With E3 2019 mere days away, Nintendo have gotten out early to discuss one of their more anticipated titles – Pokémon Sword & Shield, with a special Pokémon Direct to fill in a few more details as to what the next generation of Pokémon games will be like. Running only 15 minutes, it didn’t go into excruciating detail unlike some other specialized Nintendo Directs, but it gave enough detail on the Galar Region and its inhabitants that was sorely needed. More importantly, we have a release date! You’ll be able to play Pokémon Sword & Shield on November 15th 2019!
First off, the biggest new feature in the game (no pun intended) is Dynamax! What this means is that now every Pokémon has the ability to grow gigantic for some truly colossal battles. All of your moves become “MAX” versions delivering more powerful versions than ever before. However, Dynamaxing takes its toll, and you’ll only be able to do it for three turns and only once per battle. Because of these truly epic battles, gym leader battles are now contained within massive stadiums to allow each fight to have enough room and be a spectacle of its own. They’re even televised now across the region, being its favourite pastime.
Between each city now are are areas deemed Wild Areas, where Pokémon roam free and the camera is moveable, allowing you to take in the sights and wonders of the Galar Region. Dotted across the world are spots where you can team up with three other players, both locally or online, to take part in Max Raid Battles. In these fights, you’ll be taking on a Pokémon that is permanently in Dynamax mode, and work with the other trainers to take them down and catch them. The Pokémon you can get from these Max Raid Battles depend on where you are in the game world, as well as the current state of the weather in-game, and some Pokémon can only be found during these battles!
Lastly, we were given a brief look at some of the new Pokémon you’ll encounter in the Galar Region, including the legendary Pokémon gracing the covers of each version of the game. Pokémon Sword players will get to encounter Zacian, who is said to move incredibly gracefully and carries a sword in its mouth. Pokémon Shield players will get to encounter Zamazenta, who can also move incredibly gracefully, but instead has a body that looks to be covered in a shield. Both monsters are said to be big parts of the story of the game, but no further details were announced on that front.
With a little over five months to go, Pokémon Sword & Shield are set to be fine additions to the Pokémon franchise.