Pokemon Sword and Shield Has Raids, an Open “Wild Area,” and Shockingly Large Monsters

Pokemon Sword and Shield Has Raids, an Open “Wild Area,” and Shockingly Large Monsters

Game Freak showed off new Pokemon, Max Raid Battles, and the Legendaries for Pokemon Sword and Shield on Switch.

It’s not every day we wake up to some fun Pokemon news—this Wednesday morning, the Pokemon Company and Game Freak revealed a number of new tidbits for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield on Nintendo Switch through a Direct presentation. Among the biggest pieces of news were four-player raids, a “Wild Area,” and the new Legendary Pokemon.

The apparent equivalent of Mega Evolution and Z-Moves from previous iterations appears to be a new mechanic called “Dynamax,” where your Pokemon becomes huge with “incredible strength.” All moves turn into “Max Moves,” which are strong and may have additional effects in battle. Powerful but limited to three turns, Pokemon trainers will have to strategize and time their use of Dynamax carefully to fully take advantage of the feature.

A new area called the “Wild Area” seems to give some observers some The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild vibes—it appears to be a massive, open space where players can encounter Pokemon in the overworld. To highlight the expansiveness, players can control the camera in this area. It is a fully dynamic world, with weather and location being determinants and variants for which types of Pokemon appear.

Most significant is the ability for four players to team up online to take on a Dynamax Pokemon, in what the game calls Max Raid Battles. These Pokemon will be in Dynamax form for the entirety of the battle, so it will take the cooperation of all four trainers, something unseen from the series yet, to defeat and capture it. Only one of these players can Dynamax their Pokemon.

The new legendary Pokemon are Zacian and Zamazenta, both appearing to be based on dogs. Naturally, one has a sword and the other looks like a shield. As a press release so eloquently describes them:

Zacian’s attacks are so graceful that its movements captivate opponents. Holding what appears to be a sword in its mouth, Zacian’s shining blade can cut through anything. With majestic movements and what appears to be a shield covering its body, Zamazenta can turn back any attack and overwhelm any opponents that dare face it.

Gym battles will take place in stadiums, with leaders including Milo, a grass-type trainer who also happens to be jacked. Other characters include Champion Leon, rival Hop, Professor Magnolia, and her granddaughter Sonia. New Pokemon include Glossifleur, the Flowering Pokémon, who evolves into Eldegoss, Cotton Bloom Pokémon. Wooloo is an adorable sheep, Drednaw has sharp teeth and hard armor, and Corviknight is the best possible name for a raven.

Pokemon Sword and Shield will release on November 15, exclusively for Nintendo Switch. Not only will the new games release separately as is tradition, but a double pack with both will also be featured. Check out the Direct and a massive gallery of screenshots below, and pre-order the game on Amazon through this link.

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