo seems like it’s sticking to this date.
Is there a Splatoon 3 trailer?
There are several Splatoon 3 trailers, and the most recent one was shown during a dedicated presentation on August 10, 2022.
This one, titled Deep Cut: Anarchy Rainbow gives us a detailed look at the game’s city and new hosts including Shiver, Frye, and Big Man.
The Splatoon 3 announcement trailer aired during the February 2021 Nintendo Direct. The trailer follows a customizable Splatling and Little Buddy as they wake up in the Splatlands, a desolate desert that appears to be near what used to be Paris. We see the character pass an upside-down Effiel Tower and get on a train, which takes them to a new city called Splatsville.
Then, another one followed up in the September 2021 Nintendo Direct with more information on new weapons, maps, and the campaign mode. The third trailer focused on the returning Salmon Run co-op mode and a tough Salmonoid boss fight in it.
What is the Splatoon 3 story?
The story mode of Splatoon 3 is called Return of the Mammalians.
Here’s an official rundown from Nintendo:
"In this new game in the Splatoon series, you’ll leave Inkopolis behind and head to a new region: the Splatlands," an official press release from Nintendo reveals. "Its heart is a new city where battle-savvy Inklings and Octolings gather: Splatsville, also known as the 'City of Chaos.'”
Chaos will play a significant role in this game and its inclusion has to do with the results of the Splatfest from Splatoon 2.
The Splatlands and Splatsville are set up like the Badlands and Night City in Cyberpunk 2077. That is a comparison I never expected to make, but one that has turned out to be surprisingly fitting! The Splatoon games have always teased a post-apocalyptic backdrop to their worlds, but we've never seen that much of it. Nintendo now seems to be fully embracing it with Splatoon 3.
The game will throw players into battle against the Octarians, a year and a half after the events of Splatoon 2.
What is Splatoon 3's Little Buddy?
One standout feature from the first reveal trailer is a "Little Buddy" that will follow players around. We see this cute creature with bulging eyes get customized in the Splatoon 3 trailer, and we don't see them do much more than following the player around in the reveal trailer. Still, a Twitter post revealed that the Little Budy is actually a creature called a Smallfry.
"In the new video transmission, an Inkling is seen accompanied by a juvenile Salmonid called a Smallfry," the tweet says. "Our studies have long shown the Salmonids to be a dangerous species. How this seemingly symbiotic relationship evolved is a thrilling mystery." While we don't know their use in-game just yet, this description teases that they can be used in combat.
What are the new Splatoon 3 weapons?
The same Twitter thread reveals more about the new weapons and abilities players can use in Splatoon 3. The most notable one in the reveal trailer is the addition of the bow and arrow Tri-Stinger.
"It looks a bit primitive at first glance, but on closer inspection, it’s packed with technology, including a mechanism capable of launching three strings of ink simultaneously," a tweet reveals about this weapon.
The Splatana Wiper, a sword weapon that allows players to slash enemies will make an appearance, too.
It was confirmed that all weapons from previous games will return in Splatoon 3, along with new additions. Thankfully, this time around, you’re able to try out your weapons in the Test Range ahead of a match.
What are the new Splatoon 3 features?
Of course, with Splatoon 3 being a sequel, there are plenty of new features to look forward to.
Splatoon 3 will bring forth new stages including Eeltail Alley, Scorch Gorge, Mincemeat Metalworks, and Undertow Spillway, while returning stages such as Museum d’Alfonsino, Hammerhead Bridge, and Mahi-Mahi Resort are included, as well. The launch version will feature a total of 12 stages.
One of the best new features is the inclusion of Tableturf Battle, a card game that’s playable from within the Splatoon 3 lobby. There are over 150 cards in total.
The Turf Wars battles will play out mostly the same as one team tries to cover as much of the ground as possible with ink. There are also some new movement options while in Squid form. The Squid Roll will let players "leap and twirl out of their ink" to make a quick escape.
Meanwhile, the Squid Surge makes getting up ink-covered walls faster and ends with the player jumping out of the ink at the top. These new moves, as well as other yet-to-be-revealed features and weapons, should have intriguing impacts on the metagame of Splatoon 3 in comparison to Splatoon 2.
Other returning features such as Splatfest, Salmon Run, and a fully-fledged story mode round out the Splatoon 3 experience. The first Splatfest will take place during the Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere demo on August 27, with a Rock, Paper, Scissors theme.
Nintendo has also announced that it aims to support Splatoon 3 with DLC every three months for two years after launch. These free and paid additional content drops will range in size, and will include new weapons, and even X Battle and League Battle modes.
Splatoon 3 launches for the Nintendo Switch on September 9, 2022.
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