The final game during the Nintendo Direct that took place on February 17 was a game that few saw coming… Splatoon 3. A number of interesting details and tidbits were included in the reveal trailer, though the release date remains vague.
All we know is it’s coming in 2022 and that it’s the next installment in the Splatoon series. It’s Splatoon 3, not an add-on or DLC release for Splatoon 2.
Splatoon 3 Announced For 2022
Five years after the release of Splatoon 2 back in July 2017, Splatoon fans will be able to enjoy a brand new Splatoon game aptly titled Splatoon 3. An exact release date for Splatoon 3 has yet to be revealed, though we do know the game is coming sometime in 2022.
The length of time between releases was relatively short for Splatoon and Splatoon 2, with Splatoon hitting the Wii U in 2015 and Splatoon 2 coming to Nintendo Switch in 2017. The wait for Splatoon 3 has been much longer.
We’ve known support for Splatoon 2 has been slowly winding down when it comes to things like in-game Splatfests, and it’s honestly surprising we haven’t seen a Splatoon 3 confirmation prior to today.
Adding that it's interesting to think what Splatoon 3's setting could have looked like based on the outcome of the last Splatfest, but we won't dig too deep into that here. It's all chaos at this point.
We imagine additional info on what Splatoon 3’s gameplay will look like will be shared sometime later this year. This information could be along the lines of additional explanation and clarity regarding what was shown in the announcement trailer for things like customization, setting, and gameplay features. Of course, this is merely speculation on our part.
As for what exactly was shown today, the trailer opens with the note that this isn’t official gameplay footage you’re seeing. After this, we see an Inkling sitting alone in a desert setting with a bow weapon.
The weapon appears to be in more of a base form. It’s possible you’ll be able to upgrade this weapon as you progress, similar to Splatoon 2's weapon upgrades. Also like Splatoon 2, it looks like you can customize various aspects of your Inkling’s appearance from clothing to hair.
You can also customize the appearance of the Smallfry Salmonid that pals around with you and is referred to in the trailer as “Little Buddy”. For reference, we’ve seen these Salmonid before in the Splatoon 2 co-op mode Salmon Run. It’s tempting to wonder whether this might tease more of an expanded multiplayer aspect to Splatoon 3.
We were definitely getting an open-world Splatoon sort of vibe, especially when we cut to the train that transports the Inkling into a large city area. Will you be able to travel to different areas by train in Splatoon 3? Will there be an expanded single-player element to the game?
These are interesting concepts to consider, especially when you think back to the Octo Expansion for Splatoon 2 which introduced the Deepsea Metro.
In the description for the official Splatoon 3 trailer, the following information is provided:
"Splatoon 3 arrives on Nintendo Switch in 2022! In the wake of chaos, enter the sun scorched Splatlands and the new city, Splatsville, inhabited by battle-hardened Inklings and Octolings. New weapons, moves, and more await, so be sure to keep an eye out for updates in the future."
The description reveals the name of the desert area we see at the start of the trailer, Splatlands, and the city that's shown towards the end, Splatsville.
Overall, while there’s a lot to speculate over in the Splatoon 3 trailer, there also isn’t a lot of specific information or clarity about what’s shown — which is smart as we're still a year away from the game's release.
We’re curious to hear your thoughts, theories, and speculation over the Splatoon 3 trailer shown during the latest Nintendo Direct.