Nintendo revealed Splatoon 3 during today’s Direct, and while the game won’t be released until 2022, the first trailer gave some insight into how the game will work.
If you don’t want to rewatch the trailer and dissect it endlessly, here is what you might have missed during the reveal, starting with potential gameplay changes or additions.
New weapons, moves, and other content have been confirmed, with a crab-like machine being one of several potential items shown briefly in the reveal trailer. The other two seem to be new or slightly redesigned specials that you will be able to unleash on the enemy team.
The design of several weapons have also been changed, though they could also just be new variants to add a little flair to returning weapons for the new game. The bow weapon shown off in the trailer is confirmed to be one of several new weapons.
As for general gameplay changes, players appear to drop into the map via cannon-style devices now and can pick between several landing points. This should allow for quicker reactions to enemy movement because players no longer need to spawn in a centralized area and then make their move.
The biggest change being pointed out is one instance that shows an Inkling switching between two primary weapons seamlessly. Upon closer inspection, however, it looks more like the player had just launched one of the new special weapons and was reverting back to their normal weapon after using it.
That doesn’t mean a new weapon system won’t make its way into Splatoon 3, but it does make it look slightly less likely since it wasn’t shown in the trailer.
Moving to the story, from the start of the trailer, you can tell that the game will have a somewhat different narrative style compared to the previous two Splatoon titles.
The character customization looks like it is being done as part of an intro rather than a simple menu once you first startup the game, which, along with how the opening portion’s gameplay and camera movement look, point to a new approach to the story for Splatoon 3.
The “little buddy” you see getting customized in the trailer is a small Salmonid, otherwise known as a species of fish creatures that act as the main antagonist for Splatoon 2’s Salmon Run game mode. This inclusion could mean that Inklings, Octolings, and Salmonids are on better terms now compared to the timeline of the previous games.
Nintendo also confirmed some elements of the story, including that a chaotic event will force players into the “sun scorched Splatlands,” the area shown at the beginning of the trailer. It is unclear what purpose this area will serve, but based on the lore of Splatoon, we might be delving into what happened to the world’s human population.
According to the game and other Splatoon media, humans in the Splatoon universe are an extinct species and have been for more than 12,000 years. This was brought on by rising sea levels following a nuclear missile detonating on Antarctica and melting its ice cap.
You can clearly see the Eiffel Tower turned upside down and damaged in the trailer, but this could just be for scenery and not play into a potential post-apocalyptic story.
Players will also no longer be walking around Inkopolis, but rather a new city called Splatsville, otherwise known as the “City of Chaos.” We only know that the new hub is “inhabited by battle-hardened Inklings and Octolings,” showing that something has drastically changed the game’s world and forced a change in scenery for more than just the player.
Many fans are already threorizing that the final new Splatoon 2 event from July 2019, Final Fest: Splatocalypse is the cause of this, as players were tasked with battling on teams representing Chaos and Order, with Chaos winning 3-0.
If that did indeed influence the game in any way, the development timeline matches up with Splatoon 3’s release window.
A lot of this information is still heavily based on speculation and a few additional comments made by Nintendo, so take it lightly until we get more details about Splatoon 3 throughout the year as we get closer to its 2022 release.