Based on our conversations thus far, it's become clear to me that the backstory that makes the Inkling world more believable, as well as the fact that there are many players to play together, contribute to the fun appeal of Splatoon. However, this is the third entry in the series. People who haven’t played the last two titles may feel uncomfortable about jumping right in from the third title, but how do you feel about that?
I see what you mean. For players new to the series, I recommend starting with the single-player Story Mode. While following the story for this title, players can also get the hang of the basic mechanics for action shooters. We've developed this Story Mode to blend all the good stuff learned from our work on the previous two titles. So, I believe this mode has ended up being "The Best Of" version, in which players can take time to savor the fun, sweet taste of action shooting. (Laughs) In particular, we've tweaked the early levels to better ease players into the game's shooter mechanics. There are many levels in which we really focused on making the controls feel comfortable. So, we can easily recommend these particular levels to not only those who are playing for the first time, but also to friends who come over to play and ask if they could give it a try.
Although the lore of Story Mode has a connection to the previous two entries, it also stands on its own in this game, so please rest assured that you can play without any worries. Once you have played through and are interested in the past entries, you can check out the Splatoon Base website (available in English and Japanese) to learn more about the history, and I think you’ll be able to enjoy it even more.
Of course, for those of you who have played the past games in this series, this mode will reveal the answers to all the mysteries that existed up until now, so I definitely hope you'll give it a shot. While enjoying the Inkling world through Story Mode, you can improve your skills and, by unlocking more levels, you can acquire various items which will increase the ways to enjoy the game.
Initially, the Hero Shot is the only available weapon, but as you progress through Story Mode, there will be levels that you can challenge with other weapons.
Yes, you can keep going while trying out various types of weapons, or you can also reach the end just with the Hero Shot, as you enhance it along the way. I hope everyone will enjoy the Story Mode in a variety of ways to see what happens at the end. In addition to Story Mode, I also hope that you'll find your favorite mode by trying various modes such as the online Turf War, of course, and Salmon Run (10), which has been greatly enhanced this time.
(10) A mode added from Splatoon 2. In Salmon Run for Splatoon 2, you can team up with two to four players to cooperate and collect Power Eggs by defeating the Salmonids. According to the number of Power Eggs collected, players receive points that can be exchanged with items that are useful in battle. Online play requires a paid membership to Nintendo Switch Online. Nintendo Switch Online is unavailable in your region.
I see. It's reassuring to hear that players are able to learn the story and action shooter mechanics at their own pace, even if Splatoon 3 is their first experience with the series... That said, I do think it takes a lot of courage for people starting out with Splatoon 3 to try out an online battle where they'll encounter lots of experienced players.
I think most everyone would feel nervous about their first stage or first online battle. But I don’t think the answer is simply lowering the bar and making things easier to remove that fear. In fact, since there are probably a lot of people starting out with Splatoon 3, that nervous excitement can be enjoyable if players are able to jump into the action, thinking that now is the chance, while lots of new players are around. Also, it may be a good idea to ask Judd if there's anything you don’t understand in battles. This time, Judd will be in the lobby, and not only does he kindly teach you about battles, but he will also let you try out what you have just learned. Whether you are a first-timer or not, please ask Judd lots of things.
This may sound a bit redundant, but what we can do for the players who play this game is to bring in as many people as possible for them to play with. Given this, I think there will be many new people playing a Splatoon game for the first time when Splatoon 3 launches. Of course, there will be experienced players too. At the same time, there are many others who are standing on the same starting line together to jump into the gameplay. That's why we think this is the best time to take the first step forward into the world of Splatoon.
If you join now, you can start your freshman year together with everyone else, right?
Yes, that’s right. So, in the beginning, a lot of the matches will be with newcomers. Once you start to get used to the game, maybe you can start interacting with more senior players.
And also, having a chaotic atmosphere makes it easier to jump in. Maybe it's just me, but when the third installment in a movie trilogy comes out, you sometimes think, “Well, I haven’t seen the first or second one, but I might as well take a look...” I personally really like the third movie in the trilogy. (Laughs) I think the first movie sets up the lore, and the second one delves into it from a slightly different angle. Then characters from the first two come together in the third movie! ...That sort of thing. It really has a chaotic atmosphere, you know? As for the Splatoon series, this title will be the third entry in the trilogy. Similarly, while including the elements from 1 and 2, we've packed plenty of new gameplay and features as the third iteration, which brings the most amount of excitement. It's our hope that players will be able to enjoy regardless of which mode they start out with.
From the developers' perspective, we created this game with a desire to bring everyone together, from those who have played before to those who are starting from this game. We plan to have more events than ever before, so we suspect that this game will bring the most energy in the series.
Even for those who were on the fence about this franchise but were hesitant since they haven’t had the chance to jump in, I think now is the chance to dive into the Inkling world! (Laugh)
Thank you very much. Lastly, could you give a few comments to players who are looking forward to this title?
Yes, of course. I was involved with the development of the past Splatoon games, and I believe Splatoon 3 has turned out to be a really good game, leveraging all the experiences we have had so far. Especially if you look at the battle aspect, there are dynamic and exhilarating Special Weapons from Splatoon 1 that have been modified for this entry. There are also reliable and classic Special Weapons that have been passed on from Splatoon 2. On top of that, there are new ones in Splatoon 3 that require some skills to use... I think the variety of weapons alone are enough to make the game fun. While enjoying these game components, we would like players to eventually try out the new features, like lockers and Tableturf Battle, so that they're able to fully immerse themselves in the Inkling world while having a good time in online battles. And of course, there will be free updates coming in the future, so I hope everyone looks forward to them even after the release. In addition to new weapons and stages, we are also planning to add modes such as X Battle and League Battle.
All four of us here have been in the Inkling world for about seven years since the first game, and personally, this whole process feels more similar to presenting the results of our observations and research rather than creating a game. In the Inkling world, various trends are constantly changing, organically creating a culture, just as the results of the Splatfests influence the way of thinking for the Inklings. We're not the only ones creating the game. The passion and involvement of all the fans are a part of the process, and I think that is one of the aspects that makes the Inkling world feel more real. I hope that players will jump in and enjoy playing in this world, and build the future Inkling world together with us.
One last thing. Players' characters can be customized in more ways than ever. Options have been greatly enhanced, from hair to even the shapes of eyebrows, to create the characters you want to play as. Players can really push the envelope on their look and style, so feel free to be whoever you want to play as in the Inkling world.
Actually, there's one thing that I forgot to mention... We’ve tried to be creative with sounds in different areas of the game, so that players can feel the spaciousness even more. The director conveyed to me his vision of wanting to add a sense of depth, as if playing in a large space. For example, for the same sound effect, we adjusted how it reverberates depending on how far away a character is from other things. This makes those distances feel more realistic. And in Splatsville, we tried to find the best ways for players to feel the bustling, living and breathing sounds of the expanded city, as if you have just landed there. And even for the structure of the music itself, we tried to create it in a way that gives players an impression that it's large in scale. We have put our efforts into creating an expansive sound experience, so we hope you will listen intently and enjoy it as well.
There's also a live concert planned, isn't there?
Yes. We're planning to host the first Splatoon 3 concert at Nintendo Live, which will take place at Tokyo Big Sight from October 8 to October 9. Every time we hold a Splatoon live performance, we end up watching the show like nervous parents watching over their child, while the audiences cheer the characters on with smiles. (Laughs) We’re checking every detail to prepare for the event, so that we can make this a special opportunity that is unique to the in-person event this time as well. It is planned to be livestreamed on YouTube as well, so people from all over the world can look forward to it, including the setlist.
Thank you very much. It seems like you are putting in a lot of effort for this event, and I’m looking forward to it. Last but not least, Nogami-san, do you have any comments for the fans?
Some of the development staff for Splatoon 3 have been involved in the series for a long time, while there are new members who joined from this title. As representatives of squid researchers from all over the world, we have packed in what we would like to see in the Inkling world as much as we can, from gear designs to sound, and even the little details in the landscape. So, I hope everyone will enjoy all the details ink-luded! Of course, making Splatoon a fun game is the most important goal. But what we're also aiming for is creating a world where people have fun just by being there. As you grow, so do the people around you, and the Splatoon world itself evolves as well. We want everyone to enjoy this process together. We plan to add more features through free updates, including weapons and stages. So, I hope players will find their own way to play and enjoy the game. Also, I hope that those reading this article will also become members of the Inkling world. Please dive in from anywhere you like, in any way you want. See you there!
Thank you very much.
Splatoon 3 is available now on Nintendo Switch. Find out more about this title at our Splatoon 3 gamepage.