Gamers can get their hands on Splatoon 2 soon, as its scheduled release date of July 21 approaches. In a special Nintendo Direct, the publisher outlines many of the new features in the sequel to the top-selling Wii U paintball-esque shooter.
Although the entire Splatoon 2 Nintendo Direct video can be viewed in its entirety in the video embedded below, here are the major highlights.
Splatoon 2 Demo On July 15
All Nintendo Switch owners are being given the chance to play a Splatoon 2 demo on July 15 from 3 p.m. PT until 7 p.m. PT. The demo is free and can be downloaded now, well in advance of the Splatfest event. Players can join Team Ice Cream or Team Cake in the competition, and try out the Splatoon 2 versions of the Splat Roller and Splat Charger. New characters Pearl and Marina are to be introduced along with new weapons called the Tentatek Splattershot and Splat Dualies.
Two Years Of Splatfest Support Promised
Regular Splatfest events are a hallmark of the original Splatoon‘s success, and they’ll be returning in the sequel. Nintendo has confirmed these limited-time events will continue for two years after the game’s release. While plans are in the works to keep the Splatfests going for two years, the team is planning to provide free content updates for the first year of Splatoon 2. New gear, weapons, and stages are what players can expect from the free DLC. One of the first new weapons heading to the game post-launch include an umbrella-shaped blaster called a “Splat Brella.”
What is SplatNet 2?
SplatNet 2 essentially functions like a typical console game companion app, except it’s not a standalone mobile app. It’s a service that can be accessed within the new Nintendo Switch Online mobile app that’s scheduled to launch on July 21, the same day Splatoon 2 is set to launch. A major feature of the Nintendo Switch app is voice chat, a function that is not natively provided by the console itself. Players can also use SplatNet 2 to keep track of their gear and game stats, as well as coordinate private battle matches and league battles.
As is typical of such apps, SplatNet 2 requires an Internet connection and can only be downloaded and used on compatible mobile devices.
Splatoon 2 Bundles and Pre-Order Bonuses
For those who are interested in buying the often sold out Nintendo Switch, the Splatoon 2 bundle is an opportunity to pick up the console before the holiday shopping season begins. It features neon pink and neon green Joy-Con controllers. A Splatoon 2 Pro Controller is also being made available as an additional peripheral (it’s sold separately from the console).
Players who are interested in pre-ordering just the game may be disappointed there are no pre-order bonuses that have been announced for major retailers like GameStop or Best Buy in the U.S. At EB Games in Canada, people who pre-order are being given the choice of a green or pink color-changing plastic cup while supplies last. In the U.K., those who pre-order on the Official Nintendo U.K. Store can get a Splatoon 2 hat or t-shirt as an added bonus with their order.
[Featured Image by Nintendo]