This morning Nintendo held their most recent Nintendo Direct with the focus squarely set on their freshest game yet, Splatoon 2. The game is of course the sequel to Splatoon which was a refreshing game when it launched for the Wii U two years ago.
Splatoon 2 game launches exclusively for the Nintendo Switch console in just a couple of weeks and Nintendo branded this Nintendo Direct with the Squid Research Lab to provide a refresher on some of the new and returning features coming to the squid sequel. The special Nintendo Direct presentation highlighted many of the game’s new features, new weapons, new locations, and its fresh new styles. The video also touched on SplatNet 2, the new service for mobile devices that displays information about Splatoon 2 like stage schedules, gear and stats. SplatNet 2 is part of the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app which launches on July 21, which lets players send multiplayer invites to their friends via social media, as well as enables the use of voice chat in battles.
“Splatoon 2 is a huge, robust sequel to the original Splatoon,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Fans that played and loved the first game will have plenty of new stuff to enjoy, while the game is also a great introduction for players new to the colorful and stylish series.”
Before the game launches on July 21, Nintendo Switch owners can dive into the fun with the Splatoon 2: Splatfest World Premiere demo. This special Splatfest will happen July 15 from 3 to 7 p.m. PT. Players just have to download the free demo in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch and choose a team before the Splatfest begins. The demo can be downloaded early before the Splatfest goes live, starting later today.
Here are some of the highlights revealed directly from Nintendo:
- Custom Style: In Splatoon 2, Inklings can be customized to fit the player’s taste. Things like eye color, hair style and skin tone can all be adjusted when creating a character. And this doesn’t even mention the fresh new gear like shirts, shoes and hats that can also be equipped. Since two years have passed in the world of Inkopolis, many styles have been upgraded so no one is caught splatted in something that is “so 2015.”
- Galleria: To find all these hot new fashion trends, players just have to make their way to the Inkopolis Galleria. This row of popular gear and weapon shops is where all the cool kids and squids hang out. In Ye Olde Cloth Shoppe, a jellyfish named Jelfonzo will help players obtain T-shirts and jackets. A spider crab named Bisk runs the shoe shop Shella Fresh, while Flow the sea slug helps players at the headwear shop Headspace. Weapons can be picked up by stopping by Ammo Knights, run by the knowledgeable horseshoe crab Sheldon. And who doesn’t love food? Inklings can grab a bite at Crusty Sean’s dive to get more points and in-game currency from battles.
- Gear: Equipping gear in Splatoon 2 will give players special abilities. Each piece of gear has certain abilities, and there are even additional abilities that appear as players use the gear more and more in battle. By speaking to Murch, a sea urchin (naturally), players can freshen up their gear with abilities that reduce ink consumption or help them move faster – some will even decrease respawn time! There is a wide variety of abilities in the game, so selecting the right one to use could make or break the battle.
- Fresh Features: Some additional features coming to Splatoon 2 include a handy menu that lets players change the sensitivity of the controls separately for TV and Handheld mode, amiibo functionality and the ability to post drawings directly to social media. By tapping a Splatoon series amiibo figure, players can save control settings, gear and weapon loadouts, and nicknames to any Splatoon amiibo figure. New Splatoon series and legacy Splatoon amiibo are all compatible with Splatoon 2 and can also reward players with exclusive gear when tapped. (The game saves data on the amiibo figure, which can hold data for one game at a time. The game, system and amiibo are sold separately. Visit http://www.nintendo.com/amiibo for details about amiibo functionality.)
- Turf War: Turf War, which finds two teams of four battling to ink the most turf, makes its grand return in Splatoon 2. There are all kinds of different stages in the game, ranging from city streets, a sports club, an academy and even a BMX track. Different stages have different environmental hazards, so players will have to work together to figure out the best strategy.
- Ranked Battles: Every two hours, the three Ranked Battle modes rotate, offering something new to play. The three modes are Splat Zones, which finds teams fighting for control of Splat Zones placed on the stage; Tower Control, a fast-and-frantic mode in which players ride a moving tower; and the chaotic fun of Rainmaker. By winning a Ranked Battle, players increase their rank in each mode. Ranked Battles can be played online*. The modes in Ranked Battle can be played in local multiplayer** in Private Battle.
- League Battles: League Battles allow players to form a team with friends, fight alongside them and battle their way to the top of the charts. There are two ways to join in these 4-on-4 battles: Players can enlist one other friend to form a pair and be matched with another pair, or connect with three friends to form a four-squid team. Once teams are created, players compete in Ranked Battle modes to aim for a top ranking.
- Salmon Run: This new local- and online-multiplayer mode* to Splatoon 2 finds up to four players** working together to defeat bosses and collect Power Eggs in a limited amount of time. Each match in Salmon Run lasts for three waves, with players having to collect a select number of Power Eggs to advance to the next wave – oh, and at least one player on the team has to stay alive. This last part might be tough since the stage is overrun by Salmonid enemies and giant bosses, each with their own weakness. Salmon Run is a frantic multiplayer mode that can be played locally with friends at anytime and is also available to play online at designated times, just like Splatfest.
- Single-Player Adventure: Oh no! Callie (of the famous Squid Sisters) has disappeared! Of course, there’s no need to panic. Players can just hop into the game’s single-player adventure to ink their way through a variety of creative obstacles, monstrous bosses and devious Octarians. This single-player mode is also a great way to learn the basics of the game and try out different weapons.
- So Many Ways to Play!: Splatoon 2 can be played in so many different ways, including TV Mode, Handheld Mode and Tabletop Mode, as well as online* or local multiplayer**. And not only are the game-play options numerous, but the jam-packed sequel can be played anywhere!
- Main Weapons: In Splatoon 2, weapons come in sets of three: a main weapon, a sub weapon and a special weapon. There are many different types of main weapons, from long-range weapons to short-range ones. Some new (wonderfully named) weapons introduced in Splatoon 2 include the Clash Blaster, Flingza Roller, Goo Tuber and the Dapple Dualies.
- Sub Weapons: In addition to inking and attacking, many sub weapons will help players with other abilities, such as defending from attacks or revealing enemy positions. The new Autobomb, for example, will find an enemy and automatically follow them, while Toxic Mist, well, is exactly how it sounds! It fills the surrounding area with a poisonous mist, reducing the ink of opponents who dare step in its range, as well as making them move slower.
- Special Weapons: All the special weapons in Splatoon 2 are new! Some of the weapons making their debut are the Tenta Missiles, the Inkjet, the Sting Ray and the Baller, which lets players roll up walls in an explosive hamster ball. Special weapons can be used once a player’s special meter is filled.
- Post-Launch Updates: Like the first Splatoon, Splatoon 2 will see a continuing rollout of updates to the game. These updates will take the form of new weapons, like the umbrella-shaped Brella, new gear and additional stages.
- SplatNet 2: When the Nintendo Switch Online app* launches for mobile devices on July 21, players will also have access to SplatNet 2. This Splatoon 2-specific service helps players stay in touch with Inkopolis even when they are away from their Nintendo Switch systems! SplatNet 2 displays information like stage schedules, gear and stats, and even lets users view their lifetime inkage, a feature that shows how much turf a player has inked compared to real-world places. The Nintendo Switch Online app allows users to invite other players to join Private Battles, League Battles, Salmon Run and Splatfest Battles, as well as communicate with those players using voice chat. (A compatible mobile device and persistent internet connection are required. Data charges may apply.)
- Splatfests: While content updates for Splatoon 2 will last around a year, more limited-time Splatfests for the game are planned for the next two years. To kick things off, a free demo to try out the first Splatfest for Splatoon 2 is going to be held on July 15 from 3 to 7 p.m. PT. Players just have to download the free demo in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch and get ready to decide if cake or ice cream is their dessert of choice. To prepare in advance, the demo can be downloaded early before the Splatfest goes live, starting later today. Once downloaded, players can start the demo to vote for their team, and even visit the in-game mailbox to create and share drawings in support of their team.
Splatoon 2 launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 21.