Nintendo Direct Recap: Pokémon Sword And Shield Features New Mechanics, Release Date Set For November

Also, gigantic Pokémon and two new legendary Pokémon monsters
Gigantic Pokémon battles await you in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Gigantic Pokémon battles await you in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Nintendo

The latest Nintendo Direct has just wrapped up, and it was an amazing one for all of the Pokémon fans out there. This Direct came with news, announcements, gameplay footage, information and of course a release date for one of Nintendo’s most anticipated releases – Pokémon Sword and Shield.

First up, we have a new gameplay trailer of sorts featuring the much-hyped open world of Pokémon Sword and Shield. The three starter Pokémon are featured prominently here, as is the new perspective; unlike other games in the series, Pokémon Sword and Shield will not use a top-down camera, instead putting the camera in a third-person perspective in an expansive open world filled with different biomes. The footage showed off some random encounters in the grass as well, which has come a long way since its very first iteration.

After an awe-inspiring montage of new characters in different areas, some epic battles, and your player character traveling through the vast open world beset by hundreds of kinds of Pokémon monsters while on foot or on a bicycle, we get to see two new mechanics. One is an introduction of a multiplayer component, which, as explained later in the video, forms the basis for a four-player raid called the Max Raid Battle. For this, players can team up with three other people in order to beat gigantic wild Pokémon.

This brings us to the second new mechanic: gigantic Pokémon. The footage showed of a gigantic Gyarados, which is being battled by four players and their Pokémon. Further in the video, this mechanic is explained as Dynamax. With this mechanic, you can grow your Pokémon monsters to about the size of small buildings, with the effect lasting for three turns. Fighting Dynamax monsters in the wild, however, will require a group, which is the reason for Max Raid Battles. Furthermore, it’s also explained that some Pokémon monsters can only be captured after you beat their Dynamax form in the wild, so be sure to snag some friends if you ever want to catch them all.

There’s a ton of stuff more covered in the Direct, including a closer look at the Gala Region and its new characters, new Pokémon, new and improved gym battles including Dynamax Pokémon, and finally a teaser regarding the two new legendary Pokémon: Zacian, a sword-wielding wolf-like pocket monster, and Zamazenta, another wolf-like Pokémon resembling a shield. Suddenly the logos make a lot more sense now.

Just when I thought it was about to end, the Direct then goes on to announce the release date. Pokémon Sword and Shield will be released exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019. Nintendo also announced that pre-orders are now open, including one where both titles are included in one bundle.

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