by Jeremy Rogers
Nintendo devoted an entire Direct presentation to their upcoming game Splatoon 2 today, catching veterans of the first game and newcomers alike up to speed so they can all be ready when the highly-anticipated game releases on July 21. In addition to going over some of the basics of the games, the presentation also highlighted some of the updated features that have been changed or improved.The first deviation from the Splatoon formula is the added functionality of certain weapon types. Now a charge can be stored for a short duration; rollers can be swung vertically to increase their range at the expense of the width their splats; and the new dualies allow the player to execute a dodge roll for increased mobility. New weapons were unveiled as well, including the rapid-fire Clash Blaster, the long range Flingza Roller, the versatile Goo Tuber charger and the quick Dapple Dualies.
New sub weapons and special weapons were demonstrated through gameplay footage as well. The Autobomb appears to replace the Seekers from the first game, and Toxic Mist looks like a modification to the Disruptor. The special attacks in Splatoon 2 are promised to be all new. The Tenta Missiles lock on to enemies and fires multiple small projectiles; the Inkjet allows the player to fly and shoot exploding ink blasts; the Sting Ray replaces the Killer Wail and shoots a concentrated stream of ink through walls; the Splashdown deals high damage in a radius around the user; the Ink Storm rains ink from the sky; the Bomb Launcher launches Splat Bombs; Ink Armor renders the user and surrounding teammates impervious to one attack; and the Baller envelopes the user in a highly mobile ball that can explode when near enemies.
New maps were displayed as well, including The Reef, Musselforge Fitness, Inkblot Art Academy, Starfish Mainstage, Humpback Pump Track, and Sturgeon Shipyard. Maps from the first game that are returning, albeit with a few tweaks, are Port Mackerel and Moray Towers.Changes to ranked modes were unveiled in the Direct as well. Now players will receive individual rankings for each ranked game type. An update to the ranking system allows players to advance several ranks at once if they play well enough. A new game mode is the League Battle. For the League, players either pair up or form their own 4 player squid squad and battle for the top place in League leaderboards.
New abilities were demonstrated as well. Thermal Ink, Object Shredder, Respawn Punisher, and the Drop Roller will all be adding new strategies to the game. The gear upgrade system has been overhauled as well as a few of the user interface elements.
One of Splatoon 2’s most highly anticipated features, the new Salmon Run game mode, was revealed to only be available to play at certain times during the day.
Splashnet 2, Splatoon 2’s online information hub, will be made available through the Nintendo Switch Online app. Players can use the app to access detailed stats of their last 50 battles. Another feature of the app is the integration of an in-game store. Voice chat for players connecting through the app will split lobbies up depending on who is on which team during matches
After going over Amiibo functionality, the Direct showed off a new feature where buying food in Inkopolis Square can yield extra benefits from matches. Exactly how this feature works was not explained. Additionally, support was announced for both wireless multiplayer and LAN multiplayer.
Similar to its predecessor, Splatoon 2 has one year of new content that will be added to the game for free. Some of the new content to look forward to in future updates was shown off in the Direct. A new weapon, the Splat Brella which offers a unique blend of offense and defense, was shown off. The new Special attack, Bubble Blower, was shown as well. More gear was promised along with more arenas.The Direct also revealed that Splatoon 2 would have two years of Splatfests, a timed event in which players choose one of two teams and battle. Then the replacements for fan favorites Callie and Marie were unveiled in a short music video. Pearl and Marina will update players on stages and game modes through their in-game television show: Off the Hook. The two music idols wrapped up the presentation by announcing the Splatfest World Premier. This first Splatfest is available to all Switch owners and takes place Saturday July 15, from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm Pacific Time or 6:00 pm – 10 pm Eastern Time.
Jeremy is junior majoring in News Journalism and Telecommunications and minoring in Political Science and American History. Though he is Byte’s Senior News Editor, he also writes reviews, features, and guest stars on podcasts.