Splatoon 2: Global testfire, release window, and everything you need to know

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Fast facts:

  • Splatoon 2 release date: Summer 2017
  • Format: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Planning and Development
  • Price: TBA

The second I saw Splatoon 2 in the first ad for Nintendo Switch, wI knew I had to have it. The original Splatoon was an instant-almost-classic, with raucously fun and original multiplayer shooting weighed down by some weird design decisions. Only two Turf War stages every four hours, Nintendo? And just a weird side mode instead of proper local multiplayer? Really? All Splatoon 2 needs to do to be excellent is correct those old missteps, but it looks like it's going even further than that in the eternal quest to stay fresh. Take a look at everything we know about the game so far.

Splatoon 2's release date still has some wiggle room

The Splatoon 2 release date is currently set for Summer 2017 - no month or day to speak of yet. The first game came out on May 28, 2015, then kept players busy with a summer (and more) worth of free updates. Hopefully Nintendo has a similar plan for Splatoon 2 and we won't have to wait until later in the season to get our tentacles on it. It really is a perfect summer game, and now you can even take it to the beach with you since it's on Nintendo Switch! Though you might have trouble getting a good enough wifi connection for multiplayer...

Splatoon 2 trailer gets all inked up

Oh yes, the colorful weirdness of Splatoon is strong in this one. The official trailer for Splatoon 2, which debuted at the official Nintendo Switch presentation in January, takes you back to the strange world of squid teenagers who spend all day shooting their ink at the floor and on each other. This new music has a lot to live up to - the original game's soundtrack remains a head-bopping collection of nonsense-lyric pop and trippy big beat fun - but it sounds good so far.

Splatoon 2 Global Testfire

Don't want to wait until summer? Nintendo Switch owners can take an early shot at Splatoon 2 in the Global Testfire event that will run from Friday, March 24 to Sunday, March 26. Nintendo will open up the servers for six hour-long sessions throughout the weekend. Make sure to check out the Splatoon 2 global testfire play times now and plan accordingly!

Splatoon 2's gameplay is all about refinement and versatility

Don't come into Splatoon 2 expecting a huge shake-up to the fundamentals from the first game. Instead, look forward to a refined game with more versatile weapons and a higher skill ceiling. Chargers are exhibit A. The old sniper-rifle inspired weapons were great at long range in the original Splatoon but were easily countered by flankers and other close-up attacks. Now you can temporarily store a charged shot even while you're in squid form, meaning you can dip into your team's ink to escape, emerge a few feet away, and pop your pursuer with a single blast.

That philosophy of versatility has been applied to all the gear… which is good, because there's no indication that Splatoon 2 will let you change weapons/kits in the middle of a match. Get ready for more four-on-four Roller fights!

Splatoon 2's new weapons look like a blast (of ink)

Nintendo hasn't revealed too many of Splatoon 2's new weapons yet. The biggest stars of the expanded arsenal so far are the Splat Dualies, a pair of hand-splatters that give you an extra dodge-roll ability while you're firing. Nintendo has also confirmed that Splatoon 2 will be full of new Special abilities, like the Boba-Fett-turned-calamari Ink Jet, the ground-pounding Splashdown, and the enemy-tracking Tentamissile.

Splatoon 2's local multiplayer is a Turf War waiting to happen

The original Splatoon had local multiplayer but it was just a weird 1-on-1 balloon popping game instead of the main event. Splatoon 2 finally lets you and your buddies throw down in Turf Wars on the big screen or directly on the Switch itself in handheld and tabletop mode. You can even link up with multiple Switch systems for full 4-on-4 battles. Don't worry, online multiplayer is still a big deal, too.

Splatoon 2 has funky new hairstyles and clothes

Forget about the old squid-bun or tentacle-locks look, Splatoon 2 has way more customization options for your hip young ink gladiator. It's a little disturbing to think about what the floor of an Inkling barbershop looks like, but let's try to put that out of our minds for now. Expect a ton of new clothing options too.

Splatoon 2's single-player campaign is an unknown for now

We pretty much have to get another single-player campaign after the first one was such an unexpected delight, right? Mark this one in the "very likely" category until we learn more details. We do know that Splatoon 2 is set two years after the events of the original Splatoon, and it looks like squid sister Marie will make another appearance. Where'd Callie get off to?

Splatoon 2 Wii U isn't gonna happen

If you got your hopes up by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild hitting both Nintendo Switch and Wii U simultaneously, I have some bad news. Nintendo has made no announcements about a Wii U version of Splatoon 2 and it sounds pretty unlikely at this point. Seems like Breath of the Wild was just a one-time deal since it had already been in development for Wii U for years before Nintendo made the Switch.

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