While Switch’s 2022 lineup is still largely a mystery, we know of one marquee game coming to the system next year: Splatoon 3. The next entry in Nintendo’s colorful online shooter series is slated to hit the Switch sometime in 2022, and it looks like it’ll shake up the familiar Splatoon gameplay in some notable ways. Although Nintendo’s E3 Direct will focus largely on games coming this year, there’s a chance the company will show off more of Splatoon 3 during the presentation, and here’s what we hope we’ll see.

What We Know So Far

Nintendo officially announced Splatoon 3 at the end of its February Nintendo Direct, and the game’s reveal trailer gave us a look at some major changes for the series. The most obvious is the setting. Splatoon 3 takes place in an arid desert wasteland known as the Splatlands. At the heart of the desert is a new hub city called Splatsville, where players will gather between matches.

We also know the series’ signature 4v4 Turf Wars will return in Splatoon 3, but this time, there will be new stages set in the wilds around Splatsville. Nintendo teases there will be new moves and weapons, as well; we got a glimpse at a new bow and a crab-shaped autobomb during the reveal trailer. It also appears that players will now launch themselves onto the map from the air rather than spawning in at designated locations.

Beyond that, however, Nintendo hasn’t confirmed much about Splatoon 3, but there are indications there will be some sort of story mode, as in past games. The reveal trailer showed off a customizable Small Fry Salmonid buddy that will accompany the player, so there will presumably be some explanation of how that relationship came to be. We also know that Splatoon 3 isn’t slated to launch until sometime in 2022, so it’s still a way off from release.

What’s Confirmed For E3 2021

All Nintendo has confirmed thus far is that it’s airing a 40-minute Nintendo Direct on June 15, which is technically the final day of E3 2021. The company says the presentation will focus on Switch games “mostly releasing in 2021,” but that wording leaves enough wiggle room to suggest we’ll see some 2022 titles as well. Considering that Splatoon is now one of Nintendo’s best-selling franchises, it seems like there’s a good chance we’ll get another look at Splatoon 3 during the Direct–but that’s purely speculative at this point.

What We Hope To See At E3 2021

If Nintendo showcases Splatoon 3 during its E3 2021 Direct, we really hope the company will show off more of the game’s new weapons and other changes. It’s been very rare to see Nintendo release a sequel to one of its multiplayer-centric games during the same console generation, so we’re eager to learn more about how the game will set itself apart from Splatoon 2. A closer look at the new maps and any new special abilities being introduced would generate a lot of excitement.

The bow, a new weapon being introduced in Splatoon 3

We also hope to learn more about the game’s story and how it ties back to Splatoon 2’s Splatocalypse. Nintendo had said that event would determine the future of the series, and Team Chaos was ultimately victorious, which seems to have influenced the new, almost Mad Max-style setting. We hope Nintendo will give us more insight into what happened between Splatoon 2 and 3, and whether or not any familiar characters like Pearl and Marina will return in the new game.

Finally, we’re hoping Splatoon 3 gets a firm release date. Considering that the game’s not coming out until 2022, that admittedly doesn’t seem very likely, but even a release window would be nice, and it would give Switch owners a better idea of what they have to look forward to next year.

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