If Nintendo’s Splatoon 2 Direct had a theme, it would be loose ends. This half hour briefing went over a number of various bonuses and features in the game. It discussed Inkopolis features, weapons, modes, new characters, and even the new incarnation of SplatNet.
Let’s start with the things you’ll see in and around Inkopolis. This is the new hub in Splatoon 2. The Galleria is where you will find all the shops. Flow, the sea slug, runs Headspace. That’s where you grab glasses and hats. Ye Old Cloth Shoppe, the clothing store, is run by Jelfonzo the jellyfish. Bisk the spider crab’s Shella Fresh has your shoe needs covered. Sheldon, a horseshoe crab, returns to man Ammo Knights. The weapon store now has a feature where you can skip through his dialogue describing weapons. Crusty Sean has a food truck, where you can pay to get a buff like extra experience or coins for the next battle. Murch, a sea urchin, takes over Spyke’s role in adjusting abilities on equipment.
There are a few other features you’ll find in Inkopolis. One is Squid Beats 2. This is a rhythm minigame where people can play along to the songs found in Splatoon 2. You can also stop by a mailbox to drop off designs, which could then appear in town or on maps during battles. People with amiibo can scan them in the hub, allowing them to save control settings, equipment loadouts, collect extra gear, and take photos. Control schemes for Handheld and TV mode are set separately, by the way. You can also stop by The Shoal to set up local or lan private battle and Salmon Run matches.
On to the weapons. Splatoon 2 briefly went over the ones we are familiar with, like Splattershots, Chargers, Sloshers, Blasters, Rollers, and Dualies, It also introduced some new items. The Clash Blaster is a gun with small shots that don’t have much range, but packs a punch. The Flingza Roller is a roller that changes shape depending on how you fling it, altering its assault. The Goo Tuber is a Splat Charger that can hold a longer charge. Dapple Dualies are lighter Dualies. Two of the Sub Weapons described were the homing Autobomb and the paint-mist-unleashing Toxic Mist. As for Specials, we saw the Tenta Missiles, Inkjet, and Splashdown we were familiar with, as well as the Ink Storm that causes an ink rain shower, a Bomb Launcher that sets off tons of bombs, Ink Armor that temporarily increases all allies’ defense and negates damage from one attack, and a Baller that is an explosive hamster ball that can scale walls.
A few new abilities for equipment were revealed. Since it’ll be easier this way, here’s a list. You can check other players’ gear on the map screen.
- Drop Roller: you can tilt the left stick during a Super Jump to roll when you land.
- Object Shredder: it increases the amount of damage you do to equipment opposing players leave on the field.
- Quick Respawn: it decreases the amount of time you have to wait before respawning.
- Respawn Punisher: it increases the amount of time an enemy you hit has to wait to respawn.
- Thermal Ink: if you hit someone with your main weapon, you can track them through walls.
Information on modes were offered. Turf War, where you try to take control of the largest area, is still a highlight. The Reef, Mussleforge Fortress, Inkblot Art Academy, Starfish Mainstage, Humpback Pump Track, Sturgeon Shipyard, Port Mackerel, and Moray Tower maps were shown. Ranked Battles will consist of Rainmaker, Splat Zones, and Tower Control maps. These will change every two hours. You will see your rank change after matches, perhaps even going up two ranks at once if you do well, and you will have a rank for each of the three modes. League Battles will let you play with a registered partner or four person team over a two hour period or until the stages change. You receive in-game medals for playing well. The single player mode will again pit players against Octarians, with Marie, from Callie and Marie fame, helping you out.
Salmon Run is the four player cooperative horde battle where you fight Salmonid enemies and collect their Power Eggs. These matches will only be open during specific times, with the in-video example showing one period lasting from 5pm PT on July 22 until 5pm PT on July 23, another from 5pm PT on July 24 until 5pm PT on July 25, and a third at 5pm PT on July 28 until 5pm PT on July 29. Exclusive rewards will be available here for participating and succeeding.
SplatNet 2 will be launching, along with the Nintendo Switch Online app, on July 21, 2017. This will allow people to see stage schedules, check gear, look at their stats, and arrange matches with friends. There will be a SplatNet Shop, where you can use your in-game coins to buy items and have them sent to Murch for you to pick up in-game. The Voice Chat feature will be present and will automatically split the people in chat into their in-game teams when a match starts.
Updates were also confirmed for Splatoon 2. Splatfests will run for the next two years, while additional content will be offered for the next year. With Splatfests, you’ll again pick a side and try to see who’s best, with new idols Marina and Pearl being the hostesses and performers. This time, you can even choose to play with your friends who are on the same side as you. As for new items, a Splat Brella weapon was shown. With this, a button can be held to block incoming enemy attacks either while walking or dashing. It also shoots ink. A Bubble Blower special was shown and allows you to blow some explosive ink bubbles onto the stage. In addition, more maps and gear will be provided in content updates.
Splatoon 2 will launch on July 21, 2017.