Nintendo was kind enough to give us a juicy 15-minute gameplay reveal of Pokemon Sword and Shield. Announced for a global November 15th release date, Sword and Shield will mark the official beginnings of generation 8. With gen 8 comes a whole range of brand new Pokemon. The direct introduced us to seven brand new species exclusive to the Galar region, including two legendaries.
We got introduced to Wooloo (an adorable sheep), Gossifleur (another sentient flower), Eldegross (evolution of Gossifluer), Drednaw (bad-ass snapping turtle), and Corviknight (cool looking metallic raven). Both legendaries revealed are based on wolves and symbolize a sword and shield retrospectively. Zacian is a wolf with a sword in its mouth and Zamazenta is a wolf with a shield for a face. On the whole, they look interesting but a little too similar for my tastes.
The new major battling mechanic for Sword and Shield is called Dynamax. In short, it makes your Pokemon really big. You can activate it once per battle and it lasts just three turns. Whilst Dynamax-ed, all their moves turn into more powerful alternatives. Dynamax is also a key part of raids, a new co-op multiplayer addition to generation 8. Four people team up to beat a raid boss. After beating it, you’ll get the chance to catch it. You can still play with A.I if getting some friends together isn’t practical.
Sword and Shield takes place in an open world environment with a player controlled camera. This is a first for a mainstream Pokemon game. Specific important characters like gym leaders, the professor, and Galar Champion Leon were all introduced. Pokemon battling is such a spectacle in Galar that gym battles are televised in huge all-seater stadiums.
Interestingly, the Pokémon Sword and Shield Double Pack is an option for very dedicated fans. This comes bundled with both versions of the game in one package. Those looking to get the best deal though should be reassured that online trading will be available so obtaining every Pokemon will be possible on just one version.
Expect more on both Pokemon Sword and Shield as well as Nintendo’s other upcoming titles later this week at E3.