Today’s Pokémon Direct showcases new Pokémon, an open world, and new features – including a way to make your beloved companions 100ft tall in the upcoming installment, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
The feature, known as ‘Dynamaxing’, seems to replace the ‘Z Move’ mechanic from Sun and Moon, although we don’t yet know if it will work alongside Mega Evolutions, originally introduced in X and Y. This feature allows Pokémon to transform into a massive version of itself with powerful new Max Moves. Unlike Mega Evolutions, however, a Pokémon will only stay Dynamaxed for three turns.
The mascot legendaries also made a brief debut, named Zacian (for Pokémon Sword) and Zamazenta (for Pokémon Shield).
Other Pokémon announced include Wooloo, a sheep Pokémon and Corviknight, a new bird Pokémon that will fly trainers around the Galar region, suggesting HM moves such as Fly, Cut and Strength won’t be used outside of battle, much like in Sun and Moon.
Longtime fans will be pleased to see a return of Gym battles which were noticeably absent from the last installment. However, they appear much different from their incarnations in the other games in the series, as they now heavily rely on the Dynamaxing mechanic.
A seemingly more modern feature is the new open world, ‘Wild Area’, which not only allows players to have free reign of the camera and explore more corners of the world rather than a set path but also integrates multiplayer aspects. By allowing players to meet up with each other, players can partake in ‘Max Raid Battles’ and take on the huge Dynamaxed Pokémon together. This seems to draw inspiration from the rise in multiplayer games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends, so it remains to be seen how this will go down with veterans of the RPG franchise.
Pokémon Sword and Shield will be released November 15, 2019, on the Nintendo Switch.