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Preview: Sider Order on ‘Splatoon 3’ is a course with plenty of depth

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Published in Science & Technology News

Nintendo’s games are known for their longevity. A title it launched five years ago is guaranteed to age well and be a great experience today, but the company has also changed with the times. They’ve taken note that downloadable content has helped extend the life of projects.

Nearly five years after “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” launched, Nintendo has added 6 waves of tracks and more features. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” received new characters to the roster for three years. Each additional fighter became an event for Nintendo fans. Now, “Splatoon 3” is following that same path.

After its release last year, Nintendo has added new content by piling on more weapons from its original arsenal of 53 at launch. “Splatoon 3” now boasts 110 weapons and 636 pieces of gear. The first wave of DLC reintroduced Inkopolis to fans, but the second wave, Side Order, has a more compelling element: a new single-player mode.

CLIMBING A DANGEROUS TOWER

I had a chance to play the 10-floor tutorial and dabble in the main mode at demo event recently. Players take on the role of Agent 8, who wakes up in an Inkopolis devoid of color. It’s mostly white and Pearl shows up, but she looks different. She’s a flying drone and the Off the Hook member is looking for her partner Marina. Players also meet a mysterious ally along the way.

The tutorial sets up the story for Side Order as Pearl takes players to the Spire of Order and introduces the mechanics that are tailored for this single-player rogue-lite mode. Agent 8 faces a new enemy called Jelletons, which look like bony fish and come in different forms. They trundle toward players. Others fly and spew black ink. Others are armored and are hard to eliminate.

 

On each of the stages with random elements, players face different win conditions. In the first one, they have to destroy the Portals that spawn the Jelletons. Blasting it with ink makes the Portals swell until they explode damaging other enemies around it. That’s simple enough.

TEMPORARY BOOSTS

Completing a floor gives players a Color Chip to place in their palette, which holds 36 chips. The chips come in six colors:

•Purple specializes in support bonuses.

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