During its Pokémon Direct presentation on February 27, Nintendo and Game Freak officially announced the two Pokémon role-playing games coming to Nintendo Switch. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are on the way, and they look to combine deeper mechanics with the gorgeous art style of Let’s Go.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are set in the all-new Galar region. It’s a varied area with green environments in the southern and center parts of the map, and snowy mountains in the north. During the presentation, the developers said the region is industrialized with help from humans and Pokémon alike, working together in harmony. Unlike the previous games Sun and Moon, there will be classic gyms in Sword and Shield, and you’ll be working toward becoming a Pokémon Champion.
The three starters for the games have also been revealed. The fire starter is “Scorbunny,” a chipper little creature that seems deceptively dangerous. The grass Pokémon starter is “Grookey,” who Game Freak described as a “green chimp,” and the water starter is “Sobble.” Sobble is shy and prefers to hide from enemies underwater, so it might not be the best choice for battle! That being said, evolutions can drastically alter Pokémon in both appearance and abilities, so maybe Sobble will be more fearsome after a few levels and a little battle experience.
Pokémon will be captured the old-fashioned way in Sword and Shield, with random battles replacing the visible monsters seen in Let’s Go. Trainer battles and fights against wild Pokémon are still included, and Game Freak said it aims to make the game good for both veteran players and those who are completely new to the Pokémon series.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are planned for a simultaneous worldwide release for Nintendo Switch in late 2019. The Pokémon Company is also working on other content in the future, but it didn’t specify exactly what that would entail during the presentation. Before the game’s launch, you’ll be able to see the new film Pokémon: Detective Pikachu in theaters. A blend of live-action footage with CG monsters, it stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role and just received a new trailer.