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Splatoon 3’s story pits squids against returning mammals

A new lengthy trailer for Splatoon 3 shown during today’s Nintendo Direct showcase gave a solid hint towards what players can expect from the game’s strange story. While it’s been hinted that Splatoon takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of Earth, the third entry in the franchise will see the Inklings deal with the return of mammals to the world.

Splatoon 3 – “Return of the Mammalians” – Nintendo Switch

The game itself takes place in Splatsville, a bustling metropolis populated by Inklings. It’s also where players will fight each other in the game’s main multiplayer mode, Turf War. Much like previous Splatoon games, two four-player teams compete against each other to cover as much ground as they can in their ink before a timer runs out. Whichever team has the most territory covered is the winner.

Updating the game mode, Splatoon 3 will include new ways for players to paint the world, including a Star Wars Droideka-style mech, a bow and arrow that fires paint, and a grappling hook that leaves paint wherever the user lands.

While the look we got at Splatoon 3‘s multiplayer was brief, our glimpse at its single-player story was even more so. The trailer showed quick snippets of Inklings venturing through their strange world, which is littered with the remnants of humankind like the Easter Island heads. However, it’s not clear exactly how players will progress through this mode.

Today’s Nintendo Direct pretty much stopped there when it came to new details for Splatoon 3. For the time being, it seems that the game’s developers want to keep it a secret. Players will simply have to wait until another showcase closer to the game’s still-unannounced release date for more information.

Splatoon 3 currently has a release window of 2022.

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Otto Kratky
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Otto Kratky is a freelance writer with many homes. You can find his work at Digital Trends, GameSpot, and Gamepur. If he's…
I beat Baldur’s Gate 3 in 30 hours (and killed everyone in the process)
Gale talks to the player in Baldur's Gate 3.

Baldur's Gate 3 is such a long game that even though millions have played it, far fewer have seen the ending. Only 0.4% of players have gotten the Hero of the Forgotten Realms achievement for beating the game at the time of this writing, according to Steam. It's a game someone can put dozens of hours into, with no end remotely in sight.
That is. unless you beat it way earlier than you were supposed to.
During the climax of Act 2 in Baldur's Gate 3, I accidentally reached a premature ending -- one that my party members weren't too happy about. The ramifications of the ending definitely weren't good for the Forgotten Realms, but finding a way to wrap up Baldur's Gate 3 early just gave me an ever deeper appreciation for how personal each player's journey through this game can feel. 
Note: This article contains major spoilers for Act 2 of Baldur's Gate 3.
One last gust of Weave
Anyone who has played Baldur's Gate 3 probably knows Gale, the smooth-talking wizard who you can pull out of a portal early on in Act 1. Throughout that Act, I had to keep giving him magical artifacts to satiate some sort of curse he has, although their positive effects on Gale dulled with each new item. After doing this enough, I learned the truth: Gale was cursed by the God Mystra after betraying her. At the start of Act 2, though, Gale's former mentor, Elminster, arrives and tells Gale that Mystra has a new task for him: destroy the "Heart of the Absolute" with a Netherese Orb Blast that will essentially nuke and destroy everything around him.

This option appeared alongside Gale's other spells in menus throughout the entirety of Act 2, although using the Netherese Orb Blast early typically results in a message that said my party had been defeated and tasked me with reloading. But there is a real opportunity to use it and end things at the end of Act 2. Most of this section of the game is spent finding a way to defeat Ketheric Thorm, a Baldur's Gate 3 villain voiced by J.K. Simmons. I confronted him on top of Moonrise Towers with the help of Nightsong, who I freed, but before I could beat him, he retreated to a massive Illithid Colony underneath Moonrise Towers. Obviously, my party followed, ultimately stumbling upon Ketheric and two other villains -- Lord Enver Gortash and Orin the Red -- activating the Elder Brain that seemed to be the "Heart of the Absolute" that Gale needed to destroy.
Gale told me that this and asked me me for permission to explode and destroy everything. The first option is to tell him not to, which makes sense; there's still a whole third of the game left to play! But seeing that every major threat in Baldur's Gate 3 was here in one room and knowing how much the game had already taken over my life in a week, I told him yes.
After saying, "One last gust of Weave. One last gale to end them all," Gale blew himself up, and there was nothing else I could do as my Dream Visitor shouted, "No!" Gale blew up, killing Ketheric, Orin, Gortash, and the Elder Brain and granting me the Hero of the Forgotten Realms achievement you're supposed to get for beating Baldur's Gate 3. The post-explosion dialogue paints a gimmer future for the Forgotten Realms, though.
"Beneath the smoking ashes of Moonrise Towers, the elder brain lies destroyed," the narrator says. "But what of the tadpoles it commanded? Freed of the Absolute's control, they will complete their transformations. A plague of illithids will soon descend on the Sword Coast, enslaving all they do not affect." Credits rolled as I blankly stared at the screen, processing that this was the ending I'd worked toward.
An imperfect ending
This definitely isn't a good ending for Baldur's Gate 3; it's pretty terrible, actually. Still, the fact that I could do that speaks to a wider strength of the adventure. The best thing about Baldur's Gate 3 is how much choice it gives players. It's not just freedom in completing set objectives, but freedom to circumvent them entirely. The most fun I had with Baldur's Gate 3 was finding ways to avoid major boss fights or set pieces. Instead of picking a side in the attack on the Druid and Refugee camp, I destroyed the bridge Minthara could use to escape in the Goblin camp, killed her before having a conversation with her, and then pushed Dror Ragzlin off a ledge to kill him.

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The best RPGs for the Nintendo Switch
Marth glowing blue.

The Nintendo Switch is a smash-hit with a wide library of titles across all genres, so it should come as no surprise that it has amassed a wealth of great role-playing games. Many of them are ports of titles previously released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but others are exclusive to Nintendo's hybrid system -- such as Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Whether you're looking for a turn-based classic or something new with a massive open world, the portable console has it all. Here are the best role-playing games on Nintendo Switch.

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Baldur’s Gate 3’s release date just got delayed and moved up at the same time
A Baldur's Gate 3 character lights the way.

The PC and PS5 versions of Baldur's Gate 3 have gotten new release dates, leading to a weird situation where the game's launch has been moved up and delayed at the same time.
Originally announced for Google Stadia in 2019, Baldur's Gate 3 is a successor to BioWare's classic Dungeons & Dragons RPG franchise and has been in early access on PC since October 2020. Its 1.0 PC release, as well as a PS5 port, were confirmed to launch on August 31 earlier this year, but that is no longer the case. In the latest community update, developer Larian Studios confirmed that Baldur's Gate 3 launches for PC on August 3 and for PS5 on September 6.
Larian admits that "this means the PC version of Baldur’s Gate 3 will be released at a time where you’ll have more time to play it," moving its launch away from late August and early September heavy hitters like Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon and Starfield. And now, the new PS5 release date for Baldur's Gate 3 gives PlayStation players a console-exclusive RPG of their own (albeit a temporary one) on the day Starfield comes out.

Still, the September 6 date is technically a delay, which Larian also explained its reasoning behind in the community update. "Baldur’s Gate 3 is targeting 60 frames-per-second, and we’re close to achieving that on the platform but need a bit more extra time," it explained. "We don’t want to compromise on quality and feel it would be a shame to downscale to 30 fps or make other compromises to hit an arbitrary date. We understand that folks may be disappointed with this, but we're close enough to reaching new heights for RPGs on the system that the benefits of a short delay outweigh the downsides of rushing the PS5 release and having to downscale." 
So to clarify, Baldur's Gate 3 first launches on PC across Steam, GOG, and Nvidia GeForce Now on August 3. Then, a PS5 port comes out on September 6. Larian Studios also confirms that a Mac version is in the works and that it's "optimistic" about Xbox works once it works through the kinks of getting it to run well on both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. 

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