Nintendo has given us a glimpse of the Nintendo Switch's future with the surprise reveal of Splatoon 3 during its February and September Nintendo Direct presentations. Set in a new, desolate wasteland, the objective of the multiplayer remains the same — ink everything in sight. But what else is new in this sequel to one of the best multiplayer games on the Switch? Here's everything we know about Splatoon 3 so far.
What is Splatoon 3?
Splatoon 3 is a multiplayer shooter and the third entry in the Splatoon series. Debuting on the Wii U in 2015, Splatoon is a unique team-based shooter where the objective isn't to defeat your opponents, but to cover the playing field in your team's ink. The team with the most area covered in their team's goop wins.
Players take control of an Inkling, who is part squid and part kid and can transform on the fly. Players can use various paint-based attacks and weapons to cover the surface area and use their squid abilities to swim through their ink at high speeds.
What is an Inkling? What is an Octoling? Who is your Little Buddy?
Inklings are part-squid, part-human, and overall, pretty cool. They can easily alternate between squid and human form and don't really seem to have bones. They also have their own culture and language, and their sworn enemies are the Octarians.
Octolings were introduced in Splatoon 2. Sporting suckers just like an octopus, the Octolings were once brainwashed fighters for the Octarian military but have since been freed. Many of them joined Inkling society, hoping to start anew.
Your Little Buddy, introduced in Spaltoon 3, is a juvenile Salmonid called a Smallfry. While the species is normally dangerous, this one seems to have developed a bond with its Inkling owner.
How many players can play Splatoon 3?
Just like the previous games in the series, Splatoon 3 will feature fast-paced team battles with up to eight players. In Splatoon 2, a co-op mode called Salmon Run was introduced, so we also expect a similar mode to appear in Splatoon 3.
Can I customize my character?
Yes, Splatoon and Splatoon 2 are both known for their sense of style, and both of them were full of customization options, so we can expect Splatoon 3 to follow suit. The teaser trailer shows the player customizing their Inkling with various hairstyles, outfits, and skin tones. You can even customize your Little Buddy's haircut.
There are also many different weapons to suit all kinds of playstyles. In the teaser, we got a look at a new bow and arrow weapon. We're sure to get a closer look at all the customization options at a later date.
Where does Splatoon 3 take place?
In the reveal trailer, the player starts in the sun-scorched Splatlands. While dry and arid, the world is not abandoned. A short train ride brings the player to Splatsville, a brand-new city inhabited by battled hardened Inklings and Octolings. While we don't see much else of the city, previous Splatoon games used the city as their hub world, and there many different stores for players to shop at.
Where are the idols?
Each Splatoon game had a group of hosts that welcomed players to the game, detailing the levels on rotation and updating players on any Splatfest. Pearl and Marina were the stars of Splatoon 2 while Callie and Marie hosted Splatoon 1, but what about Splatoon 3? We're sure a new duo of stylish squids will make their debut in Splatoon 3.
For now, the September 2021 Nintendo Direct showed Callie and Marie playing a part in the game's single-player campaign, as part of the new Squidbeak Splatoon, who are on a mission to defeat the Octarian army. The Octarian army is still going strong, but this time, they seem to have a strange brown fur covering their body. Callie and Marie's code names are Agents 1 and 2 respectively, and they seem to have a new captain who looks eerily like Agent 3 from the first Splatoon game.
Is Splatoon 3 single player?
This time around, the single-player campaign will take place in neither the Splatlands nor Splatsville, but a new mysterious area called Alterna. The previous Agent 3 from Splatoon 1 has retired, and you are to take her place as the new Agent 3.
A strange substance has plagued the landscape, which we now know is called Fuzzy Ink. Should a player come into contact with it, brown fur will sprout all over their body, and they'll be rendered incapable of movement. Funnily enough, your Little Buddy seems to be unfazed by the new type of ink, even eating it! It looks like you're going to need your Little Buddy to help you escape some hairy situations.
How much will Splatoon 3 cost?
We don't know yet, but it'll probably be $60. No preorder is available as of this writing.
When does Splatoon 3 release?
We don't have an exact release date, but Splatoon 3 is set to release sometime in 2022.