Splatoon 3 – One To Watch for 2022

Splatoon 3 is due for release on 9th September 2022, it’s only round the corner and Nintendo is ramping up their promotion of their ink-based shooter. Some fans are hyped for the new release, whereas others are asking why we need a Splatoon 3 rather than incrementally updating the previous Splatoon games in a live-service manner. Today I’m going to dive into everything announced in the Splatoon Direct.

First of all, we have a Photo Mode. We’ll be able to take photos of our Squid Kids, and the surrounding area (including the new hub city), plus the images can easily be shared on social media, or they can be sent to friends or used to customise the character’s lockers in-game. We have some new techniques to take advantage of which include the Squid Surge, where you can swim up walls quickly with a burst of speed. Then we have the Squid Roll, which is designed for quick about turns. This includes a split second of invincibility where your character glows and repels incoming ink.

There are plenty of new battle stages including Scorch Gorge, Eeltail Alley, Mincemeat Metalworks, and Undertow Spillway. Overall, we have 12 stages available at launch, with some returning from previous games, but more stages are planned in the post-launch updates, which I believe will be free. As well as new stages, we have new weapons coming too. The Tri-Stringer is similar to a Bow and can fire in three directions at the same time, while also having the ability to fire charged shots that explode. The Splatana Wiper is a cross between a Katana and a Windscreen Wiper allows you to shoot ink in a wide arc. This can then be charged up and use vertical slices that can help players run up walls.

The regular new weapons are joined by Special Weapons. First is The Tacticooler, which is a vending machine that provides players drinks to improve their stats. This can be placed down in a match and will help you gain an advantage over your opposing team. The Reefslider is a shark pool float, which zips about the place and then explodes when it hits an enemy. The Wave Breaker releases waves of energy, helping to identify enemy positions and inflicting damage on them.

There’s a good amount of new things, stages and weapons coming to the game, but we also have some returning things too. With the stages, we have Museum d’Alfonsino, Hammerhead Bridge and Mahi-Mahi Resort. There are returning weapons too with Tenta Missiles, Inkjet, Ink Storm, Ultra Stamp and Booyah Bomb. We also have three new amiibo including Inkling (Yellow), Octoling (Blue) and Smallfry.

There is a new Splatfest starting on August 27th, which is actually before the launch on the 9th of September. Rather than two teams, this time we’re going to have three. This is a turf war, and it’s split into two halves; the first part is a regular 4v4 battle between three teams and then in the second half all three teams compete in the Tricolor Turf War battle as a 4-v-2-v-2 match. The first turf war is part of the August 27th Splatfest. Part of the Splatfest features a demo of Splatoon 3, so if you’re interested in the game and want to try it out, then that demo is going live later in August.

You’ll be able to customise certain online features including Splashtags and Lockers. Splashtags appear before matches and you can customise the title, background and badge. You can also change your character emote too. A player’s locker appears in the lobby of players you have recently played with and you can customise it to display weapons, photos, items and a load more things too.

Splatoon is getting its own dedicated app called SplatNet 3 and this can be accessed through Nintendo Switch Online on your phone, but you will need a membership fo the service to access the features. SplatNet 3 will give you access to battle records and unique app-only exclusive gear.

There is also a new minigame called Tableturf Battle. This replaces ink with cards. It’s a 1v1 competitive card game where cards are played to “ink” a grid-based battlefield, and there are 150 cards to collect.

Splatoon 2 is also getting a new competitive ranked mode called Anarchy Battles. All rules are returning including Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker and Clam Blitz and you’ll be able to compete in the rankings for the objective-based matches. You can play with friends in the Open mode or play solo in the Series mode.

Nintendo has big plans to support Splatoon 3 after launch. Customisation options for lockers and splashtags are going to be released every three months for 2 years, and they are available to all for free. New weapons are planned to be added at the same time. New stages are also going to be added over time, in addition to the 12 coming at launch. X Battle and League Battle are new modes coming too, which are modes targetted at high-ranking players to play against each other. While there are a slew of free updates planned, there is also paid DLC in the works too. No major details of the DLC yet, but this is coming within the 2-year period of the other updates.

Splatoon 3 also gives players the ability to draw small cartoons and have them be visible in Splatsville and can be seen by other players. Salmon Run is also making a return which can now be played whenever you want. Bosses have been added to Salmon Run with a King Salmonid called Cohozuna turning up at the end of matches. Later there is a planned crossover with Salmon Run and them invading Splatsville, although that’s coming later.

Loads of stuff coming with Splatoon 3, both new and old.