My adoration for Splatoon 2 producer Hisashi Nogami’s quirky antics at the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 set aside, I can’t contain my excitement at the chance to unleash ink splatter hell once again in the sequel.
It was my first stop at the Nintendo Switch UK Premiere, topping the leaderboards as I rallied our team to victory despite weary eyes. Since then, details have continued to trickle out and I wanted to wrap up everything that shows that the sequel looks set to top Splatoon in every way.
1. Inkling Culture Finds A New Home In Inkopolis Square
Inkopolis Plaza is old news, with Inkpolis Square becoming the new central hub where the freshest young Inklings hang out. Merely two subway stations away from Splatoon‘s Inkopolis Plaza, many new businesses have flocked to the area in the two years that have passed since the events that we witnessed in the Wii U exclusive.
With a trendy café, food truck, hat store, weapon store, arcade, and more all spied in presentations and screenshots, this certainly looks like an area that will be bustling with far more activity compared to Inkopolis Plaza.
2. New Weapons And Tweaks To Old Favourites
Nintendo has confirmed that all previous weapon types seen in Splatoon will make a return in the sequel, which includes the Splatling and Slosher weapons that arrived later on as post-launch content. But, it is what’s new that excites most.
We have only learnt about the new dual-wielding Splat Dualies at this point in time, with these rapid-fire weapons feeling similar to the Aerospray MG in how quickly they splurge ink in the targeted direction. However, those that choose to equip can also put to use a new Dodge Roll move that has been introduced in the sequel. This can not only help you quickly leap away from harm, but also appears to momentarily fine-tune your Inkling’s aim to successfully retaliate.
Charger weapons – such as the E-Liter 3K Scope – have also been updated with a new ability. Inklings can now store their charge shot for a short time when entering squid form, which can be fired instantly when you return to Inkling form.
We also know that old favourites like the Splat Roller and Splat Charger have “been remixed to include new gameplay mechanics and brand-new special weapons,” but more on that later.
3. New Stages To Splatter Around In
What fun would new weapons be, if we didn’t have equally fresh battles stages to splatter around in? We only have official details on one new stage so far, called The Reef. This is a popular area for Inklings to hang out in when it isn’t being used for Turf War, being home to some of the most popular boutique shops in the city. It’s located a few blocks from Inkopolis Square, so you better get your squid on.
Stage presentations at the Nintendo Switch Experience 2017 in Japan shared gameplay footage that let us to see other stages based in a gym and at a concert venue, but we don’t know any more than that for now.
4. Brand-New Special Weapons
As before, splatting ink everywhere will steadily fill your Special Gauge. Once full, players can then activate their Special Weapon, and Nintendo has confirmed that all Special Weapons that appear in Splatoon 2 will be brand new. We know several of these already, so let’s help keep you up to speed.
First up is the Inkjet which, once activated, will see the player temporarily hover in the air. While this leaves the player exposed, they are armed with a powerful ink blob launcher that can be used to target enemies below. Once it runs out, the Inkjet explodes and the user is returned to the location where they activated it.
Next is the String Ray, which fires a ray of pressurised ink that is powerful enough to not only travel long distances but can shoot through walls. It is very difficult to redirect the ray once activated, but it will splat any enemy players that it comes into contact with.
Then there is the Tenta Missiles which can be targeted at as many opponents in view, and, once fired, will fire four homing missiles at each target. These can be dodged by enemy players, but will mean that they need to keep an eye overhead at all times.
The last special weapon that we have official details on is called Splashdown. When activated, it will make an Inkling leap into the air and then strike the ground to create an explosion of ink around them. This can be used after activating a Super Jump, creating an ink explosion upon landing that can help players support any teammates in trouble.
Nintendo has also teased two Special Weapons beyond this: a launcher that can quickly fire a string of Splat Bombs, and a weapon that, once activated, will summon a large cloud that rains ink on the stage in a specific area.
5. New Subweapons That Add Mischief
If the brand new Special Weapons weren’t enough to make you smile, look no further than the new subweapons that you can equip. Nintendo has so far revealed the Curling Bomb, a mischievous subweapon that, once deployed, will slide across the ground and bounce off walls before exploding. Inklings apparently love curling as a sport, which is where this draws its inspiration. We can’t wait to see what other subweapons the team has created!
6. Gyro Controls Are Better Than Ever
Speak to any Splatoon fan, and they will say that the only way to play is with gyro controls. The ease that these allow in aiming mean that players can soon start splatting to their heart’s content, and, with the superior motion technology housed in the Joy-Con controllers and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, this makes for a far better experience in comparison to the Wii U GamePad. If you weren’t a believer before, Splatoon 2 promises to make you one.
7. Ink Warfare On The Go
The Inkling’s neon-infused ink really pops on the Nintendo Switch 6.2-inch, multi-touch capacitive touch screen. It really looks incredible… or ink-redible, to use the old pun. The bright orange and purple ink in the matches that I played made me think about Cadbury’s Double Deckers. But, maybe I was just hungry at the time…
It is the chance to link up to eight systems together to play anywhere that excites us most, particularly as those numbers perfectly suit the four-on-four Turf War battles that will seemingly remain the game’s central mode.
Whether unleashing ink in single-player content, teaming up with friends locally to challenge any opposition, or taking on rival teams at eSport tournaments as suggested in the reveal trailer, it is the new ways that Splatoon 2 will allow us to interact with other Inklings that we are looking forward to seeing.
8. Post-Launch Content To Switch Things Up
As with Splatoon on Wii U, Nintendo has promised that new content will be added to Splatoon 2 post-launch, meaning that the community will have more weapons, gear, stages and perhaps even modes to play around with. This was a great success for keeping players engaged on Wii U, and we’re glad to hear that the sequel is being approached in the same way.
Splatoon 2 will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch in Summer 2017.