Nintendo announced that it will be holding one more free public test for its upcoming, family-friendly shooter, Splatoon. On Saturday, May 23, from 3-4 p.m. (PT), anyone with a Wii U who downloaded the free demo from the Nintendo eShop will be able to take part in the third Global Testfire.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) May 15, 2015
Aspiring Inklings (what characters are referred to) will not have access to the complete game, and will be limited to only the online, team-based, competitive Turf War. In this mode, two teams of four inklings start on opposite ends of the map and vie for control by spreading as much of their colored ink on the ground as possible while fighting back their opponents. Unlike conventional competitive shooters, kill count doesn’t matter for the final scoring. The winning team is determined by whichever color covers the majority of the map. Taking out your opponents helps by shunting them back to their base. In practice this means that every shot, whether it connects or not, is helping your team. A player who isn’t as confident with their controllers skills can grab a roller and run around, avoiding enemies entirely, to cover the ground while their headshot-happy teammates hold the front line.
We recently got our hands on the game at an event in New York, and can verify that it’s just as much messy fun as it looks. Turf War is fast-paced and easily accessible, but the variety of weapon types available opens up a surprising amount of strategic depth if you want to really dig into it. Nintendo has announced plans to roll out additional gameplay modes, weapons, gear, and maps in the months following release, expanding the game’s options as the competitive community grows and becomes more skilled.
Even if you can’t make it to the Global Testfire, you won’t have to wait long to get ink-stained. Splatoon launches exclusively for Wii U on May 28 in Japan, May 29 in North America and Europe, and May 29 in Australia (which always seems to get the short end of the stick when it comes to games).