Collect your paint cans, squids. Of Splatoon 3 around the corner, Nintendo has the most in-depth look at what to expect from the closest thing to an esport the company actually still cares about. (Sorry, smash.) The 30-minute presentation covered (it’s a paint joke!) everything from new weapons to new stages and even included a rough roadmap for content updates after launch. Sit down – a lot of ink must be spilled.
As Nintendo previously revealed, Splatoon 3 takes place in Splatsville, a sprawling city in the arid desert of the Splatlands. There, inklings and octolings will pop, glop and otherwise make all sorts of gross gloop noises as they fight to splash paint across various stages. Splatoon 3 will feature a number of new weapons designed to aid in this long-simmering color war. New to the game are bow-like weapons called stringers that spray paint in short bursts and a splatana wiper, a windshield wiper that pretends to be a sword that lets you throw paint into wide arcs.
Squid kids will have a lot to do in Splatsville. Return with Splatoon 3 will be the game modes you loved in the past splatoon games like Turf War, Tower Control, Rainmaker, Clam Blitz and Splat Zone. The horde-mode-esque Salmon Run also returns with new salmon-like bosses to defeat.
When you’re not playing, you can buy all kinds of clothing items to customize your character. Some items even have special abilities that do things like increase your running speed. They don’t seem to be unlocked via microtransactions, and through a special resident of Splatsville you can add any attribute to your favorite piece of clothing.
Splatoon 3 also lets you participate in Turf War without spilling a single drop of paint. New to the game is a deckbuilding mini-game called Table Turf Battle. In Table Turf Battle you can collect more than 150 cards that represent the many different weapons available in Splatoon 3. You place the cards on the battlefield and try to take over as much of the arena as possible with your suit. Details about Table Turf Battle are still a mystery, but you can challenge the residents of Splatsville to earn rewards.
splatfest, splatoon‘s recurring online multiplayer event, also returns with a new broadcast team called Deep Cut. This time, instead of just two colored teams to choose from, there will be three, with a Turf War tricolor contest to determine the Splatfest results. Ahead of the September 9 launch, players will be able to download a demo of Splatoon 3 ahead of a special prelaunch Splatfest set to take place on August 27.
Nintendo seems to have big plans for Splatoon 3. The game is expected to be updated post-launch with free content updates with new cosmetics every three months for two years and with new weapons being added around the same time. It also teased major paid DLC expansions, but there’s no word yet on when you can expect the first.
Splatoon 3 seems to be the most clam-packed game in the series. It will launch on the Nintendo Switch on September 9.