Splatoon 3September 9th, 2022
Expected Release DateSeptember 9th, 2022
Splatoon 3, the new installment in Nintendo’s third-person shooter themed around ink fights, was announced with a teaser trailer during a Nintendo Direct that aired in February 2021.
Release date, platforms, pricing, editions
Splatoon 3 had its first release window confirmation in February 2022, when Nintendo said it would be available this Summer. We finally learned in late April that the game would launch on September 9th.
As with all games developed by Nintendo first-party studios like Nintendo EPD, Splatoon 3 will be exclusive to the Switch console. However, it is likely that it will also be playable on PC, thanks to emulators like Ryujinx and Yuzu.
The game is priced at $59.99 and can now be pre-ordered digitally on the Nintendo Store or eShop. No special editions have been announced as of yet.
Genre and setting
Third-person shooter game Splatoon 3 once again features playable Inklings, the squid-humanoid hybrids central to the game since the first chapter, as well as Octolings (octopus-humanoid hybrids), which were first introduced with the Splatoon 2 DLC Octo Expansion.
Unlike previous entries, Splatoon 3 is not set in Inkopolis. The new game’s main hub is called Splatsville, described as the adrenaline-fueled heart of the arid wasteland that is the sun-scorched desert called Splatlands. The maps take place in Splatsville and its surroundings, such as Eeltail Alley and the Scorch Gorge.
In the story mode, called Return of the Mammalians, players will be put in the shoes of an unnamed Inkling who gets recruited (alongside a Smallfry companion, who can be thrown at enemies) by the New Squidbeak Splatoon to be the next Agent 3 in the fight against the hostile Octarians.
As mentioned above, Splatoon 3 is expected to play much like its predecessors. For example, the Inklings can still transform into squid form to swim through ink quickly (provided it’s the same colors as their team), climb walls covered in ink, and even hide from opponents. Moving into squid form also allows the Inklings to recharge ink ammunition faster than when they are in humanoid form.
Of course, the developers are also preparing some brand new additions to shake up the gameplay mechanics. For instance, there is the mid-air “spawner” where the character is launched into battle with a so-called spawner drone (which looks like a coffee machine, for some reason). Players can aim for a landing spot before being launched, and they’ll also be able to see where their fellow teammates will land. The spawner drone also acts as a respawn point.
The most interesting new moves are the “squid roll”, which lets players roll and twirl out of ink, while the “squid surge” allows them to swiftly swim up ink-covered walls and then jump out at the top.
When it comes to weaponry, all basic weapons from previous Splatoon games are back in Splatoon 3. There are new ones, too, such as the bow-shaped Tri-Stringer main weapon that fires three ink projectiles at once and the Angle Shooter sub-weapon.
Most additions are in the Special weapons category, though, such as:
- the Crab Tank mech;
- the Trizooka;
- the Killer Wail 5.1;
- the Big Bubbler defensive dome;
- the Triple Inkstrike missile launcher;
- the Zipcaster, which can be used to travel quickly through maps;
- the Ink Vac vacuum cleaner.
Regarding multiplayer modes, co-op returns with Salmon Run Next Wave, a follow-up to Splatoon 2’s Salmon Run. So far, the only confirmed new feature is Egg Throw, which lets players throw golden eggs at fellow allies or even directly into the basket. The Salmon Run Next Wave trailer confirmed at least three bosses: the Fish Stick, the Flipper-Flopper, and King Salmonid.
Of course, the competitive 4v4 Turf War mode is also back in Splatoon 3. This mode appears to have no significant changes, so you’ll still need to cover as much of the map in your team’s ink as you can in three minutes. Medals are now awarded at the end of a multiplayer match for various achievements.
Character customization has been improved in Splatoon 3, too. There are more hairstyles, cosmetic gear items, skin tones, eye colors, and brand-new options like tricolor eyes, customizable eyebrows, and banners.
Below you can check out all of the official Splatoon 3 trailers, ordered by their publishing date.