Nintendo’s latest Pokémon Direct has revealed a host of new information about the game, including new Pokémon, a wider look at the world, and the release date.
After a cinematic re-introducing us to the world, the game began by showing off some of the Galar region’s newest Pokémon. There’s Wooloo, a sheep Pokémon, Dreadmaw the “Bite Pokémon” , and Gossifleur, a flower Pokémon which evolves into Eldegoss. Finally, they showed off Corviknight, a flying Raven Pokémon which can be used as a form of fast travel to take the trainer to any city they’ve visited before. They confirmed there would be plenty of other new Pokémon, but that older ones would also be available in the game.
The widest number of Pokémon will be caught in the Wild Area, a massive stretch of land where Pokémon can be encountered in the overworld rather than in random battles, and the kinds of Pokémon will change depending on factors such as the weather or time of day.
Gym leaders will also be making a return, though this is more like stadiums, as battles will take place in front of massive crowds. Currently, the only gym leader they showed is Milo, who specializes in grass-type Pokémon.
Of course no Pokémon game is complete without its side characters. The Direct introduces us to Professor Magnolia, the professor of the Galar Region, and her assistant Sonia. We also meet Galar’s Pokémon champion, Leon–a charismatic man who’s main partner appears to be a Charizard. Leon’s younger brother Hop will serve as the rival character to the protagonist.
The new facet to Pokémon Sword and Shield’s gameplay is Dynamaxing, a move which allows Pokémon to grow to giant sizes and increase their abilities and stats. Dynamaxing can happen once per battle, but only lasts for three turns.
Dynamaxing doesn’t only happen against other trainers however. Within the Wild Area, players can team up in groups of four to battle Dynamaxed Wild Pokémon in something called Max Raid Battles. During these battles, only one of the players will be allowed to use Dynamax, and the Dynamaxed Wild Pokémon will remain giant the entire battle. Once defeated, a player can catch the Dynamaxed Pokémon, and some Pokémon can only be caught once defeated in a Max Raid Battle.
They also showed us the legendaries of this new realm: Zacia and Zamazenta, two Pokémon who take the title of their games very seriously.
Finally, we learned that Pokémon Sword and Shield will be available November 15th. The game can be pre-ordered in a special pack containing both versions of the game.