Nintendo’s turf-claiming Wii U shooter Splatoon will receive a new gameplay mode as part of a free update launching this weekend, introducing a capture-the-flag variant to the game’s Ranked Battle playlist.
The new “Rainmaker” gameplay mode challenges players to carry a weighted object into enemy territory, requiring a team effort to ensure safe passage.
At the start of each ranked match, the Rainmaker object itself must be freed from a shielded prison with concentrated fire from both teams. Once the shield breaks, one team must claim the Rainmaker and begin a long trek to a goal arena located near the opposing team’s base, where enemy combatants respawn after falling in battle.
The player carrying the Rainmaker has limited movement capabilities, and must be defended by their teammates as they march toward the enemy frontlines. Players possessing the Rainmaker move slowly and can’t Super Jump to safety. The Rainmaker acts as an Inkzooka when carried, though, letting equipped players send inky tornadoes at approaching opponents as a means of defense.
If the Rainmaker is dropped, enemy players have an opportunity to claim it and make their own journey toward the opposing team’s base. If the Rainmaker doesn’t reach either team’s base by the end of each timed match, the team with the greatest distance traveled toward enemy territory while holding the Rainmaker is declared the winner.
This weekend’s launch of Rainmaker mode follows up on Splatoon‘s recent addition of private matchmaking, allowing players to form their own custom squadrons with friends before heading into battle. After forming their own teams outside of random matchmaking, players can then take on other custom squads in ranked battles via the new Tag Match mode.
Splatoon‘s latest patch also added new upgradable gear and increased the game’s level cap. Existing maps were tweaked to account for gameplay balance, and the Urchin Underpass level in particular was significantly overhauled.
Splatoon‘s Rainmaker mode will premiere August 14, at 7 PM PT.