In case you missed it, there was a very special Direct earlier today dedicated to Pokémon. The newest entries in the core franchise – following Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon – Pokémon Sword & Shield were shown off in greater detail during the 15 minute video. From the graphical upgrade to updates in the games well established formula, here’s what we learned;
It wouldn’t be a new Pokémon generation without more of the diverse and interesting creatures to battle and collect. Alongside the three starter Pokémon that were revealed some time ago, there were a few newbies the presentation showcased. Flower fighter Gossifleur and its evolution Eldegoss, Wooloo the sheep, chompy battler Drednaw and lastly Corviknight, a giant raven that you can fly to the games key locations with. Local legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta were also shown.
They are each games respective mascot and their mythology remains a mystery until we get our mitts on the games I should imagine. I quite like the new designs, it’s a little hard to keep track of all the new critters, but as time goes by I find myself enjoying rediscovering the deep roster.
Pokémon Of The Wild
A large portion of the Direct showcased just how large the ‘Wild Area’ is. This expansive part of the map spans a long way and connects the games towns and landmarks. Pokémon roam freely as they did in Pokémon Let’s Go and there are various landscapes and even different weather. While out here, you control the game camera yourself to get a good view and keep an eye out for Pokémon.
It’s certainly impressive to see how much they have scaled the world up for the Switch. I hope there’s plenty to discover, they’ve confirmed the weather and locations will often change and have different Pokémon around which is a promising start.
Turn It Up To The Dynamax!
The biggest (pun intended) part of the showcase definitely was the games brand new battle mechanic, Dynamax. Pokémon grow to enormous size and you can battle and catch them via Raid battles as well as during Gym battles. A little like Mega Evolution, it gives the game a new competitive dimension. Pokémon can only sustain this form for a limited time but have access to super strong moves. Fighting in Raid Battles can be done locally with friends or online with other fans. Only one of you can choose a Pokémon to access this powerful form against the wild giant Pokémon so you’ll have to work together to devise the best strategy in order to have an opportunity to catch one for yourself.
At first I was a little disappointed to have another gimmick shoehorned in rather than a more significant and meaningful evolution to the core formula, but it should still be fun!
So What Does Ben Think?
My ultimate response, is that the game certainly looks great. It has seemingly received a massive graphical investment and the new twist on the gameplay should make for a very interesting experience. I have included the full direct for you to check out below. I personally am really looking forward to another Pokémon game and this one certainly seems to meet my expectations as an established fan of the core franchise.