While Nintendo is home to a plethora of iconic IPs, a few years ago, many fans began to feel burnt out on seeing the familiar faces of characters like Mario, Link, and Pikachu time and time again. Thus, Nintendo decided it was time to innovate once again in 2015, surprising fans with their newest franchise, Splatoon. The family-friendly third-person shooter took a whole new approach to the genre, having players take control of humanoid squid-kids, duking it out in a turf war by seeing which team can cover the stage with the most ink. Now, Splatoon 3 is one the way.
Aside from being a hit in the multiplayer department, Splatoon was praised for its creative single-player campaign, despite being rather short. Of course, the announcement of Splatoon 2 in 2017 surprised no one, seeing as Nintendo likely wanted to save the fresh IP from the Wii U’s poor sales. And now, even though fans were told to expect to see games from the first half of 2021 at today’s Nintendo Direct, the Japanese video game company pulled a fast one at the end as always, officially announcing Splatoon 3, which was recently teased, set to release sometime in 2022.
Although Splatoon 2 was met with fan and critical acclaim, many had hoped for more in a sequel to the third-person shooter as many saw the game as more of an expansion of the first than one that contained enough content to be considered a full-fledged sequel. However, judging from the footage of Splatoon 3 shown at today’s Nintendo Direct, it seems that the game is taking a new approach to the Splatoon formula.
Off the bat, the new trailer shows an Inkling joined by a Smallfry Salmonid in what seems to be a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The first half of the trailer seems to even show off the entire introduction to the game, showing an Inkling selecting their appearance, and then venturing to what looks like Splatoon 3‘s new hub, much like Splatoon 2‘s Inkopolis Square. Of course, the trailer shows off the new game’s multiplayer turf war mode, along with a new stage, clothing styles, weapons, and sub-weapons. Interestingly, it appears that players will enter stages in a new way, appearing on-top of floating cubes, then using gyro-aiming to launch themselves into the turf war.
The Splatoon 3 trailer features an Inkling with a weapon based on a bow and arrow, something fans have requested for quite some time, and fans can also see new versions of the Shooter, Blaster, Charger, and more. Additionally, one Inkling appears to be shown switching primary weapons between a Splatling and a Shooter in one shot, while another shot shows off what appears to be a Splat Bomb based on a crab. It seems hat fans can expect many more new weapons, modes, and new fan-favorite Splatfest events with the release of Splatoon 3.
Of course, although the upcoming game is a ways off, Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi urged fans to stay tuned for more info in the future. And while Splatoon 2 has been out of the limelight for some time, it seems that the recent Mario-themed Splatfest was an effort to bring the series back into the minds of fans. It will be interesting to see whether Splatoon 3 makes an appearance at E3 or in any other ways throughout 2021.
Splatoon 3 is set to release in 2022 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.