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 has been confirmed for the 21st July 2017 by Nintendo on its official Twitter page, building on the previously confirmed Summer 2017 marker, which was fairly broad. For anyone not up on their solstices, that initially put it anywhere between the 21st June and the 22nd September 2017, but now that Nintendo has confirmed the release, it back up our prediction for July, just in time for the school summer holidays.
The Splatoon 2 Global Testfire
With the release date now confirmed, the gaming experience you got to sample during the March free Splatoon 2 Global Testfire demo event is closer than you may have thought. The Testfire began for gamers in the UK on the 24th March 2017 at 7pm GMT, which means you were able to try out the 4-vs-4 online Turf War action from the game. You needed a Nintendo Switch and a broadband internet connection to get in on the fun and the free demo of the game was available to download ahead of the event from the Nintendo eShop from your console.
There were a few caveats to be aware of though, as the three day event wasn’t an always-on experience, like we’re used to with the likes of the recent Ghost Recon Wildlands Open Beta. Instead, there were six sessions over the weekend, each a little under an hour long with the first 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. You can see more of the gameplay in action in the video below and there are plenty more to check out here.
Splatoon 2 gameplay video:
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. You can see some of the latest graphics stills, fan art and updates on the game on Twitter.
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 vocal as we get closer to the July 2017 release date.