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Splatoon 3 Preview – Feels As Fresh as Ever

When Nintendo Direct-focused Splatoon 3 launched two weeks ago, I was amazed at the depth of information and content the Splatoon team delivered at launch. As someone who enjoyed the first two Splatoon games (as well as Splatoon 2’s Octo Expansion), the Nintendo Direct was all it took for me to raise my excitement levels by a few aspects. However, getting my hands on the upcoming Splatoon 3 only skyrocketed this game up my list of most anticipated 2022 releases.

During my 75-minute practice session, I was able to test the three main pillars of Splatoon 3: Single-Player Hero Mode, 4v4 Lawn Battle, and Four-Player Co-op Run. All three of these modes appear in Splatoon 2, although Turf Wars has been the main attraction of the series since the first game. While Splatoon will likely always be known for its multiplayer fun, the first two games’ single-player story modes are vastly underrated. If my time with Splatoon 3’s story is any indication, the end of this ongoing saga is poised to deliver even more shooting, splashing, puzzle-solving, and platforming. even more satisfying.

Splatoon 3

“Obviously, with such a focus on multiplayer in Splatoon, I think a lot of people have forgotten about Hero Mode,” said Bill Trinen, Nintendo’s vice president of products and players. “They forgot about the level design and the single-player platform they were doing in that mode, and how it was connected to, I think, Nintendo’s very traditional approach to gameplay. The gameplay and level design are often overshadowed by Splatoon’s multiplayer I hope more people get into it right away instead of going straight into multiplayer like some long-time Splatoon fans. years can do.”

I played through three stages in the story mode, which required me to use unique tactics to achieve the goal. One asked me to complete mini puzzles and battle scenarios for four keys to reach the final score, while another asked me to constantly stop charging enemies from getting too close to me. However, my favorite phase of the single-player campaign allows me to wield the new Tri-Stringer bow weapon. This bow-type weapon fires three arrows that can be fired rapidly or charged. If you charge it long enough, the arrows will become small bombs that explode shortly after reaching the target, a very useful technique in the late stages when dealing with some shielded octagons. You can also jump while holding the Tri-Stringer to change the direction of the spread from horizontal to vertical.

Splatoon 3

Meanwhile, Salmon Run brings a ton of improvements to the board, adding to the frenetic pace of the mode. Sure, players can now throw golden eggs dropped by bosses, but the most impactful part of the Splatoon 3 Salmon Run experience comes from the new bosses, like Slammin’ Lid, appearing in a short. The variety brought by the steady stream of new and existing bosses ensures you never get too comfortable with any single strategy. The only way to really survive the highly difficult Salmon Run attempt is to expect the unexpected and watch your teammates. After we easily made it through the low difficulty level of Salmon Run, we faltered in the second part of the higher difficulty attempt because we couldn’t collect enough golden eggs ahead of time. Salmon Run is now available anytime instead of just in select windows and it gives you a bonus that you can bring into other modes, I can’t wait to really dive in this mob mode.

“Previously, you would enter Salmon Run with the window open and you would have special gear that would be available for that Salmon Run,” said Nintendo Senior Vice President of Product Development Nate Bihldorff. “Now, with Salmon Run always available, you not only chase those temporary prizes, but your progress there is also brought back to the seasonal catalog and unlocking items there. Because So, with the way the economy game is working with Salmon Run being available to be a much larger part of the big circle, that ethos takes you back and forth between the different modes, so you’re always re-engaged. join the game.”

Splatoon 3

The last mode that I played during my practice time was Turf War. As you can imagine, this flagship feature is as exciting as ever, with small improvements that make it much more enjoyable. I love being able to spawn in a specific direction after being splashed, and the new and special weapons are extremely effective; I had an explosion using the new Splatana in my third match. The new moves available to players also change the way they move and fight in subtle but meaningful ways. Squid Surge, where you can strengthen a wall with just a short hold of the button, is useful for quick climbs, but Squid Roll has the power to change any encounter as you can easily change direction swim several times in a row while protected by a quick shield. I used the Squid Roll several times during my session, and on a few occasions it felt like its use was instrumental in helping me get to the top.

The days of Splatoon games launching with minimal content with the promise of filling in the blanks after launch seem to be over, although we’re still getting a strong content plan spanning two years later. when released. Splatoon 3 will include 12 Turf War stages at launch, roughly matching the combined launch counts of Splatoon 1 and Splatoon 2. The weapons screen also takes a long time to scroll through, showing the arsenal of weapons. how much has evolved since the 2015 launch of the first game. That said, Nintendo still has an ambitious post-launch plan, with seasonal content dropping every three months for two years, a number of free maps and weapons, as well as paid DLC being rolled out. to the market.

Splatoon 3

“I think we dealt with an audience that already had their favorite modes available, and for that audience, you wanted to be able to pull them into different modes to play them, but for to a newbie, that’s really a problem, says Bihldorff: “Hey, look at all the stuff you can do.” “On top of that, you can expect the same thing to happen with games. other, it’s a constant drip of content post-launch.”

While there are various modes that I was able to check out during my preview session, there is still plenty to explore in Splatoon 3. In addition to the other maps, levels, and bosses in Turf Wars, Story Mode, and Salmon Run, I didn’t see how Splatfests work in this new entry, soThe electronics that I can see in stores, and perhaps most importantly, the Battle of Tablets. While Nintendo has remained fairly tight-lipped about the card game, like the other major modes, it plays a role in the larger Splatoon 3 ecosystem, encouraging players to check out so they can unlock their devices to used in other Splatoon 3 modes.

Splatoon 3

“As you’re playing and playing, you’ll unlock packs of these cards, which is another small bonus you can get along the way,” says Trinen. “In Splatoon, you just feel like you’re constantly getting more of what’s going to help the kind of overall experience grow and evolve over time.”

After getting my hands on Splatoon 3, it easily became one of my most anticipated games of the rest of the year, which says a lot when you check out the release schedule in the next few months. With Splatfest World Premiere happening in just a few days, I can’t wait to dive below the surface once again as my favorite squid/kids hybrids. Splatoon 3 coming to Nintendo Switch on September 9. Splatfest World Premiere is now available for free on eShopwith the online multiplayer event taking place on August 27.


For more Nintendo chat from Brian, be sure to subscribe Everything Nintendoa weekly podcast that he hosts covering the biggest news and games from the Nintendo world.

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