Starting off the Direct, a look at the Galar region which is based on the United Kingdom, and you see the inspiration in the world. Every new Pokémon game features a new location but this one I really dig.
We saw Wooloo, a sheep-type Pokémon whose defining feature is its fluffy fur which is used for clothing and treasured by weavers. Then Gossifleur a flower-type Pokémon that likes clean air and water. Drednaw, a Rock-type Pokémon is difficult to tame and its bite rips chunks of rock and iron. Corviknight, a Flying-type Pokémon and it’s used as a flying taxi in the game. James showed us some of the evolutions of those Pokémon with Gossifleur evolving into Eldegoss.
The Wild Area stretches between cities, and it is where you’ll find wild Pokémon. There are various types here, and you’ll find different types during different times of the day. It’s an open field connecting cites essentially and is filled with abundant nature. Each day holds new discoveries and the camera isn’t locked.
Dynamax is a new battle mechanic coming to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Kazumada Iwao broke down how Dynamax works: your Pokémon grows in size and power. All the moves they know to become powerful and Dynamax can be used one time per battle and can be used for three turns. There are also Max Raid Battles, which allows four players to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon, however only one of the four trainers can use Dynamax throughout the Raid, so it’s up to you and your friends to chose who uses Dynamax. You can play with friends locally or online as well.
We met champion Leon, the undefeated champion and is extremely popular in the region. Next up is Hop, the younger brother of Leon and one of your rivals in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Then we met, Professor Magnolia and Sonia, the professor of the region, and her granddaughter – they will help you on your journey.
Next up are the Pokémon gyms! In order to become champion, you’ll need to take on the gyms. Each gym features its own Dynamax battle and each stadium is specifically constructed for Dynamax. The battles are described as explosive. We get a look at grass-type expert Milo, who enjoys battles with his Pokémon.
The last thing we saw at the end of the Pokémon Direct was CGI video that featured two legendary Pokémon, Zamazenta and Zacian. Zacian carries a sword in its mouth, and Zamazenta wears a shield.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield launched on November 15, 2019, worldwide on Nintendo Switch. You can pre-order both games as a double pack, too.