This game is looking great, and most of the Nintendo world are looking forward to it. I am too, as it was one of the games I featured in the latest What I'm Waiting For posts. The Nintendo Direct today was focused solely on the game. It was mostly a recap of what has already been shown off. New things were within the Direct, most of which were at the end. Let's get into it.
First off, the game is about shooting the ground with ink. The ink you spray will allow you to cover ground faster in squid form. As a squid, you cannot fire weapons. As a humanoid, you move slower. Firing weapons cost ink, which you recharge by moving through your own ink as a squid. Character customisation for skin and eyes is available. Hair changes colour depending on the ink your team is using. The Gamepad is used as the main controller, and the gyroscope allows for quick movements in a direction.
Five levels will be in the game at launch. These are Urchin Underpass, Saltspray Rig, Blackbelly Skatepark, Walleye Warehouse, and Arowana Mall. The hub allows you to access a range of shops for gear and weapons, the singleplayer and multiplayer modes, an arcade unit which you can use while waiting for a matchup to take place, and various other inklings from other people, either from Miiverse or those you encounter in battle.
There are three main weapon types, and a lot of different sub weapons and special weapons. The main weapon types are Charger, Shooter, and Roller. Each have different ways to play. The Shooter type is a more rapid fire group. The Roller type allows ground to be covered more easily. The Charger type allows larger distances to be covered. Sub weapons use a lot more ink but have various advantages. Special weapons are charged up by shooting ink, which fills a bar. When that bar is full, you can launch the special. These special weapons have a great impact on the field, whether shielding you from harm or covering massive amounts of ground. Free content updates will increase the number of levels and gear available. Major updates will add new modes.
And talking of modes, the normal mode is called Turf War. All matches are played four versus four, no matter what mode. In Turf War, you work as a team to cover the ground in as much of your coloured ink as possible. The other team will be doing the same thing. At the end of a three minute round, the ink is tallied up as a percentage for each team, and whichever team has he higher percentage wins. Each individual player is also awarded points, which are used to buy new gear and weapons.
Ranked Battles cannot be accessed until you reach level 10. As such, there will be a slight delay on when they will be available. These are slightly different in the fact you earn grades depending on how well you do in battle, which in turn affects matchmaking ability. Teams will be made up of similarly ranked people, so the matches will be fair. Modes for Ranked Battles include Splat Zones, where you are using your ink to cover a specified area and defend it until your timer runs out. Coming soon will be Tower Control, where you get onto a tower platform and defend it as it makes its way to the opposing base, and Rainmaker, which is being kept quiet for now.
Battle Dojo is a two player local mode, where it is a competition to pop the most balloons. Get hit by your opponent, and you lose points. The rounds are five minutes in length, and in the last minute, points are doubled.
Splatfests are special events. They allow you to earn points for a side, and earn special rewards for doing so. The first one is to be on 27th June. The special events ask you a question of 'which do you like better?' By answering, you get put into that group. Earning points in matches adds to that group's total.
A quick summary of more new things. Special inkling Mii Costumes will be available soon for Super Smash Bros. 4 WiiU/3DS. Splatoon Cover Plates will also be available for New 3DS models. Splatoon amiibo get you twenty missions to play on. Inkling Girl missions focus on the charger weapons. Inkling Boy focuses on the roller weapons. And Squid is perhaps the more interesting one. Controlling a special weapon called the kraken, you have limited ink supply. Should be a good challenge.
Lastly, a demo has been announced. It's a special demo that only allows play at certain times. Multiplayer focused, it allows you to play Turf War with others, and I expect using only basic equipment. The times for playing are Saturday [9th] 04:00-05:00, 12:00-13:00, and 20:00-21:00. The system is in place, I assume, so people don't spend all day playing, and allows Nintendo to gauge interest, as well as test the servers. By playing the demo, ten percent will be knocked off the price on the eShop version of the full game.
With this Direct, Nintendo have shown themselves committed to the game, and by taking things at a slow pace, while not the best idea to some, allows for things to be done right. Such as teams, or clans, being implemented in the first major update in August. As such, I look forward to the full game in confidence, and will be playing the demo when I can, as soon as I can.