Advance Splatoon 3: We play the Nintendo Switch multiplayer game! our impressions
While the previous episode premiered the year the console launched, Splatoon 3 is about to land for this 2022-2023 school year. A few weeks after the release of the game, we were able to test various modes of this long-awaited Nintendo Switch title and we give you our first impressions.
- A mode only accessible for Octo Expansion
- New weapons to renew the multiplayer
- Salmon Run, still effective but with little news
Check out our Splatoon 3 preview video!
Although it is relatively recent, The Splatoon series quickly established itself as one of the essential franchises in the Nintendo catalog thanks to its unique proposal and its online multiplayer. Pou proves, two years after the original game was released, the Switch was immediately entitled to its own episode with Splatoon 2, just four months after the console launched. A choice that is explained in particular by the fact that few people played the first opus due to the disappointing sales of the Wii U. Five years later, the series returns with Splatoon 3, the back-to-school game for Nintendo that aims to make the title lives well in time. A few weeks before its release, we were able to test various modes and the least we can say is that we can’t wait to get our hands on the final product.
By the way, what is Splatoon?
Splatoon is a third-person shooter game developed by Nintendo in which the player embodies Inklings, half-human half-squid children. Primarily designed for multiplayer, players compete on maps and shoot each other with paint strokes. To win a game, the goal is to cover a larger area than the opposing team with your colors. If the game offers different types of weapons, they all recharge when the player turns into a squid to dive into the ground and fill their ink gauge.
A mode only accessible for Octo Expansion
During our gaming session, we were able to try out the three main modes of Splatoon 3, namely the campaign, multiplayer showdown, and the co-op mode called Salmon Run. So we start with The Return of the Mammals, name given to the title’s solo adventure, in which we embody the character of Number 3 who joins the Swordfish squad to face the Octarian army. We then find ourselves in Alterna, a kind of ice floe that acts as an axis and is invaded by the hairy mush, a surface covered with hair that must be overcome to advance in the adventure. To achieve this, we collect salmon eggs in each level that are used to allow the Salmioches, a species of small fish that accompany you, to destroy this material to unlock new access.
From what we were able to experience during our session, each level offers different activities that allow you to familiarize yourself with the mechanics and weapons of the game, if most of them are above all action phases in which you have to fight all the enemies to win. , some levels rely more on thinking to complete them. And then some courses require you to play with a certain weapon, allowing you to get familiar with it. So it looks like the campaign has a welcome variety of levels for new players. So, broadly speaking, Splatoon 3’s single player mode is very reminiscent of Splatoon 2’s Octo Expansion, but more accessible.. It remains to be seen what happens as we proceed.
New weapons to renew the multiplayer
Like its predecessors, the heart of Splatoon 3 remains above all its multiplayer mode, in particular these online clashes. Among the eight new maps of this third opus, we were able to test two, namely the Canyon aux Colonnes and the Balibot Suburb. As usual, the latter offer effective level design that encourages players to meet up often, leading to constant clashes. Beyond that, this episode introduces new moves that may seem trivial to newcomers, but could prove formidable in expert hands. First of all, we discovered the Vrille Squid which allows you to jump in squid form when you are on the ground to propel yourself in the direction of the downpour and thus protect yourself from enemy fire. Then the Squid Breaker allows you to charge your jump into a wall when in squid form to launch yourself high into the air. Subtle movements therefore, but which can be important for the most relentless Splatoon players.
These multiplayer games were also an opportunity to try the two new weapons introduced during the Splatoon Direct, namely the Bow (named Piercer) and the Katana (named Shard). As for the former, the latter seems to have a very special place in this episode as he appears on the title cover. Joystick in hand, the bow allows you to shoot horizontally on the ground and vertically when you jump it. Regardless of your position, the Piercer fires three projectiles at once and this shot can be charged up to create three charges that explode after a few seconds. A weapon with a very particular operation, therefore, but pleasant to carry in the hand. As for the katana, things are less obvious. Initially, the Éclatana projects waves of paints in front of him and can be charged up for a more powerful attack, accompanied by a short push forward. Unfortunately, the latter does both melee and ranged damage and its charge system isn’t as easy to learn. It remains to be seen what happens in the long term, but it is clear that this katana requires some time to adapt.
Salmon Run, still effective but with little news
Finally, the last mode we could get our hands on is none other than Salmon Run, which allows four players to play cooperatively. As a reminder, the objective of these games is to survive against legions of salmonoids, while reaching the end of Salmonoboss, which drops golden eggs once defeated that must be returned in a basket to access the next wave. And since each player can only carry one egg at a time and several are needed to proceed to the next stage, this requires all participants to be active during the mission. Finally, to add a unique side to each attempt, weapons are randomly distributed with each new wave. A terribly effective mode in its simplicity as each game is made up of three waves, which makes the game sessions short but intense. For all these reasons, Salmon Run was acclaimed from its first appearance in Splatoon 2.
In Splatoon 3, Salmon Run has some new features, though not many. On the one hand, the title incorporates new Salmonoboss such as the Couverclard or the Big Ball, but also Salmonarques, even more powerful, new enemies such as the Salmotori. Another nicety, it is now possible to throw the golden eggs so that they reach the basket or send it to an ally to drop it on you. Other than that, It must be recognized that Salmon Run is not the game mode that has been the subject of the greatest number of novelties, although its basic principle is still devilishly effective. Enough to disappoint the most hardcore Splatoon fans.
Splatoon 3 is a continuation of Splatoon 2 by adding some new features that will please the fans. After the success of the Octo Expansion, this episode’s single player mode was heavily inspired by it to offer a more accessible yet smart way to learn the basics of the game. On the multiplayer side, the latter is still as effective as ever and brings some niceties like new weapons and moves. Same observation for Salmon Run, except the latter’s lack of any major news could still disappoint some. Thus, Splatoon 3 promises to be the culmination of the Splatoon formula by offering the most complete experience possible, without revolutionizing it. In any case, you can still participate in the free online trial of the Splatfest World Premiere that will take place this Saturday, August 27 between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., the demo is now available in the eShop
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