Hosted by the beloved Squid Research Lab, the event was a half-hour of power devoted to exploring both new and returning features to everyone’s favorite cephalopod-heavy post-apocalyptic wasteland. Largely moving the action away from Inkolpolis and into the more arid Splatlands, Splatoon 3 is clearly shaping up to be an amazing new entry in the franchise.
The core of the game remains, naturally, Turf War, the 4-on-4 ink-shooting competitive mode that made the series what it is today. However, in addition to new Splatlands-specific stages (and a few classic levels from Greater Inkopolis) Splatoon 3 introduces some brand new moves to make traversing these environments and splatting your enemies even more fluid. These include the Squid Surge, a squid-form speed boost for swimming up walls, and the Squid Roll, which allows for turning around in mid-air.
Alongside these, we’ll also get the requisite new weapons—bow-shaped Stringers and sword-like Splatanas—and some additional special weapons. The most interesting of these is clearly the Tacticooler which, when activated, dispenses stat-boosting beverages to your entire team.
New modes include Anarchy Battles, objective-based battles that improve a player’s ranking, and, in a real departure from previous games, Tableturf Battles. These are 1-on-1 competitive virtual card-game battles based on the Turf War concept with over 150 cards to collect. Oh, and in a welcome change, the highly addictive Salmon Run mode is back and can now be played at any time!
Two things as synonymous with Splatoon as Inkling and Octolings are new musical hosts and hot new fashions, and Splatoon 3 promises each in unparalleled number. The Deep Cut Trio, an unhead-of three-piece, will now host the regular Anarchy Splatcast in-game television show as well as the monthly Splatfests, which will consist of two halves. In the first half, three teams will compete in the traditional Turf War battles. The second, on the other hand, now takes the form of Tricolor Turf War battles. In this mode, the first-place team must defend itself in unique 4-on-2-on-2 matches.
In addition to kitting out your Inkling in the freshest new fits, Splatoon 3 also offers customization options for things like player banners (called Splashtags) and victory emotes. Plus, a new locker room includes lockers for you and your recent teammates that can be decorated to reflect your own distinctive styles.
If this is your first Splatoon title, don’t fear. A new single-player mode can help your get up to speed with all the weapons and tactics Splatoon 3 has to offer. With the simmering Inkling/Octoling tensions seemingly under control, this one is called “Return of the Mammalians” and focuses on fighting some noticeably hairier minions of the Octarian Army.
Most exciting of all, the Splatfest World Premiere demo will land before the game even launches. Join me and an army of the squid-faithful on August 27 to get a proper taste of what Splatoon 3 is all about!
In case you missed it, you can check out the entire Splatoon 3 Direct below:
Images provided by Nintendo of America. This post contains affiliate links. Fishy—it tastes fishy.