Splatoon 3 Wishlist
With the 9th September 2022 freshly circled on our calendars as the day we’ll finally get our grubby tentacles on Splatoon 3, I got to thinking about my love for Nintendo’s squid-based shooter, and what I wanted from the upcoming instalment that was perhaps missing from Splatoon 2. I came up with the following five items that I thought would improve on the last entry, and help make Splatoon 3 the most popular game in the series so far.
5. Octo-Expansion-sized single-player mode
I completely appreciate that the main draw for a Splatoon title is the online multiplayer, but with a fresh IP with such a unique concept, Nintendo will be missing a trick if they don’t dig deeper into the mechanics and lore with a chunky single-player campaign for Splatoon 3. Each of the first two entries made admirable attempts at a solo mode by offering 32 levels in each game, but it wasn’t until the Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion dropped that we were given a real look at the possibilities for a solo campaign. Sporting more than 80 levels, a very cool new aesthetic and an awesome premise, the Octo Expansion should be the standard to which Nintendo should work to for offline play in Splatoon 3.
4. Bring back Splatfests, and make them longer
Even if I hadn’t been playing much Splatoon, the announcement of a Splatfest would always draw me back in. Sure, the continent-wide battles between cats and dogs, Spongebob and Patrick or ketchup and mayo were a little silly, but they certainly brought out the competitive spirit in the player base. With news that Splatoon 3 will no longer be region locked, I’m hoping that Nintendo will not only make the competitions global but make them last longer too. Rather than have Splatfests last just 24 hours, I propose that they last a whole week. There were so many Splatfests that I didn’t get to join in with because my Saturdays were filled with plans away from my Switch, and I’m sure I’m not the only player whose adult commitments at the weekend get in the way and who’d love the chance to join the battle on weekday evenings.
3. Make Salmon Run permanently available
While Turf War, Rainmaker and all the other multiplayer modes are undoubtedly fun, I never enjoyed Splatoon 2 more than when I was playing Salmon Run. Whether with a group of friends or with random players, blasting salmonids and collecting eggs was incredible fun. With the mode already confirmed to return in Splatoon 3 (along with all new salmonids to destroy), I want Salmon Run to be available all the time. I was quietly a fan of the time-locked rotating maps and modes as they encouraged me to get better at elements of the game that I wasn’t so good at, but Salmon Run was just so damned enjoyable that I want it at my fingertips whenever I fire up my Switch. Nothing was more upsetting than missing a shift at Grizzco Industries ’cause you had other plans when the mode was live.
2. Better squad management & matchmaking
Joining a group of friends and battling together shouldn’t be as much of a fuss as it was in Splatoon 2. What I want is to be able to join a couple of buddies (maybe fill up any empty spaces in my squad with random folks), and then start shooting at some bad guys who are about the same skill as me. What I don’t want is to play against people who make me look like I’ve never held a controller before, and what I definitely don’t want is for my pals to be randomised onto the opposing team and have our voice chat cut off when the game starts. And all of this assumes that we’re not booted from the lobby on two or three occasions before landing in a game in the first place. With each game only featuring a maximum of 8 players, it can’t possibly be as hard to get right as Nintendo made it look in Splatoon 2 – keep things simple and let folks play with their friends!
1. Fully integrated voice chat
Yes, better voice chat might seem like a strange item to have as my number one wish for Splatoon 3, but I cannot exaggerate how poor the attempt was in the previous entry. Nintendo has long been looked at as entirely out of touch in regards to online connectivity, but introducing a dedicated smartphone app and branded cable adapters as the means to talk to your friends while you played was spectacularly backwards, even by their own standards. Many players took to reliable off-system options like Discord, and while this certainly works, is it so much to ask for a squad-based shooter to have native communication between teammates in this day and age? Splatoon 2 was an almost-launch title for the Switch, so maybe Nintendo didn’t have their stuff together back in 2017, but with multiplayer goliaths like Fortnite, Overwatch and Apex Legends now sporting in-game voice chat on the system, it’s high time for Splatoon 3 to offer the same. In 2022, I just want to enjoy laughing with my friends without resorting to a nest of cables and poorly optimised smartphone apps.
Will you be picking up Splatoon 3 when it launches in September? What would be on your wishlist for the new squid-shooter? Let us know in the comments or on socials!