Pokémon Sword and Shield are once again in the spotlight, as a tonne of new game details were revealed during the June 5th Pokémon Direct. Set to launch on November 15th 2019, Pokémon Sword and Shield will feature a whole host of new gameplay features, areas to explore and Pokémon to capture.
While trainers certainly had a lot to sink their teeth into during the presentation, one Galar-specific gimmick certainly made its way to the front-line. Known as the “Dynamax” phenomenon, this brand new feature enables Pokémon to not only become ginormous but also dramatically boost their power once per battle. This short-lived but integral element of Galar battles will turn all moves into Max moves but will only last three turns before the Pokémon returns to normal. So trainers will need to use it wisely if they hope to defeat the Galar Gym Leaders.
Speaking of Gym Leaders, Game Freak also revealed further details on the Gyms scattered across the Galar region. Built with a spacious battle area that allows both Champions and trainers to make use of the Dynamax Pokémon, the Galar Gyms attract masses of spectators and are even aired on television across the region.
Milo, the Grass Gym Leader, was also introduced during the Direct. Said to specialise in “endurance matches”, Milo is well liked by his Gym’s trainers and packs his Poké Balls with grass-type ‘mons.
We also got a better look at the vast Wild Area that spans between the cities in the Galar region of Pokémon Sword and Shield. In this untamed wilderness, trainers will find a larger variety of Pokémon than anywhere else in the game. The Wild Area is also affected by a number of factors such as time, weather and location with different Pokémon or items appearing each time a player ventures into nature.
While in the Wild Area players will be able to freely move the camera in all directions. It’s the first time this has been possible in a main-line Pokémon game and should make catching ‘em all just a little easier.
Also new in Pokémon Sword and Shield is the addition of multiplayer “Max Raid Battles”. Grab three friends and team up in the Wild Area to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon in an epic boss battle. You’ll need to work closely with your team through local wireless or online multiplayer and plan your attack carefully as only one of the four of you will be able to Dynamax your Pokémon during the raid.
Should you and your team defeat the wild Dynamax Pokémon, you’ll have the opportunity to catch it. With some Pokémon only able to be caught in Max Raid Battles, you’ll need to take part if you want to complete your Pokédex.
Don’t worry if you don’t have three friends available when you’re ready to raid though. Support Trainers will automatically be added to your team to help defeat the wild Dynamax Pokémon, so you won’t be outnumbered.
Besides new gameplay features, fans were also treated to some of the new Generation 8 Pokémon – including two Legendary ones that appear to represent the two upcoming releases, Zamazenta (Shield) and Zacian (Sword). While no in-game footage was shown of either Legendary, Game Freak did introduce both Pokémon with a mysterious cinematic teaser in which they are seen spooked by an unknown presence.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are set to launch worldwide later this year on November 15th, 2019. This time around, fans can pick up a dual pack of both games, complete with an exclusive golden steelbook case to store them in. More information on the double-pack, including pricing is expected to be revealed at a later date.