If you’re loving your Nintendo Switch as much as we are, then you’ve probably got your eye on the upcoming games that have been confirmed, and one of the biggest for the summer 2017 release window is the paint speckled genius of Splatoon 2. With the huge success of the opening game, which introduced a very new kind of multiplayer shooter, the sequel should be another fan favourite.
The challenge it has is doing something new to make the game worth getting for anyone that already has Splatoon. However, from the sound of things it may just be new stages, weapons and fashions that we’re getting in the sequel, so they’re really going to need to be impressive to make the transition from the Wii U original to the Nintendo Switch follow-up.
The official release date for Splatoon 2 hasn’t been announced as of yet by Nintendo, but it has been confirmed for Summer 2017, so it’s at least got a marker, even if it is quite a broad one. For anyone not up on their solstices, that puts it anywhere between the 21st June and the 22nd September 2017, but if we were pressed, we’d probably have to say some time in July is the most likely release window.
The Splatoon 2 Global Testfire
While the release date is still a little uncertain, the good news is that you’ll be able to play the game for the first time as early as next week with the free Splatoon 2 Global Testfire demo event. It’s scheduled to start for gamers in the UK on the 24th March 2017 at 7pm GMT, which means you’ll be able to try out the 4-vs-4 online Turf War action from the game. You’ll need a Nintendo Switch and a broadband internet connection to get in on the fun and you can download the free demo of the game now from the Nintendo eShop from your console.
There are a few caveats to be aware of though, as the three day even isn’t going to be an always-on experience, like we’re used to with the likes of the recent Ghost Recon Wildlands Open Beta. Instead, there will be six sessions over the weekend, each a little under an hour long with the first taking place at 7pm on the 24th March 2017, followed by 3am, 11am and 7pm on the 25th and 4am and 12pm on the 26th.
Splatoon 2 trailer:
The third person shooter will follow the general mechanics and gameplay features that were introduced in Splatoon. The majority of the gaming takes place in multiplayer arenas as you join a team of four and battle it out with another team to splat as much of the surface area as possible with your paint. The team with the most coverage wins the game.
There are lots of different weapons to choose from, along with a variety of special moves that you can do when you’ve charged up enough power to unleash them. The big N has confirmed that there will be a host of new weapons to choose from, including the two-handed Splat Dualies, which double up your shooting with paint pistols in each hand, which you can see in the launch trailer below.
We should get to see this, along with some of the new arenas, fashion and fanfare in the the Splatoon 2 Global Test Fire next week. We’re also looking forward to getting our mitts on the massive double blaster in the image above, as well as the curling bombs and auto-targeting for some of the new weapons, which you can see in the trailer.
You can also check out some of the new gameplay features with the sneak peaks in the trailer above, including having much more interaction with the environment than we’ve seen before. You still get to paint and swim up walls and under fences, but there will also be ink jets criss-crossing the arenas airways, which you’ll be able to travel across, and we’re pretty sure we spotted some wall climbing hand grips on one of the stages.
Inklings will also have a few more tricks up their sleeves with commando rolls, a hockey puck skate paint move and even paint jet packs that look like they were inspired by Super Mario Sunshine. It also looks as thought they might get another mini one-player adventure fighting another Octarian attack, as they did in the opening game.
The biggest development, though, is the full local multi-player 4-vs-4 battles to add to the existing online gaming fun. What this means is that you’ll be able to have your own games with friends either with multiple consoles or multiple controllers, instead of just competing against randoms online. This is a solid step up from the Battle Dojo balloon popping antics of the previous game in the series.
In addition to the local multi-player, there will also be support for voice chat using Nintendo’s new smart device app. The Switch will have a free, limited version of the app available this summer, so it should coincide with the release date for Splatoon 2. It’s a bit of an unknown entity at the moment, so it’ll be interesting to see how it works for the third person shooter/roller battle fest.
The Nintendo Switch may not be the most powerful console on the block, and it’ll have even more of a gulf when Microsoft’s Project Scorpio arrives, but that doesn’t stop it from delivering beautiful looking games, which is again the case here. Bright, dynamic, fast-paced and crisper than a wafer thin mint, it’s got everything that it needs to impress visually, while also providing a step-up on t`he original games sharp vibrancy.
We were a little cagey about the prospect of Splatoon 2, because it really didn’t sound like there was going to be all that much new being added to the game. Instead it felt a bit like a similar port up from the Wii U that we’re seeing with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, however, if you take some time to look at the gameplay elements featured in the trailer above you can see that there’s a lot more to it than Nintendo are letting on. We’re not sure why they’re not shouting more about all the cool new moves, but we’re definitely expecting them to be a bit more vociferous as we get closer to the summer 2017 release date.