Free Post-Launch Content For Splatoon Coming This Summer (Splatoon Direct 5.7.15)
Although most of the stuff to come from the Splatoon Direct was expected, I was curious to see how Nintendo would handle downloadable content. We’ve already got great examples with Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors, so it makes sense for this trend to continue.
I expected Nintendo to wait until E3 to reveal something, but it turns out not only will we get some new content for Splatoon this summer, but it’ll also be free! This free content will include new maps, new gear, new modes, and new weapons.
Some of this content was shown off a bit. One of the new modes will be Tower Control, a tug-of-war style objective game. It functions similar to Payload Tug-of-War in Team Fortress 2, with a tower in the middle that either team can claim. Once claimed, the tower starts moving towards your base but can be stolen by the other team, thus the tug-of-war. Another mode called Rainmaker was teased, but there isn’t much else to go on.
One of the new weapons shown is the Inkbrush, a variant of the Roller class. With this weapon, you move faster than with your normal Splat Roller, but the amount of ground you cover is smaller. It also has a quicker melee, which is useful for covering walls to travel up in Squid Form.
Free content is always good, but there’s something about the way that it’s being handled for Splatoon that bugs me.
For starters, the initial stage count is paltry at best. While the amount of gear and weapons that will be available at launch is adequate, there will only be 5 stages. Frankly, there is no excuse for a first-party game releasing in 2015 (especially one that has such a large online component) to ship with that few of maps.
The games modes that will be available aren’t great either. Initially, you can only play Turf War in Regular Battle and have to unlock Ranked Battle to play Splat Zones. That’s 2 game modes on 5 maps at launch. Sure, you have the single-player and a tiny bit of local multiplayer to entertain, but it seems weird that a game that has such a large online multiplayer focus will lack such a substantial amount of basic content.
Perhaps the most bizarre of all is that custom matchmaking, a feature that is common in most other shooters, won’t be available until August. August. Almost three months after the game ships.
I understand the mentality behind restricting stuff, like having a level cap for Ranked Battle. It gives players a chance to get a feel for the game. But when you have a group of friends that either A) have gotten used to the game in a shorter amount of time than expected and want to play custom matches or B) just want to goof around, it’s ridiculous to not include this feature from the start. Even Smash launched with custom matchmaking with friends.
We’ll have to wait and see if what Splatoon’s bringing at launch is enough. I really want it to because of how much fun I had during the Global Testfire, but I can’t be certain at this point. Still, it’s my job to pick it up and review it for you guys, so here’s to hoping.
Splatoon launches for the Wii U on May 28th in Japan and May 29th in North America and Europe.