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Splatoon 3 Has Three Hosts, Including A Big Manta Ray Named Big Man

Also, a free Splatfest demo will kick off on Switch later this month

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Shiver, Frye, and Big Man stand in a row in Splatoon 3.
Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku

Today, in a ploddingly paced live stream, Nintendo revealed tons of details about Splatoon 3. Over the course of 30 minutes, Nintendo detailed the maps, modes, and menu minutia coming to the forthcoming multiplayer shooter. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s cool and all. I’m just here for the new hosts: a trio called Deep Cut.

First announced last year, Splatoon 3 is the latest in Nintendo’s colorful, happy-go-lucky antithesis to the dour multiplayer shooters that dominate the market like Call of Duty and Halo. (I say “happy-go-lucky,” but it’s really a facade for a fictional canon set amid apocalyptic environmental catastrophe.) Rather than bullets, you shoot paint. Most gameplay revolves less around kill counts and more around coating as much of the map with your team’s color as possible.

Splatoon games have historically featured a duo of enigmatic “hosts,” in-game personas who keep you appraised of the goings-on in the game—the maps currently in rotation, for instance, or, because capitalism, any DLC Nintendo has planned.

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Splatoon 3, in keeping with the numeral of its title, will feature three hosts: a trio made up of two inklings—Shiver and Frye—and a big manta ray named, um, Big Man. They comprise the in-game band Deep Cut. They blast their news from the TV studio in Splatsville, Splatoon 3's hub city. But in a series first, Nintendo said in a press release you’ll be able to catch their announcements “on the go while exploring.”

Deep Cut is also serving as the mascots for Splatfest, a returning mini-event from previous games. It’s broken into multiple segments. First, there’s a poll: in the case of Splatoon 3's inaugural Splatfest, rock, paper, or scissors? You’re assigned to the team for whichever one you vote for. You then face off in three-team competitive modes. Splatoon 3's first Splatfest will be available before launch; a free demo will be downloadable starting on August 18, with the actual event running from 12:00 p.m. ET to 12:00 a.m. ET on August 27.

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Splatoon 3's full release is due September 9 for the Nintendo Switch.