Here at Lazygamer HQ, there’s rarely a day that goes by without mention of Splatoon [Ed’s note: 97.9% of the time, it’s by Alessandro] . The inky shooter from Nintendo is a surprisingly deep, online focused title that takes itself more seriously than some modern warfare ones out there, and it’s easy to see why Wii U owners are clamouring for a chance to play. A chance that you’ll get this weekend with a limited open beta.
During a half hour-long Direct yesterday, Nintendo detailed the intricacies of their squid-based shooter – which mainly involved a lot of information we already knew about. As an inkling, you can fire weapons to spread brightly coloured ink, which you can then swim through (and defy gravity) in your squid form. Multiplayer matches use territory covered in your team’s ink to determine victors – which puts a more tactical spin on running and gunning.
Splatoon’s weaponry is also far deeper than any previous news had led on. You have three primary weapon brackets to choose from: Shooter, Charger and Roller. A shooter is your traditional weapon, with different variations hopping between assault rifle and submachine gun principles in terms of range and damage. Chargers are your sniper-type ink blasters, with variations in terms of scopes, charge time and range. Rollers, on the other hand, are the more interesting weapons. They allow you to spread ink fast, while dealing massive melee damage and sometimes deflecting incoming fire. They too come in a handful of different variations.
That’s just one part of your loadout though, which will comprise of a secondary weapon, a special weapon, and then gear. Gear is more than cosmetic though, with different pieces bestowing different abilities to your inkling. The more you play with a piece of gear, the better it will get too – and you can even re-roll attributes at a special merchant in the game’s hub world. It’s an incredibly deep system that will determine you role in a match, and one that will get you playing for the chance of better, greater gear in the future.
Nintendo also revealed plans to continually support the game post-launch, with various updates for gear, match modes and more trickling out throughout the year. The biggest content explosion comes in August, with new gear and private, custom matching joining the fray. There will also be regular weekend events, or Splatfests, that affect a global, faction styled war – which will earn you in-game currency, special items and more. It’s all, predictably, communicated through a pop teen squid band in-game. Because of course it is.
And if you’ve been dying for the chance yo get your hands on the shooter early (like me and Geoff and everyone else who owns a Wii U), then you’re in luck. A Splatoon Testfire beta is set for this weekend, and you can download the small demo off the e-Shop right now. You’ll only be able to play at three specific times tomorrow though, namely (with local times in the brackets):
May 8 from 8:00 – 9:00 PM PT (May 9 from 5:00 – 6:00 AM)
May 9 from 4:00 – 5:00 AM PT (May 9 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM)
May 9 from Noon to 1 PM PT (May 9 from 9:00 – 10:00 PM)
If you manage to download and play during these times, you’ll also receive a 10% discount off the digital copy of the game, which launches on May 29th. I pretty much know what I’m going to be doing tomorrow then – inking the hell out of Geoff…which sounds far dirtier than it actually is.
Last Updated: May 8, 2015