2021 was the bounce-back year Nintendo needed. 2020 was rough for everyone including game developers. Nintendo had trouble in 2020 releasing, announcing, and developing games with the sudden switch (no pun intended) to working from home. There was no Nintendo Directs in 2020 for the first time since its creation in 2011 and had a minimum number of releases, with games like Hyrule Warriors Age Of Calamity and Paper Mario and the Origami King headlining a lackluster game lineup.
With the return of Nintendo Directs in February 2021, the first since September 2019, Nintendo revealed some surprising and exciting new games. They have released many trailers for previously announced titles coming in 2022.
Release Date: 2022
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Splatoon series, it is a third person shooter where the main objective is for your team to ink the most turf with your team’s ink. The Splatoon franchise took off on switch with the release of Splatoon 2 bringing the franchise to one of the best selling consoles of all time.
Splatoon 3 was a surprise out of left field reveal for most, being revealed all the way back in February 2021, it was a surprise for gamer with Splatoon 2 selling 12.68 million copies as of September 30 2021. It was thought that Nintendo would keep Splatoon 3 in their back pocket for their next console with the success of Splatoon 2, but I and many others are pleasantly surprised to see it coming to Switch so soon.
Through its two trailers, Splatoon 3 has revealed a small amount of content for its single player story mode titled, Splatoon 3 Return of the Mammalians. In its second trailer, Nintendo revealed Splatoon 3’s single player mode where the player is a new Agent 3 and their salmon companion little buddy in the new setting of Alterna. Little has been shown regarding the overall story of Return of the Mammalians but from what has been shown there is a mysterious fuzzy ink with brown fur that seems to be connected to the furry Octarians seen in the trailer.
When Agent 3 comes into contact with the fuzzy ink they turn into a ball of fur but Little buddy can eat it, hinting little buddy should be quite helpful during the story being able to clean the furry ink and attack the furry Octarians. For now we don’t know anything about the story but we were left with a small tease to the story with the little jingle of Mr. Grizz from Splatoon 2’s salmon run mode to hold us off till further announcements.
Breath of the Wild 2
Release Date: 2022
The hype has been real for the critically acclaimed Breath of the Wild’s sequel with the original being praised as one of the greatest games of all time with a score of 97 on metacritic the 14th highest. Ever since the initial teaser trailer for the game back in E3 2019 fans have been on the edge of their seats, drooling over the thought of a full reveal and release date and they were rewarded for their patience with another brief trailer during E3 2021 in June.
The first trailer for Botw2 had fans hyped and confused with the trailer including shots of Link and Zelda exploring a cave and shots of a corpse that resembles the series long running villain Ganon. The trailer also features an eerie soundtrack that has had fans wondering if the game will have a darker take on the series like the Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask.
Botw2’s second trailer from June of last year seemed as if it were the polar opposite of E3 2019’s trailer for the game. This past June’s trailer shows Link out in hyrule that was looking as beautiful and colorful as ever featuring new floating islands to spice up the open world from the previous game. This trailer also showed us more than just the beautiful scenery of Hyrule, it also shows a new set of abilities for Link to use as you traverse this new rendition of Hyrule.
It seems that Link’s green gauntlet arm will serve as the sheikah slate of this game as he performs new abilities using his gauntlet welding arm. The first ability we see used in the trailer looks to be a way to turn back time. As seen in the trailer Link makes a large spiked ball climb back up a mountain it just fell from killing enemies on its dissent. Next we see Link spewing fire from his arm and him using a new teleportation system to get to the new floating islands. We will see how useful each of these abilities are hopefully in a future Direct coming on February 9.
Splatoon 3 and Breath of the Wild 2 are absolutely games that should be on all gamers radars this year. I also would advise you to buy a Switch if you haven’t just to play these games coming very soon this year.