Two pieces of fresh content showcased at Europe's biggest video game show!
I love Splatoon 2, perhaps way too much. So far, I've spent 270 hours with my copy of the game and I don’t regret a single minute of it. My Level 47 character is looking pretty good and the variety of gear and weapons still impresses me. There’s also excitement whenever something new is added to the game, which is why the announcements for Gamescom 2017 left me quite happy. A brand new map and weapon? What is not to like?
Let's start with the map, which is called Manta Maria. The stage is small, with not a lot of ground to cover which places a premium on outsmarting the other team. Weapons with kick like the Splat Dualies and the Splattershot worked well here. You work your way through the various layers of environment, ensure that the middle part stays in your color and push the opposition further back into their base.
The way that Manta Maria handles these elements is quite unique. You start at the outer sides of the ship, take a wider area into the middle area and head into the opponent's wider area. Every part of it is designed in a way to make you overtake the opponent rather quickly. It is an action packed three minutes, which I certainly appreciate. After playing a couple of matches, I want to go back for more!
The other new toy is the new weapon, the Forge Splattershot Pro. It is basically a Splattershot with a solid, slightly longer range. It feels very easy to grasp and immediately felt right for the role I was playing in the match. Sure, you could make the argument that it shouldn't be that difficult, but honestly I see the potential with this gun. It would be handy to have with a mode like Splat Zones, which is focused on overtaking a specific spot on the map.
While the Sub Weapon (Sticky Bombs) isn't anything remarkable, the new Special Weapon steals the show. The Bubble Blower allows you to shoot three bubbles in various directions. If you pop it enough with your own ink, it will explode. This can be handy to destroy an opponent or cover up harder to reach places. Naturally, it is possibly for the opposite team to splat them as well, which results in simply nothing happening. I found it to be a very handy defensive weapon, and it brings freshness to the metagame of Splatoon 2.
Both the map and weapon are releasing pretty soon. It seems pretty likely that the Forge Splattershot Pro will end being one of my go-to weapons. The weight is just right, and all of its little elements feel lovingly designed. Manta Maria can be a lot of fun as well, but we will still need to see the Ranked Mode version to make that final judgement call. If the rest of the new content is of this quality however, I’ll sink another 270 hours into Splatoon 2.