Today's Pokemon Direct revealed plenty of new information about the upcoming Pokemon Sword & Shield games, including the games' signature Legendary Pokemon, a new Dynamax mechanic, and the return of several popular mechanics from previous games. New Pokemon includes the sheep-like Wooloo, the flowering Gossifleur, the turtle-esque Drednaw, and and Corviknight, a Steel-type bird Pokemon. Gossifleur also evolves into Eldegoss. Two new Legendary Pokemon were also revealed, twin wolf-like Pokemon called Zacian and Zamazenta. Zacian carries a massive sword, while Zamazenta has a mane-like shield that protects it.
Also revealed was a new Dynamax mechanic that will play a major role in the games. The new Dynamax mechanic allows players to physically increase the size of their Pokemon, turning them into major powerhouses for three moves. This mechanic was first teased in the first trailer, when players passed by some hill art that showed a massive Pokemon that towered over other Pokemon in the artwork. The Dynamax feature can be used both in batltes, and via Max Raid battles that can be accessed with the help of up to three other players. It appears that the rifts will work similar to raids in Pokemon Go, adding a cooperative multi-player mode to a main series Pokemon game for the first time. Only one player can Dynamax their Pokemon during a Max Raid battle, and certain Pokemon can only be caught via Max Raids.
The Direct also revealed a new "Wild Area" that stretches between cities. The Wild Area is an open area in which players can control the camera and encounter different wild Pokemon depending on the weather.
In addition, roaming wild Pokemon will appear in the overworld map, similar to how Pokemon appeared in Pokemon: Let's Go. While the first trailer made it seem like we'd be going back to the "blind" Pokemon encounters in which players didn't know what Pokemon would appear until after they entered the encounter screen, it seems that having Pokemon appear on the overworld map was popular enough to bring back in Pokemon Sword & Shield. Some Pokemon will run away when you see them, while others will pursue the player once discovered. Other times, a "!" mark will appear above tall grass to indicate that a wild Pokemon is hiding there.
Pokemon Sword & Shield will be released for the Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019.
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