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Splatoon 3 Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay - What We Know So Far

The Splatoon series launched in 2015 on the Nintendo Wii U. The games star the Inklings, evolved humanoid squids who battle in large-scale multiplayer matches with all kinds of ridiculous ink-spraying weapons. Using color-coordinated inks and the ability to change into a more classically squid-like form, the Inklings can traverse these arenas and outsmart one another. The highly-addictive gameplay of the first two games has charmed players and garnered the series a high level of popularity. Even the best-selling Animal Crossing: New Horizons included an easter egg referencing the Splatoon series.

It was starting to look like Splatoon 3 might never arrive. Luckily for the fans, Nintendo has proven that theory wrong.

During the Feb. 17 Nintendo Direct presentation, it was announced that the Splatoon series is back for a third helping of inky fun. With it's very first announcement trailer, Nintendo has already given fans of the Splatoon series plenty of things to be excited about. Here is what is known so far about Splatoon 3.

What is the release date of Splatoon 3?

The Nintendo Direct presentation did not reveal a firm release date for Splatoon 3, but it has been confirmed that the game will not be released in 2021. The very end of the game's announcement trailer told fans that Splatoon 3 will be splashing onto the Nintendo Switch at some point in 2022. This doesn't narrow the release date down a whole lot, but previous releases in the series may help fans to have a better idea of when to expect Splatoon 3.

The first game in the series was released for the Wii U on May 29, 2015, while the sequel made its debut on the Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2017. With that in mind, it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see Nintendo sticking to a spring/summer release window for Splatoon 3 in 2022. This would put the release of Splatoon 3 at around five whole years since the last installment, but the wacky new trailer makes it seem like it'll be worth the wait.

Is there a trailer for Splatoon 3?

The trailer for Splatoon 3 begins very quietly and remains that way for a long while. It opens on a barren desert, which the official description refers to as "the Splatlands." A character is seen wearing a hood and a mask to protect themselves from the elements. Then, gamers are introduced to a character customization screen, where different features of the player character are revealed one at a time. Players are able to pick a hairstyle, eye color, and more. Once this is all set, the player character hops on a train, which takes them to a bustling city that is markedly different from the ghost town at the start of the trailer.

Once there, the games begin. The title card for Splatoon 3 is revealed and players get a glimpse of the wild, inky action that awaits them. The competitors are launched into the arena, where they immediately draw their weapons on one another. Judging from these brief moments of action, it looks like Splatoon 3 will be delivering the same messy action as the first two games, but on a grander scale.

What is the gameplay like in Splatoon 3?

As seen in the trailer, players will be given some options to customize their own Inkling. Previous games in the series have included customization options such as eye color and hairstyle, but it looks like this game may give players just a bit more to work with in terms of their Inkling's own unique style.

The trailer doesn't show a ton of action, but players can still get a decent feel for how chaotic this new entry is going to be. According to the official description of the game, all of the toys seen in the explosive trailer will be available for players when Splatoon 3 launches. The description reads, "Dynamic new moves help these fighters dodge attacks and cover more ground, along with a new bow-shaped weapon to sling ink."

The 4v4 Turf Wars from the first two installments are naturally back in Splatoon 3, so players can look forward to 8-person matches in the all-new Splatsville arenas. According to Nintendo, these Turf Wars will be wilder than ever, featuring "new stages, new maneuvers, and new weapons."