We're just getting started with 2021 still, but Nintendo has given us a glimpse of the Nintendo Switch's future with the surprise reveal of Splatoon 3 during its February Nintendo Direct. 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 we expect at E3 2021
While Nintendo made it clear that their E3 2021 Direct will showcase games "mostly coming out in 2021", that doesn't mean we should count Splatoon 3 out of their event. We don't expect much from Nintendo on this one, aside from a minor update on the title and probably a release window.
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 it's 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, whose part squid and part kid and can transform on the fly. Players can use a variety of different 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? and 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.
Is Splatoon 3 single player?
We don't know the exact answer, but previous Splatoon games have featured a single-player mode, and we're sure that Splatoon 3 will also have one.
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.
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