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In another example of Nintendo’s idiosyncratic approach to DLC, Splatoon will be receiving a huge content update on August 6th.

Whilst Super Smash Bros (for Wii U and 3DS) is squeezing every last penny from its fans – with expensive fighter, stage and Mii costume downloads – Splatoon is the gift that keeps on giving.

So far much of its content has been gradually unlocked from the disc. It’s a move that has received criticism from some quarters but one that has also kept the game fresh and ensured players have not been spread too thinly across multiple modes.

This next update looks a little more substantial, however.

The most anticipated addition introduces Squad Battle and Private Battle matchmaking options. In Squad Battle, players can participate in Ranked Battle rule sets with friends, rather than random players. After a player creates a squad, friends can be recruited to form a team of two to four Inklings. Friends will always play together on the same team and battle against other squads at random.

In Private Battle, friends can battle in private, customisable matches. The number of participants ranges from 1v1 to 4v4, but teams don’t have to be even: if the host chooses, he or she can select a 1v4, 1v2, or any other combination of players.

Alongside these new modes the level cap is also being raised from 20 to 50, there are two new weapons types, and 40 new pieces of gear.

Nintendo also promises that there’s more to come, with additional updates rolling out into autumn that include a Rainmaker Ranked Battle mode, more maps and new weapons.

All of which makes Splatoon’s bare-boned launch an increasingly distant memory.

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