The Splatoon 2 Global Testfire (Nintendo’s fancy way of saying “open beta and server load test”) is happening this weekend. Unlike other betas, the Testfire has specific time slots when it will be open throughout the weekend. This is probably to guarantee high player loads at specific times to truly put the servers to the test.
The first session finished a few minutes ago and, for a complete Splatoon noob, the experience was both brutal (because I suck) and fun (because painting the ground and quick swimming through it is kind of awesome). The demo allowed me to enter a quick tutorial area for a few minutes before the official start time. This was nice, but not nearly enough time for me to get used to the controls.
To my surprise, everything ran very well! There were only a few times when errors popped up. But these only occurred during matchmaking and never during actual play. The experience was extremely smooth and lag free from what I could tell.
There does not seem to be any way to play with friends during the Testfire. Players instead get randomly grouped into teams before every match. I played about ten matches which allowed me to try all the different weapon types.
Of the four, I enjoyed the new Splat Dualies and the Splat Roller the most. It is highly satisfying to literally just run someone over with the roller and watch them get KO’d. I found the Dualies’ side dodge move and special “Ink Jet” ability very useful.
Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to the next couple of sessions I plan to participate in. I can also already appreciate why this franchise has garnered such a following. Underneath the childlike aesthetic lies a very deep and competitive shooter that manages to still be extremely fun, even when you are getting completely destroyed by pretty much the entire internet.