A deep dive into the new features of Splatoon 3, which were revealed on August 10 in a Nintendo Direct Program entirely dedicated to the highly anticipated ink-flinging shooter sequel. For over 30 minutes the good folks at the Squid Research Lab went over the details on the new maps, game modes and features (including Splatfests!) to be expected for eager players waiting to jump into the fun coming September 9!
▍Keep Rolling Rolling Rolling…
The Direct started things off small introducing the core mechanics to the game, presenting the classic maneuvers to the ink-slinging fun of Splatoon. So it came as a surprise when along with the old mechanics, they showed off their new abilities afterward. Squid Surge allows players to quickly climb up inked walls by charging up a splurt of ink, and the more defensive Squid Roll move showed off the ability to jump out of the ink while rolling to repel any wayward splats coming your way.
▍New and Old Stages from The Splatlands and Beyond
The Splatoon 3 stream showed off an introduction to the newly added maps new to the region of The Splatlands in a quick montage of three new stages to throw down. Equally interesting is the return of maps from Greater Inkopolis, with the revival of maps from the original Splatoon in maps like Museum d’Alfonsino with its rotating central walls, the Hammerhead Bridge, and the infamous Mahi-mahi Resort presenting a watery threat in its sinking floors.
For the newer side of things, the three shown aren’t all players will be seeing as the stream was quick to notify that Splatoon 3 will launch with 12 maps, with more locales to be expected in later updates down the line.
▍New Weapon types and Specials
Splatoon 3 also showed off the weapon types from the previous games returning in all their splendor, with two fresh additions to the roster with the Stringers and Splatanas. The former is a bow-like contraption that fires a chargeable volley of 3 ink shots spreading horizontally or vertically depending on the fire type. The latter is the newly shown melee weapon akin to the brush weapons of its prequels, only this time switching out its brush hairs for a windscreen wiper blade that unleashes splashes of ink in a straight line. The Splatana, like the Stringer, can be charged for extra range and firepower as well!
Special weapons are also getting a new pizzaz, with the new additions to the arsenal with the new Tacticoolers, Wave Breakers, and Reefsliders. Each offers a new tactical edge to your turf-war needs, whether it’s giving out stat-boosting energy drinks for your buddies to dashing around with a shark floaty blowing up foes in a crashing wave of ink.
▍Splatsville, The Place to Be!
The new hub out in The Splatslands is, of course, Splatsville! Along with features expected from the previous games, new features like your friends showing up as 3D holograms that allow you to drop in and play with them are a fine addition to the game as matchmaking with friends proved troubling for some back on Splatoon 2. The training room/firing range gets a glow up as well along with the new Memory Player feature that allows you to review as well as relive the moments of your triumphant wins and dramatic losses.
Cosmetic stores make a return with new quirky characters including soon-to-be fan favorites like Mr. Coco the giant coconut crab who runs the shoe store Crush Station and Jel La Fleur’s own boutique Man-o’-Wardrobe.
▍Keep It Stylish Even at the Lockers
The town of Splatsville doesn’t just end there, with customizations to your own squid (or Octo) taken to the next level. New are the additions of locker rooms, where you can decorate and show off your personality to others in the squidverse through customizable tags, titles, and emotes. Adorn your own lockers with what you see fit, whether it’s your favorite weapons to your very own sneakers collection.
You can expect the freshest fits coming your way in later updates as well, with new catalogs dropping for each new season post-release!
▍Salmon Run Returns
The PvE mode of Splatoon 3, Salmon Run returns this time being available for play at all times! A four-player coop game mode where players must band together against waves of ferocious salmonids is back, this time with new additions to the roster of bosses. Watch out for Fish Stick, Flipper-Flopper, Slammin’ Lids, and Big Shots as they enter the battlefield.
What’s more alarming is the new addition of Cohozuna, a gargantuan Salmonid that’ll take the entire team and some to level. Switch out your weapons for the new Egg Cannons to turn golden egg drops into powerful ordinances, as you take down this towering threat!
Big Runs have been shown off as well, where all turf-war stages are turned into Salmon Run arenas. Take on the invading horde and defend the city of Splatsville!
▍Lay ‘Em Down For a Round of… Table Turf Battle!?
Need a little downtime for the action? Why not go for a round or two of Splatoon 3s new card-based mini-game Table Turf Battle? A 2D turn-based spin on the turf war, this new game mode features 250 cards to collect and NPCs to duke it out against.
▍Reveal of Deep Cut, Three-way Splatfests
Along with the reveal of the in-game event splatfests returning once more, Splatoon 3 introduces a new music group, this time with three of them! Meet Deep Cut, a trio made up of Shiver, Frye, and Big Man who will be holding the daily Anarchy Splatcasts as well as pumping the crowd up with their tunes in Splatfests!
Speaking of Splatfests, the festivities are getting a wilder spin to them this time around with three-way turf wars. Instead of the traditional two-team choices, pick one of three sides in an asymmetric game of 2-v-2-v-4 and fight for dominance as you do your part in team victory!
▍Get a Head Start on the Fun
Along with the reveal of the new formula for Splatfests, Nintendo revealed that the same Splatfest is coming soon in the form of a demo for Splatoon 3, a few weeks ahead of its official release in September. Each player will compete in an all-out fight as a team in a battle of Rock vs. Paper vs. Scissors, with games running on the classic 4-v-4 for the first half, then transitioning over to the tri-color format in the latter.
Don’t miss this opportunity to join in on the first of many to come to Splatfest for Splatoon 3, as the game’s kickoff on August 27 from 9:00 to 21:00 [PDT]!
▍About Splatoon 3
Revealed back in 2021, Splatoon 3 is the latest in the franchise of cephalopod-themed shooters, where teams of 4 duke it out in an ink-based slobber knocker over who can cover the arena with their team color the most. Quickly becoming Nintendo’s go-to shooter franchise with its funky-fresh aesthetics, the franchise has become a fan favorite antithesis to the more grounded and gritty multiplayer shooters in the market. In a game more focused on team play and covering grounds with your ink rather than killing the opposition, the Splatoon titles are a unique experience altogether.