Splatoon 2 Direct Impressions
Splatoon was a new IP for the Wii U that managed to sell over four million units and have an over thirty percent attach rate. That is a crazy number for Nintendo’s first dip into the competitive online shooter genre. Unlike with Mario Kart, Nintendo decided to give Splatoon a proper sequel to the game for their new system. Splatoon 2 releases on July 21st and yesterday Nintendo released a Direct to show us some of the new features and an overview of what is included in the game. Like our normal impression articles, I will give you the highlights and then thoughts about the game.
- Showed off the new hub world Inkopolis Square
- The Galleria offers the most popular gear and freshest weapons for players to purchase
- A few new main weapon types were shown (Clash Blaster, Flingza Roller, Dapple Dualies, and Goo Tuber)
- Two new subweapons Autobomb which tracks your enemies and Toxic Mist that poisons them
- The special weapons are all new to Splatoon 2
- Highlights were Ink armor that protects you and teammates from attack and Baller, which lets players roll up wall in an explosive hamster ball
- New gear abilities and the chance to customise
- Turf War, Tower Control, Splat Zones, and Rainmaker battle modes make another appearance
- Maps and battle type rotate every two hours instead of four
- League Battle is new and allows you to team up with friends
- Showed boss Salmon for the new horde mode Salmon Run
- Launch of Nintendo Switch Online app will coincide with the release of Splatoon 2
- SplatNet 2 is the game specific channel for Splatoon
- Gives you current multiplayer maps and modes, info on your last fifty battles, and order gear from the app with in game currency
- Single player makes another appearance as you fight against Octerians in various challenges
- The Squid Girls are no longer the main pop stars for the game. They have been replaced with Marina and Pearl as members of Off The Hook
- Updates with new gear, stages, and weapons will be coming for over the next year
- A special Splatfest will take place on July 15th: Cake or Ice Cream
Going into this direct, I felt that I didn’t have a lot of information about what was new in Splatoon 2. I had heard that there was a new horde mode and it would be the first game to use the Nintendo Online app, but that was about it. Splatoon 2 was a game that I was already looking forward to playing so I wasn’t as eager to get all the details. After this direct, I feel very informed and looking forward to July 21st even more.
The overall tone for the direct was both general information and what is new. This allowed people who might not of experienced Splatoon to know a little more about the game by taking the time to explaining all the gear, weapons, stages, and game modes. Sprinkled into this information was all new things that are coming to this game that are different from the original and I feel that it is going to make this game even better.
They clearly went with if it isn’t broke don’t fix it approach. I don’t feel that most of the additions are something that is going to break the Splatoon formula, but it improves it enough to make it a worth sequel. New weapons and gear were expected, but the ability to pick which abilities to add rather than the randomized ones in Splatoon is a welcome addition. This gives players the chance to build the exact attributes for the gear you want to wear. I also like some of the new gear abilities that they added to show enemies after they hide behind walls or to roll out of a super jump. This will just add more depth to an important element to the game.
While not the major focus of the game, I’m excited for the single player mode one again. From the brief snippets we got to see, it seems that they are taking the ideas from the first game further and going to provide a few interesting challenges.
We also got our first look at Nintendo’s Online smartphone application for the Switch. It looks like it will have different lobbies for the various games that utilize the app. The SplatNet 2 app has some interesting features showing off recent battle stats, gear and upcoming maps. I’m still taking a wait and see approach when it comes to this service. Nintendo and online haven’t worked the best in the past and while they have improved greatly recently, I still hold a deep seeded apprehension.
The only negative I had was that they didn’t have a new mode for ranked battles. While I like the three ones they had from the original game, I was just hoping for something new. Maybe that will come in an update later on in the lifecycle of the game.
Despite that, from what I have seen in this direct, it seems that Splatoon will be a proper sequel to the original game. With new weapons and gear, new maps, and adjustments that just looks to make a better experience top to bottom. Plus, they will continue to update the game for at least a year after launch. Giving people a reason to keep coming back. I can’t wait for July 21st to get a chance to play this game anytime I want.