Splatoon 2 is still a couple of months away from launching, but already Nintendo has made an announcement that's got us more eager to jump in and get to slinging colorful ink at their opponents. It's a small change, but it should help keep things nice and fresh.
The original Splatoon for Wii U introduced an interesting mechanic for choosing maps. Rather than randomly plopping players into a setting or giving them a chance to vote, it would instead feature a rotating list of paired environments. In other words, if you were to head into multiplayer and discovered Map 1 and Map 2 were in rotation, you'd do battle in one before getting loaded into the second. That would repeat for a set period of time, though keeping the same two maps.
In the original Splatoon, that rotation lasted four hours. In other words, depending on where you started playing in the lineup, you might be playing the same pair of maps for four straight hours. With Splatoon 2, they're keeping the map pairings, but the rotation will now occur every two hours. We think that's a solid compromise, keeping the game's unique format in tact while still allowing players to get in a bigger variety of maps on a more regular basis.
According to Nogami, the reason for maps being handled this way is to add an extra wrinkle to the gameplay. What gear might work best for Map 1 might not be ideal for Map 2. Part of the challenge was deciding what gear would serve you best across both maps.
We feel that part of the gameplay is actually selecting which weapons would be best for that combination of two maps. In Splatoon 2, the maps rotate every two hours, so it'll be a much faster cycle than the previous game.
Set to launch on July 21, it looks like Nintendo has learned some lessons from the original Splatoon and will be implementing them in Splatoon 2. They're also plugging in some new weapons and powers for players to unleash, alongside a host of new maps. While Nintendo has announced that a selection of older maps will make an appearance in Splatoon 2, such as Moray Towers, the real draw will be the brand new maps players get to explore. Only four have been revealed so far but, with two months to go until launch, we imagine we'll be getting a look at additional arenas in the not-too-distant future. Heck, E3 is right around the corner, and that seems like a perfect time for Nintendo to reveal all sorts of new information for Splatoon 2.