Splatoon 2 was one of the games that Nintendo revealed during its January Nintendo Switch Presentation, unveiling a trailer and giving some fans and press the chance to try the game out.
The sequel to the popular Wii U multiplayer shooter is still a few months off, but it’s one of our most anticipated Switch games – here’s everything we know so far about the game, including its release date, price, and gameplay features.
When is the Splatoon 2 release date?
Thanks to an April Nintendo Direct presentation, we now know that the Splatoon 2 release date on Switch is 21 July.
However, there’s a chance to try the game out early if you already own a Switch, as there’ll be a preview SplatFest event on 15 July.
The event will run from 5pm BST/12pm EST until 9pm BST/4pm EST, and will force players to fight it out over a pressing issue: cake or ice cream?
How much will Splatoon 2 cost in the UK?
Splatoon 2 UK price: £59.99/$59.99
Like other major Switch games, we expect Splatoon 2 to have an RRP of £59.99/$59.99, and indeed that’s the price at which retailers began offering pre-orders.
From what we’ve seen so far, anyone who’s played the first Splatoon should find the sequel very familiar. For the uninitiated, it’s an online multiplayer arena shooter, but instead of shooting bullets, you shoot coloured ink.
You use this to both attack enemies and cover the walls and floor, giving you space to swim through as a squid (you’re an ‘inkling’, and can transform into a squid at will), and the winning team is the one that covers the most of the map.
Beyond the main Turf War game mode, there’ll also be three new rotating Ranked Battle modes: Splat Zones, where teams battle for control points; Tower Control, which features a tower that teams have to move towards their opponents’ base; and Rainmaker, which is essentially capture the flag.
There will also be local multiplayer for those who don’t want to play online, and as with the first game there’s a single-player campaign called Hero Mode to help players get the hang of the move set – this was actually one of the best parts of the first game, so we have high hopes for its return.
The trailer for the single-player mode shows off a similar setup to the original, with floating platform stages broken up by enemies and puzzles, though now the stages look bigger and more complex, there are a few new enemy types, and there are hints at the ongoing plot, driven by the split of Squid Sisters Callie and Marie.
Up to eight Switch systems will be able to connect over wireless or LAN for lag-free multiplayer, in addition to a Private Battle Spectator View to allow spectators to watch the game from multiple angles.
For those who want to play online, Splatoon 2 will be the first game to take advantage of the Switch smartphone app, which will be used to track your stats and gear, and use online voice chat within your team.
There’s also a selection of weapons and outfits to unlock, and that’s where we’re expecting the biggest additions from the first game, with plenty of new unlockables – and no doubt some new maps to play on too.
Outfit items will all come with unique abilities attached – rather than just the stat tweaks from the first game – and are sold at a selection of new stores. There’s also a dedicated shop for customising the abilities attached to each clothing item, so you don’t have to compromise your fresh looks to get the skills you want.
The game will also be compatible with existing Splatoon Amiibo figures, along with three new Amiibo figures: Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy and Inkling Squid. Each will remember the player’s favourite weapons, gear, outfits and option settings, and can also store screenshots.
Oh, and the first game’s soundtrack is absolutely brilliant, and Splatoon 2 will not only feature new tracks, it’ll include a whole mini rhythm game to make the most of the music.
For the best look at the gameplay yet check out the 6 July Nintendo Direct dedicated entirely to Splatoon 2:
During the April Nintendo Direct, a new co-op mode called Salmon Run was announced.
This is a four-player co-op mode where players team up and for a wave-based horde mode against the new Salmonid enemies, with the goal of collecting Power Eggs, which it looks like you can then exchange for new gear.
There are a variety of different Salmonid enemies to fight, and when players die, their teammates can revive them with ink. Find out more in the clip from the Nintendo Direct presentation:
Nintendo has announced extensive free DLC plans for Splatoon 2. It has confirmed that there will be a year of free updates for the game, including new weapons, maps, and outfits.
Beyond that, there will be a total of two years’ support for the popular SplatFest events, which pit the player base against themselves to answer vital questions like ‘cats or dogs?’