With Splatoon 2 releasing sometime this Winter Nintendo is hosting six, hour-long “testfire” betas for the game over the weekend of March 25th and 26th. Hot off the first testfire, I’m here to give you the low-down on how it went.
For those unfamiliar with the original game, Splatoon’s hook is a third-person competitive shooter where the main goal is to splat ink around as much of the environment as possible. The winning team is the one who inks the largest portion of the map.
The first testfire featured three staple weapons from the first game: the Splattershot (an all-purpose rifle); the Splat Roller (a paint roller best for up-close encounters and splattering the most ink); and Splat Charger (a sniper rifle). But there was also the newest addition to the arsenal: the dual SMG-like Splat Dualies.
The Splat Dualies don’t have the best range, but in close quarters they’re formidable thanks to their rapid fire. When the boost metre’s fully charged pressing the right stick enables a special ability to turn the guns into propulsion jets, much like Mario’s Fludd backpack in Super Mario Sunshine.
On the whole Splatoon 2’s testfire ran smoothly, though the Switch’s online systems had some hiccups at first. Doing a full power reset fixed the connection problems and the game did pretty well to find matches. Out of the eight matches I played only one suffered connection problems where a bunch of us were stuck in a connection screen.
Other than that, my experience in the testfire didn’t suffer any noticeable lag or bugs. Though Splatoon 2 does default to the tilt-motion aiming style of the original game, but that can be switched off in the control settings. Unfortunately that can only be found outside of matches, so be sure to change that if twin-sticks is your preferred control type.
This first testfire only featured the one Turf War mode on a couple of maps, and it’s unclear if the other testfires will vary with other staple modes like Tower Control, Splatfest or something new. Turf War is still fun for an hour-long free test, but if you’re going in expecting anything surprisingly new, you might be disappointed.
If you’ve got a Nintendo Switch and you want to be part of the testfires, be sure to head over to the eShop and get downloading.
Local times for the global testfires are below, courtesy of Vooks.