Alongside its bevy of competitive multiplayer modes, Splatoon 2 will also feature a cooperative horde mode called Salmon Run. The news was revealed as part of a new Nintendo Direct, which focused on offering updates on some of the Nintendo Switch’s upcoming exclusives.
Like most horde modes, Salmon Run will pit a group of Splatoon 2 players (up to 4) against waves of incoming baddies, in this case mutated salmon. As they defeat the varying types of salmon enemies the team will collect golden eggs, which are deposited in the center of the arena and will count towards a completion goal.
These golden eggs will come from some of the mini-bosses and bosses that arrive during various waves of Salmon Run. Since the trailer only shows one of the larger salmon bosses, it’s hard to tell how many there are, but the hope is that Nintendo will give players plenty of options when it comes to the mode. The repetitive nature of horde modes can wear thin on players, so it’s important ensure the mode feels as diverse and varied as possible.
Salmon Run is not an all-or-nothing type mode either, as players can revive each other should they fall in battle. Moreover, the mode appears to offer a long range revive option whereby players fire some paint at their teammate’s buoy, thus bringing them back into battle without risking their own life.
Overall, Salmon Run looks to be a fun addition to the Splatoon 2 suite, which we know includes competitive multiplayer and a new single player campaign. The promise of Salmon Run’s rewards should also have players intrigued, since many of those items could benefit their play in multiplayer as well.
It's important to mention, though, that Switch owners will eventually need to subscribe to Nintendo's online service if they want to enjoy Salmon Run into fall 2017 and 2018. For Splatoon 2's launch, which is July 21st, the multiplayer will be free, but eventually that will change.
It’s surprising that the first Splatoon didn’t launch with some type of cooperative online mode, but Salmon Run looks to fit the bill nicely for the follow-up. Horde mode’s offer opportunities for gamers to get together with their friends and experience the gameplay of a title without the added pressure of preforming.
Granted, Splatoon tried to be as much about fun as possible, but there were still some who might have wanted something a little less competitive. Now Salmon Run can be that mode.
Splatoon 2 releases July 21, 2017 for Nintendo Switch.